New Lubestation slides into FMG’s refuelling bay

30 March 2023
FMG 20-foot Lubestation with 5 IBCs

Recently we put the finishing touches on a Lubestation we designed and manufactured for Fortescue Metals Group (FMG).

The RETRA Fluid Handling Systems Lubestation is a relocatable site solution designed to overcome the challenges FMG has faced with its haul trucks.

“Our client told us that while their haul trucks were refuelled and inspected in the field at a refuelling bay located in a dome shelter, they were redirected back to the workshop for lube top-ups,” said Saxon McEwen, Account Manager for RETRA.

“As the workshop was some distance from the field, they were losing productive time every time one of their haul trucks required fresh coolant, engine oil or hydraulic fluid.”

“Another challenge was they didn’t want their people out in the hot sun when topping up lubes. So, they turned to us to design a Lubestation to suit their exact requirements.”

FMG 20-foot Lubestation with completed pumps and pipes

The custom-made 20-foot Lubestation will sit just outside the aforementioned refuelling bay. Inside the unit, the Lubestation features five intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), one filled with coolant and the other four set up to carry oils.

The fluids are transferred via a series of Graco pumps and Donaldson filters to an independent hose rack, which will sit away from the Lubestation inside the shade of the bay.

“Each of the reels is air-driven to remove manual handling risks. The rack has a waste oil pump connected to it, which feeds into a tank beside the Lubestation. We’ve even added a level monitoring display to the rack so that the team on the ground know when they need to empty or swap out the waste oil tank,” said Saxon.

“What’s unique about this Lubestation is that it’s fully self-contained. Lubes are filled and drained from fast-fill points outside the unit by a service truck that pulls up next to the unit. All the fittings are high-quality Banlaw items that are colour coded and labelled to the type of fluid they carry for easy and mistake-free refilling.”

“There’s a level monitoring system on each IBC to notify people when it’s time for a top-up. Realistically, the only time that the unit needs to be opened is to service the pumps, which is ideal when trying to prevent contamination.”

FMG 20-foot Lubestation external rack

Each of the IBCs features sample points pre-and-post filter, so the condition monitoring experts can ensure everything is up to spec.

The Lubestation was designed after a series of calls and video meetings with the client.

“While all the Lubestations are pretty much plug and play, we like to follow them into the field to ensure that they are performing at their optimum level and to see if there’s anything we need to address in future designs,” said Saxon.

“Completing that feedback loop is important for the RETRA team as we want to improve our products continually, and the only way to really do that is to head to the coalface and see how they are performing in the real world.”

Each Lubestation is easily portable and can be moved to different areas of a site, saving on capital costs while protecting lubes, pumps, reels and hoses from the harsh elements encountered in. Relocatable site solution also prevents cross-contamination of oils, grease and coolant, giving you the peace of mind that you’re putting fresh fluids into your expensive mobile or fixed plant equipment.

For more information on Lubestation, call 1300 242 504, email or visit

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