When it comes to the question of the effect of dust on motorized equipment, dust
works advantageously in one respect, but in other ways has a contrary action.
Up to a point, dust has a beneficial effect on camouflaged, externally
painted surfaces and serves to blend those surfaces with the color of the
On tires and rubber parts, the erosive action of sand and dust considerably
shortens the effective life of such articles anywhere from 50 to 80 percent.
The most injurious action of dust is found in its adherence to oiled
bearing-surfaces, such as springs and shackles, axles, bushings, etc.
To guard against this condition, constant and thorough care must be
exercised, particularly on those parts which are close-fitting. Protection
of precision parts, such as axle bushings and front-wheel bearings, requires
close watching. Where the moving part is covered with leather or other
material, easily removable for cleaning (gun axles), or entirely dust
proof (traversing gears), the need for special attention is obvious. In
any case, whether totally or partially protected against dust, or where
there is no such insurance, it is always necessary and advisable to make
regular and frequent inspections for dirt removal and fresh lubrication.
Internally, since a motor breathes air, dust is present in varying
quantities depending on the equipment furnished and the precautions and care
observed. The problem of letting in dustless air has been solved almost
completely by the motor manufacturers, but the driver of the vehicle and the
motor mechanics of the unit must continually implement this excellent
beginning. All concerned must be taught the far-reaching importance of
dust wear, made dust conscious, and thoroughly educated to properly
understand the harmful effect of grit accumulations in their motors.