Farmers should always know how well their tractor’s hydraulic fluid resists oxidation, because oxidation is always happening. Oxidation of lubricants occurs when oxygen chemically attacks fluid base oils, an inherent susceptibility of hydrocarbon stocks. Additionally, oxidation is accelerated in the presence of water, making tractor lubricants even more vulnerable than their on-highway counterparts. With the rapid oxidation of hydraulic fluid, farmers experience more wear on parts, lower braking performance and hefty repair bills on some of their most valued — and valuable — equipment. As the base oil oxidizes, lubricant viscosity increases to a point where it cannot freely flow to the surfaces of the parts it is meant to protect. Eventually, viscosity can increase to a point where the fluid cannot be pumped to provide hydraulic or wet brake performance, making it difficult or even dangerous to operate the tractor. The quality of the base oil dictates the rate of oxidation: Lower-quality base oils oxidize faster than higher-quality base oils. High-quality tractor fluids provide better protection against oxidation, because they contain antioxidant additives that act as a first line of defense. These molecules are able to be oxidized while remaining in the oil without causing harm. This limits the amount of base fluid oxidation and its harmful side effects, thereby increasing oil and tractor life. To help farmers prevent oxidation, TractorLife.com is verifying high-performance fluid brands through its Authenticated mark. The following brands meet OEM specifications and have earned the Authenticated mark:
See the full list of brands that have received the TractorLife.com Authenticated Mark.