303 Hydraulic Oil, What Is It ?

If you are a farmer and have a tractor, you may be familiar with 303 Hydraulic Oil. The question is that whether it is a good fluid for your tractor or not. Before deciding to use the 303 fluid, there are several things you need to know.

Being a farmer is not only taking care of the crops, but also you have to take care of your equipment as well. Therefore, you need to know which tractor hydraulic fluids you should use.

303 Hydraulic Oil

The tractor hydraulic fluid (THF) market has been filled with these 303 hydraulic oils for decades. These fluids are sold in attention-grabbing, five yellow gallons. Hence, they have nicknamed “yellow buckets”. For farmers and equipment owners, the yellow buckets seem to be an alternative to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brand, which is more expensive.

303 Hydraulic Oil

Looking for a cut cost, the 303 fluids definitely attract the farmers and equipment owners. The 303 refers to John Deere’s JDM 303 hydraulic fluids. However, JDM 303 is no longer used by John Deere because it was invented more than fifty years ago. The JDM 303 used sperm whale oil to meet the tractor’s specification and other equipment fifty years ago.

Because of animal conservation, sperm whale oil is no longer used.  Today’s manufacturer uses the 303 Hydraulic Oil as a reference to JDM 303. This is odd because John Deere no longer produces JDM 303. After all, the tractor and other equipment’s specification is evolving, so a new invention is needed.

The Effect of 303 Hydraulic Oil

The manufacturer of 303 Hydraulic Oil claims that oil is best suited for an old tractor. But the old tractor specification, which meets the specification of 303, only exists around 2% worldwide. Using 303 fluid for a newer tractor can cause several effects. The first is that it can cause premature pump and equipment failure.

It is because the fluid cannot flow well over wide temperature ranges. The test of 303 fluids also shows that the fluids are thickened if used for the long term. It can cause an erratic or sluggish hydraulic response. Using 303 fluids can also result in severe wear and ridging of gear parts.

Overall, the test shows that yellow bucket fluids mostly contain low-quality base oils and improperly balance or inadequate additive systems. As a result, it cannot properly deliver the performance level required to protect equipment used in the field.

Though 303 oils might be tempting if you are looking for a low cost, you need to consider the effect it can give for your tractor and other equipment. You have to account for what maintenance costs you should spend due to using 303 oils.

OEM brand oils are obviously more expensive than 303 oils, but it is good to protect your equipment in the field. You can search and find other oils as 303 Hydraulic Oil equivalent. You now can decide whether to use 303 Hydraulic Oil or not.

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HomeTips is an experienced author and expert technician. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects related to home improvement, including installation, maintenance, and repair.