Following a tractor manufacturer’s specifications gives farmers basic guidance on fluid maintenance. But don’t fall into the trap of relying on the same specifications as you replace older equipment with newer equipment.

Tractor manufacturers have made significant improvements to increase machine durability and farmer productivity. Providing the correct lubricants to support these new designs is critical for maximum equipment life and performance. There are a number of obsolete and outdated specifications in the marketplace that may work fine for a 20-year-old tractor; but in newer tractors, they won’t achieve optimal protection, which can lead to equipment damage, disrupted work schedules and needless repair bills.

Here are answers to questions readers might have about using the right Tractor Hydraulic Fluid (THF) based on OEM credentials:

What are OEM credentials?

An OEM is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (tractor manufacturers), and nearly all OEMs provide specifications/guidelines for fluid recommendations.

Here is a set of up-to-date OEM credentials for THF from major manufacturers:

What is THF?

In the agricultural industry, these fluids often are called Universal Tractor Transmission Oils (UTTOs). A one-sump system feeds all of the tractor’s different components: transmission, final drive and wet brakes, hydraulic pump, power take-off unit, and hydraulically powered equipment attached to the rear of the tractor.

What does THF do?

THF lubricates, protects and cleans the tractor’s systems (preventing sludge from forming). It provides smoother shift and brake operation for operator comfort and reduces wear on clutches and final drive (gears).

High-performance THFs offer the highest level of wear protection, greater operating efficiency and smoother hydraulic system response, year-around, under the toughest conditions.

 What does THF contain?

THFs contain an additive performance package specifically designed for tractors along with viscosity modifier (VM) and a pour point depressant (PPD) in mineral base oils. The VM raises the fluid’s viscosity index (VI) and helps the fluid viscosity remain more constant over a wide range of temperatures; while the PPD controls wax build up in the fluid, ensuring the lubricant continues to flow at cold temperatures.

How should I check OEM specifications when buying a THF?

Check your owner’s manual fluid recommendation against the specifications claimed on the THF container. Usually, OEM specifications are listed on the side. Alternatively, contact the manufacturer or distributor of the tractor for a fluid recommendation.

In order to help you select fluids you can trust we launched the Authenticated mark. Fluids endorsed by this mark meet and often exceed OEM credentials, providing you optimal protection against wear, rust, oxidation, brake chatter, extreme temperatures and, ultimately, premature equipment failure. Find out more now!