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Why Hydraulic Oil Temperature Matters

Tractors come with temperature control systems in place for the amount of hydraulics that that particular tractor can run. However, where the weather outside gets too hot and the system is worked too hard, oil temperature can become a problem very quickly.

What causes Hydraulic Oil to Get Too Hot?

Tractors come with built-in cooling units that are geared to the GPM (gallons per minute) and optimal temperature of the oil for that tractor. However, they don’t always work optimally.

1. Hydraulic System Overtaxed

Adding implements to your tractor is great, but if there aren’t enough hydraulic gallons per minute, the hydraulic system can heat up quickly. Furthermore, the cooling unit built into the tractor might not be able to catch up with cooling the oil down.

Even if you are running within the hydraulic capacity of your tractor, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the temperature of your oil throughout the day. Working long hours may overtax the tractor as well.

2. Hoses too Small for Hydraulic flow

If your hydraulic lines are too small, there will be less hydraulic flow going through them per minute. The smaller hoses also create friction and resistance, building pressure and creating heat.

3. Hot weather

Most tractors aren’t designed to work in 95-degree weather- but for some climates, especially the Southern United States, it’s a regular occurrence. Even you have plenty of hydraulic flow to run your implements, tractors can overheat in hot weather.

What can happen if oil gets too hot?

If oil gets hotter than the optimal temperature range, usually over 150*F, several things can happen. Viscosity changes, cavitation, and worn parts can all cause a pump to burn out over time.

1. Viscosity changes

The viscosity, or thickness, of the oil can change as the temperature rises. The oil gets thinner, which in turn causes it to lose some of its lubrication capabilities. This can cause a pump to burn out if there isn’t enough lubrication in the pistons.

2. Cavitation

Hot oil can cause cavitation in the pump. Cavitation occurs where the oil foams, introducing air to the pistons. This can cause friction and wear, as well as reduced lubrication.

3. Parts can Wear

Heat can warp and wear parts in the pump. This can cause the pump to burn out.

If you’ve been having trouble with oil temperature or would like more information, our Command Cool units may be able to help! Reach out for more information!


Brianna Rochat

Looking for more information? Send me an email to chat!


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