Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC.

   / Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC. #1  

Gale Hawkins

Super Star Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
11,982
Location
Murray, KY
Tractor
1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
We finally got around to getting new hydraulic fluid in the the 25 year old F700 with 16' flat dump that we picked up some time back. I can tell you 25 years is too long to go between changes but I know that and longer is common. The inch build up in the bottom of the 20 gallon tank made me sick to see but by using 15 gallons of diesel in we got most of the crud out but did not permit diesel into the cylinders no knowing if it would have been an issue or not. I was told it would be fine by one heavy equipment operator but I just disconnected and replaced the hydraulic hose going to each cylinder.

Anyway we went back with UTF and since it was $2 a gallon cheaper we picked up Super S 303 in the yellow cans from TSC. When I started rounding up empty cans to do the fluid change I found we had set outside a year ago a can of Premium UTF from TSC and it was about three years old so I decided to go ahead and use it as well as the 303 just to make sure it had not taken on water somehow. It was fine to the last drop.

The Premium was clear and more thin at 70F then the darker and thicker 303 we noticed.

The 303 can now states no new equipment has speced that since 1974 but it has pictures of a large new tractor and a piece of heavy equipment for those who do not read for details on the can.

While I am glad I saved $50 and perhaps the thicker oil will work better in the old hoist since I do not plan to be dumping in cold weather a case could have been made to have gone with the more expensive Premium or hydraulic oil options. I bet next to none of the 303 goings into 1973 and older equipment and some people are damaging their equipment over a $2 per gallon lower price.

Just wanted to share what we learned today and encourage people to read the small print if the equipment is newer than the early 70's.
 
   / Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC. #2  
When the hydraulics are combined with a transmisson, you need the really good fluid. In a dump truck or wood splitter, you can get away with the basic fluid.
 
   / Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC.
  • Thread Starter
#3  
Wolfy I agree. I know even the premium UTF at TSC does not meet the demands of some of the newer equipment today but with the 303 at $30 for 5 gallons and their Premium line at $40 for 5 gallons the cost difference is not that great. A guy that was working for me trimming some trees was putting the 303 in his 850 JD skid steer. Since the 303 is on pallets instead of the racks I know they are selling a lot of the 303 to farmers. Up front being $2 a gallon cheap to people buying hundreds of gallons a year for leaking equipment must make it tempting but it has to be a killer hydrostatic drives, etc that can be high temperature environments. I know some just look at the pictures of high end equipment and the price and dump it into hydrostatic drives, etc.

http://www.ruralking.com/agriculture/tractor-parts-accessories/tractor-truck/fluids-oils/super-s-super-trac-303-tractor-hydraulic-fluid-5-gallons-tdh.html
 
   / Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC. #4  
I put that exact Rural King 303 in my old Mitsubishi "gear" tractor, which I think is from the '80s, with a combined gear box /hydr. sump.

According to the Valley Power website, 303 is OK, and they say NOT to use the gear oil the manual sez to use:

Valley Power
 
   / Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC.
  • Thread Starter
#5  
I put that exact Rural King 303 in my old Mitsubishi "gear" tractor, which I think is from the '80s, with a combined gear box /hydr. sump.

According to the Valley Power website, 303 is OK, and they say NOT to use the gear oil the manual sez to use:

Valley Power

I agree 303 is fine for older designed tractors but the pictures on the can are new hydrostatic high end equipment. 303 is fine for a lot of stuff but no huge cost savings for those of us with just a few pieces of equipment perhaps. As for dump lifts I can see changing them every 25 years is a bit long. :) I think the deep layer of crude in the holding tank may have been from people adding used fluid that was dirty with the mind set as long as it dumps all is well. :(
 
   / Universal Tractor Fluid (UTF) 303 vs. Premium from TSC. #6  
"...the pictures on the can..."



The only pictures I pay any attention to are center folds...
 
 
Top