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Main Content
trailer maintenance

How To Choose the Right Lubricant

The Right Lubricant

Use this guide to determine what type of engine oil or lubricant you need to maintain your truck, tractor, or small engine.

Gear Box Lubricants
Gear Box Lubricants are essential to keep the gears in an engine in good working order. Gear Box lubricants sold in the 5-gallon container at Tractor Supply include:

  • Gear Lube SAE 80W-90
  • Gear Lube SAE 85W-140

Hydraulic Lubricants, or Hydraulic Fluid
Hydraulic Lubricants are used for hydraulic equipment, such as log splitters, car lifts, and anything that uses liquid pressureto create movement. Hydraulic lubricants available at Tractor Supply include:

  • All Season Hydraulic ISO 46

Ford Hydraulic Oil is a non-detergent hydraulic lubricant specifically for older Ford Tractors.

Universal Tractor Lubricant is actually a multi-purpose lubricant. In addition to lubricating tractor hydraulics, it is also used in the PTO (power take off), transmission, and wet brake systems of tractors.

Motor Oil
The term motor oil refers to lubricants used in gasoline-powered motors. Motor lubricants available in the 5-gallon quantity at Tractor Supply include:

  • Motor Oil 10W-30
  • Motor Oil 10W-40
  • Heavy Duty SAE 30
  • Heavy Duty SAE 40
  • Non-Detergent SAE 30

Engine oil is the term used to describe diesel-powered engines. Engine lubricants available in the 5-gallon quantity at Tractor Supply include:

  • Fleet SAE 15W-40
  • Fleet SAE 30

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Responsible Use of Lubricants
Always remember to conserve resources. Return used lubricants to collection centers where they will be disposed of properly. Never pour used lubricants down the drain, into the sewer or anywhere else where they could run off into lakes, ponds or streams. Improper disposal of used lubricants leads to groundwater pollution that destroys delicate ecosystems which humans depend on for drinking water and clean and safe places to enjoy the environment.

How Much Oil Do You Need?
Your equipment may require two gallons or 5 gallons of lubricant per change depending on the size of the implement. Consult your owner’s manual or contact your manufacturer for quantity details.

Buying in larger quantities may be beneficial for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You have more than one piece of equipment that requires the same lubricant.
  • You want to have additional lubricants on hand.
  • Purchasing a larger quantity gives you a price break.

What Else Do You Need?
You may need these items to complete your lubricant change:

  • Oil Drain Pan
  • Oil Recovery Pan
  • Giant Funnel
  • 5-Gallon Pail Pump
  • Shop Towels
  • All Purpose Oil & Grease Absorbent
  • Filters
  • Filter Wrench
  • Funnels
  • Hand Cleaner

trailer maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What lubricant should I buy?
A: Consult your owner’s manual for details. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, check with your dealer or manufacturer for recommendations.

Q: When should lubricants be changed?
A: Lubricants should be changed according to manufacturer’s recommendations. 
Frequent oil changes help your engine by:

  • Minimizing wear and tear
  • Providing corrosion protection
  • Cooling the engine
  • Removing contaminates

Q: What is viscosity?
A: Viscosity is the lubricant’s resistance to flow. All lubricants tend to undergo changes in viscosity at different temperatures. Lubricants thicken in cooler temperatures and thin out in higher temperatures.

Q: What are multigrade lubricants?
A: Multigrade lubricants are ideal to meet a variety of temperature requirements. Multigrades have a dual viscosity designation, such as 10W-30. 10W defines the viscosity at 0 degrees F (hence the W, for “winter”) and 30 defines the viscosity at operating temperatures. You may also hear viscosity numbers referred to as “weights.”

Q: What are additives?
A: Additives include the following:

  • Detergents, which keep surfaces of your engine clean, and
  • Dispersants, which disperse solid particles so they don’t come together to form sludge, varnish, and acids.