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Hydraulic fluid

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by vis, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. vis

    vis Senior Member
    from 4
    Messages: 324

    What do you put in your plows?

    we have all fishers and use reg tranny oil, works great.

    JKOOPERS Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    artic avenger the blue stuff
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I don't know if it's just coincidental, but this is my experience with the 9' Fisher SEHP:

    I'd always used Fisher hydraulic fluid up till this year. Last summer I noticed the sticker said to change ATF annually. So I used Transmission fluid. So far this winter it's gotten blocked with ice consistently. I plan to go back to Fisher's hydraulic fluid. Saving a few cents on a fluid change doesn't mean much with a plow that won't raise or angle at 4:00 dark and cold AM.:mad: :realmad:
  4. vis

    vis Senior Member
    from 4
    Messages: 324

    hasnt failed for me yet mick, we put reg trans fluid in there works perfect all year. :eek:
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    Some times Boss hyd fluid some times a good (AW )grade of hydraulic fluid, some times the cold weather blue stuff, every thing except ATF.
  6. cincy snowdog

    cincy snowdog Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    hey snofarmer why no atf? whats your thoughts ? just curious
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    It is a hydraulic pump, not a automatic transmission.
    Use the right fluid for the job.
    You can get hydraulic fluid that will flow at lower temps than ATF will.
    Some ATF has friction modifiers in it that you don't need in your system. But having said all that, we use to run 10w motor oil in some heavy equipment aux hydraulic systems in the winter.. lol
    Yes. I have used ATF in a Meyers and western systems for many years but, there just seams to be less goo (for a better term) built up on the filters if I use a good grade of hydraulic fluid than if I use ATF.
    When it snows here the temp is in the 20's but after the weather changes quickly to a strong wind out of the north and the temps can drop in to the
    -20's or lower fast so you need a fluid that will not thicken up on you.
    And personal preference..:waving:
  8. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    i just switched to the m-1 meyer stuff till this year i have used atf. its a bit thinner so the plow moved faster.
  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Well, I use Dextron- never had any trouble. I used what I had when I needed it- happened to have Dextron on the shelf. I think the main differences are just additives, either for the tranny functions or anti iceing.
  10. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    I use hydraulic fluid, I buy it by the barrel from my distributor. I use it in my plow and all my tractors.
  11. danno

    danno Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Fisher fluid here, also. Better safe, than sorry !
  12. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    In our older Westerns we used to use ATF. Then we went to the synthetic ATF and that was much better. Now we use the thin blue fluid and we find the plows much faster in the real cold. It is easier on the pump. When you spend $5,000 for a plow, I think you can spend a couple of bucks more for the fluid(price a new pump).
  13. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    JMO but if your going to run ATF run the synthetic stuff.
  14. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    I always used to run ATF, but this season I've used only Fisher's Ez-Flow Hydraulic oil, it's the blue stuff. Works better and flows through the plow much easier, making it quicker and more responsive.
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Any aircraft hydraulic is going to work better then what's commonly known as ATF. Many of todays auto require much more then Dextron or Mercon fluids. The viscosity or thickness of the two are incredibly different, as is the temperature range of operation. Type 5105 air craft hydraulic is the minimum military spec that should be used in snowplows. These fluids are much cleaner then ATF and because of the lower viscosity they flow much easier through the system. The goo that appears on filters is a form of paraffin separating from the oil. This translates into lower amperage use and faster acting, longer lasting more dependable hydraulics. They're less affected by temperature, have better de-icing properties, are more resistant to foaming, and contain anti corrosion agents.
    All of the major plows have their own fluids, all based off Aircraft Hydraulic, each maker claims to have the best "mix" for their plow. They all have better anti-iceing agents and o-ring and packing lubrication properties then the aftermarket "cheap" fluids. The Biggies have fluid engineers who have a paycheck to justify.
    If you buy your Engine oil and filters based purely on cost, run ATF, UTF or the cheap stuff. If you balance cost against performance and durability check out the Manufacturer's recommended fluid for your pump. It only takes a couple quarts. Change it at least once a season based on use, and it will help increase your plow dependability.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2006
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    I agree.. well said.:waving:
    The goo bulit up on my filters was the wax from the ATF.
  17. yooper.mi

    yooper.mi Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    I use ATF-3 in my BOSS plow. Auto transmission is just a big pump.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  18. The Snow Pros

    The Snow Pros Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 14

    A few years back we were having problems with the "goo" building up on the filter on our Western plows. Talked to a few different people, and everyone had their own opinion on what to use. Nothing seemed to work well. Talked directly to a tech at Western, and he said (off the record) to use Mobil 1 0W synthetic motor oil. Never had a problem after that.
  19. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,864

    My dealer put Amzoil ATF fluid in my Boss plow after we had 2 plows freeze up earlier this year with reg. Boss fluid in them.
  20. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Synthetic oils, and ATFs do not contain the paraffins found in regular oils so using them (synthetics) will solve separation problems due to extreme cold. I'm surprised to hear that The Boss's specified fluids froze. I have had freezing problems with the cheaper "blue" fluid sold as an inexpensive alternative to the higher priced factory fluids. Using factory fluids has never been an issue with tight units. Once a unit ages an starts weeping oil though the packings (particularly though the angle rams) they bring moisture back into the system under vacuum, these units will freeze regardless of the fluid used due to high water content. Even the factory fluids freeze if enough water is introduced. Synthetics, whether engine oil or ATF will not solve this problem they just do not contain the anti icing components. They do not need to, they operate in a heated environment.
    The proper fluids are critical, I have seen warm weather gelling in units with mixed fluids in them, and o-rings dissolve from the use of incorrect fluid. Specify factory supplied fluid if you have your dealer changing your fluids, be sure to drain ALL the fluids, not only the pump but also the angle rams and hoses, and flush the units with kerosene or Hydra-flush (Meyer makes an excellent flush) and drain throughly before refilling. If freeze up is a continuing problem you can add a small amount of a quality fuel anti-freeze to the system.