Tractor hydraulics are used every day on the farm to ensure equipment moves as it’s designed to. Hydraulic systems allow operators to perform high-effort tasks that they can’t do physically with the push of a lever or the flip of a switch.

Tractor hydraulic systems use a mechanical source of power to drive the hydraulic pump which pushes the hydraulic fluid to create pressure to perform work. For example, when you’re using a tractor to pull your planter through the field, all of that equipment uses hydraulics to lift and lower various components as needed.  Of course, field conditions can be variable and potentially cause problems with hydraulic systems. For example, in a wet environment, moisture can cause corrosion and wear.

In the spring, temperature fluctuations from morning to evening can cause tractor hydraulic fluid to change viscosity, which can result in equipment that runs choppy or needs consistent calibrating. Frequency of equipment use also plays a part: tractor hydraulic fluid from your tractor flows into the equipment it pulls like your planter. If you park your planter and leave it sit for awhile, you want to be sure the oil you use can tolerate being idle for a period of time.

Changing oil: important to do, easy to forget

Unfortunately, maintaining tractor hydraulic fluid can be difficult to keep top of mind compared with maintaining engine oil. For one thing, engine oil turns dark when it’s old and needs to be changed, which isn’t so much the case with tractor hydraulic fluids. Second, engine oil is changed more frequently—every 200 to 400 hours—while hydraulic oil is changed only about every 1,500 to 2,000 hours.

Use a high-quality tractor hydraulic fluid

A simple way to ensure that your tractor’s hydraulic system is operating at peak efficiency is to use a premium tractor hydraulic fluid (THF) that meets your specific equipment needs. Cenex® offers two types of THFs designed to work in the field.

  • Maxtron® THF+ is a premium full-synthetic multifunctional THF that offers enhanced all-weather performance and minimizes downtime by reducing friction.
  • Qwiklift® HTB® is a universal tractor, transmission and wet brake fluid that offers excellent wear protection and provides enhanced protection of copper components.

To ensure you’re using a quality THF, review the product data sheet for things like performance testing data. Also, confirm that the product you’re using is approved for use in your make and model of tractor.

To learn more about THFs, talk to your local Cenex dealer.


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