Grab a few beers and wipe that chew spit off your chin, we’re about to dive into the most common lubricants used in agricultural equipment.  

Sometimes it’s worthwhile to review the basics. Kind of like the blocking and tackling drills when you were 9th string full-back in high school. Hey, you rode a good bench. Lubricants play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation and longevity of ag equipment. Here’s what’s going on…

Engine Oil:

*Function:* Engine oil provides essential lubrication, reduces friction, dissipates heat, and protects against wear and corrosion.

*Characteristics:* Engine oils for agricultural equipment are formulated to withstand the rigors of heavy-duty operation, including high temperatures, heavy loads, and prolonged operating hours. They often feature high viscosity index (VI) to maintain viscosity across a wide range of temperatures and shear stability to prevent viscosity breakdown under mechanical stress.

Hydraulic Fluid

*Function:* Hydraulic fluid transmits power, lubricates components, and facilitates smooth operation of hydraulic cylinders and valves.

*Characteristics:* Hydraulic fluids used are formulated to provide optimal lubrication, viscosity, and thermal stability. They must resist oxidation and foaming, maintain proper viscosity at high temperatures, and protect against wear and corrosion to ensure the reliability and performance of hydraulic systems.

Gear Oil

*Function:* Gear oil reduces friction between gear teeth, dissipates heat, and protects against wear and pitting.

*Characteristics:* Gear oils are designed to withstand heavy loads, shock loads, and high speeds encountered in field and off-road conditions. They have high film strength, extreme pressure (EP) additives, and thermal stability to ensure smooth gear operation and prevent component failure.


*Function:* Grease is a semi-solid lubricant used to lubricate bearings, bushings, joints, and other moving parts in agricultural equipment. It provides long-lasting lubrication, seals out contaminants, and protects against moisture and corrosion.

*Characteristics:* Greases come in various formulations, including lithium, calcium, and polyurea-based greases, each tailored to specific applications and operating conditions. They offer excellent adhesion, water resistance, and shear stability to maintain lubrication under heavy loads and harsh environments.

Transmission Fluid

*Function:* Transmission fluid is used to lubricate and cool transmission systems including automatic transmissions, hydrostatic drives, and power shift transmissions. It provides smooth shifting, reduces friction, and dissipates heat to prevent overheating and component wear.

*Characteristics:* Transmission fluids are formulated to meet the unique requirements of each transmission type, whether it’s a traditional gear-based transmission or a hydrostatic drive system. They offer high viscosity index, shear stability, and anti-wear additives to ensure reliable performance and durability under varying loads and speeds.