Low temperature hydraulic fluid?

   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #1  

mndave

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Branson 3620h
I live in MN and we get some very cold winters (obviously). Last winter was the first cold season I had my tractor and I had a heck of a time getting the hydraulic fluid warm enough to even move the tractor on multiple occasions. I ended up installing several electric oil pan heaters where I could, which helped a little bit, but it still took 30+ min of that + construction heaters + high idling to unfreeze the hydraulic fluid enough to move. The fluid in it was only a couple moths old at that point so I don't believe that was an issue, I believe it's Shell Rotella HD.

My question is, are there any recommendations for low temperature hydraulic fluids? Or are there any additives that work? Any other suggestions?

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   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #2  

oldnslo

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Branson 2400H, JD X540
Deere makes low viscosity hy-gard intended for cold weather use. I believe Kubota super UDT is a synthetic fluid also intended for cold weather use.

What tractor and what fluid do you have in it now?
 
   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid?
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#3  
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mndave

mndave

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It's a 2021 Branson 3620h with Shell Rotella HD hydraulic fluid.
 
   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #4  

RjCorazza

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Kubota L4060 Cab, ZD1211, ZD326
I don't have to deal severe cold, but use Kubota SUDT/2 synthetic. I have used (2) 250w heaters to maintain a slightly warmer hst case temp, but even 24/7 it's not much heat for 11 gallons of fluid.

My operators manual had some very specific warm up requirements for the hst. On the order of 20+ minutes of warm up time at below -4 F. I don't think any machine is going to be happy being worked at those temps without a reasonable warm up period.
 
   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #5  

oldnslo

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I had problems with the factory oil in my 2400H so switched to Deere hy-gard mixed with lo viscosity hy-gard. We rarely get below 0 for any extended period of time in this area so I mixed approx 2 1/2 gallons hy-gard with 1 gallon lo- viscosity. Was concerned about both low winter and higher summer temps. I do far more work at higher summer temps than in the winter so can live with a little warm up time in the winter. Since I have no kids around I engage the PTO while tractor is idling warming up. This turns the gears in the oil adding a little splash heat. Also block air flow through the oil cooler.
 
   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid?
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mndave

mndave

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My operators manual had some very specific warm up requirements for the hst. On the order of 20+ minutes of warm up time at below -4 F.

Good to know, thanks. If long warm up times are just the way it is, I guess I'll adjust my expectations and plan ahead more. I'm new to tractors and hydraulics so learning new things all the time.

I did find some full synthetic fluid for a somewhat reasonable price so I may give that a try this winter too.
 
   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #7  

RjCorazza

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Good to know, thanks. If long warm up times are just the way it is, I guess I'll adjust my expectations and plan ahead more. I'm new to tractors and hydraulics so learning new things all the time.

I did find some full synthetic fluid for a somewhat reasonable price so I may give that a try this winter too.

Be careful with your choice. The product linked is not for transmissions. I believe Lucas does have a universal hydraulic and transmission type fluid.
 
   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #9  

ericm979

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Santa Cruz Mountains, Ca
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Branson 3725H
Good to know, thanks. If long warm up times are just the way it is, I guess I'll adjust my expectations and plan ahead more. I'm new to tractors and hydraulics so learning new things all the time.

I did find some full synthetic fluid for a somewhat reasonable price so I may give that a try this winter too.

That looks like hydraulic fluid not tractor fluid. You want tractor fluid. It has additives that make it work well with wet clutches and brakes.

Chevron makes a synthetic version of THF1000 which has better low temp viscosity. than the regular stuff All the manufacturers publish viscosity numbers (though it can sometimes be hard to find) which you can use to find a reasonable match to the fluids that Branson recommends. In your case you'd want less viscosity at low temps but the same at working temps. I think the synthetic THF1000 will do that but it's been a while since I looked at it, so check first.
 
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   / Low temperature hydraulic fluid? #10  

Raul-02

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are there any recommendations for low temperature hydraulic fluids?
First thing I'd do is discuss it with my dealer.
Superior Industries has what they call a Cryogenic Hydraulic fluid they claim is good from negative 110 F all the way up to +300 F It costs like $1600 for five gallons. My point is not that you should use it, but that if there are hydro fluids that go that low there has to be something that will work for you. I'd bet your dealer has just the stuff.
 
 
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