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Hydraulic fluid in fisher plows

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by LJM5700, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. LJM5700

    LJM5700 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Is there a difference of using ATF fluid in a fisher plow? I was told by the dealer that it is recommened and I was curious why?
    I was told that I needed to use Fisher Hydraulic fluid only.
  2. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Your Fisher dealer told you this???? I used Fisher for years and everything I've ever heard has been use only Fisher fluid. Atf doesn't work well in cold temps from what I understand.
  3. LJM5700

    LJM5700 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hydraulic fluid

    Thanks for the tip.
    I wasn't sure if it would harm the pump.
  4. Morrissey snow removal

    Morrissey snow removal PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,798

    atf works fine thats all we use have used it for yrs never had a problem
  5. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Same here. I just add a splash of alcohol to it to prevent freezing.
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    ATF is fine for an egine driven system. All others should have Fisher blue only
  7. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    when the function on the plow makes the money...why do so maney want to save 2-3 dolars?...just wondering..bwai
  8. potskie

    potskie Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 769

    My dealer doesn't even have the Fisher blue stuff in stock. They sell their own mix at a massively lower price. It's essentially just bulk and repackaged ATF .
  9. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    I highly doubt a fisher dealer is repackaging bulk ATF for use on electric pumps in Canada. More likely it is bulk aircraft hydraulic fluid, which is what plow fluid is. The performance of atf below 15 or so degrees F is noticeably worse, as it is much thicker. Your speed will be slower and your pump will draw more amps, so your headlights will dim more, etc. I converted a couple years ago and I was impressed with the difference right away. I'm still on my first gallon of fluid as well.
  10. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    ATF is fine, but you should be purging your entire system of the blue before you use it. I use ATF in all my plows and it works fine. Just don't mix the two.
  11. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I used to use ATF for years, never had a problem. I now use the blue stuff. I like it better in the cold cold, also if you use ATF the red spot in the snow... is it from your trany or the plow?.... If its blue I know, If its red I know. :)
  12. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,066

    I use Boss fluid in my Fisher. No issues.
  13. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    I've used both over the years, had trucks where the two got mixed, and never had an issue.

    I usually use aircraft hydro fluid, but in a pinch I'll use ATF. Should I drain everything after and re-fill with fresh hydro fluid? Yes. Have I ever? No. Would I suggest it to someone else? Yes.
  14. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    Depending on the pump, and sometimes the temperatures, ATF is known to FROTH.... badly. Some pumps are fine with it, on others, it will blow out the seals.

    What happens is that with the thicker fluids, when an air bubble gets mixed into the fluid, it won't bubble to the surface very fast, so rather than rising up, it will get sucked back down into the pump and churned in to the fluid, becoming froth. As you work it back and forth, up and down, a few times, more air bubbles work into the fluid and get frothed in by the pump. Then you end up with this mass of froth, which takes up more space than straight fluid, so your total froth volume exceeds the reservoir capacity and needs to push out somewhere. Its cold and thick though, so doesn't spill out the small vent, rather blows out the lift cylinder seal.

    One of the places where air can get sucked into the system is from the pump inlet at the bottom of the reservoir. When the lift cylinder is fully extended and the fluid is low in the reservoir, that cold fluid may not spill down to the low spot very well, instead, a bit of air gets sucked in directly with the fluid.
  15. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Ha I use fisher fluid in my Boss... no issues