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Earthsurfing
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9 Johnson, VT
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2009-07-16          164099


Hi,

I've heard of people using canola oil as hydraulic fluids, and some not petroleum derived grease products- anyone have any experience with these?

We've got the biodiesel, but would like to explore an entirely non- foreign oil tractor for kicks, and we'll be excavating in some ecologically sensitive/ food production systems and would like to play with non-toxic, non-carcinogenic fluids.

Warrantee issues?

Anybody doing this?

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-07-16          164106


If canola did work without impairing a sensitive and costly component (which I somehow doubt), the ecological effect would be negligable because of how long the correct fluid lasts. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7199 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-07-16          164109


The main issue is, as Auerbach mentioned, using an oil that meets the required specification, and not using one criterion such as 'environmentally-friendly' and ignoring all the other considerations.

In applications which are non-critical stuff, like running a press or just moving a cylinder in & out it might be ok, but with high operating temperatures, and wide swings in oil temperatures, I doubt it's feasible in any tractor built since I've been alive.

Just as a single example, one of the big issues you would have in Vermont would be getting the tractor started and moving, let alone working in colder temperatures.

As for warranty, yes, unless the lubricants you use are certified to meet or exceed the manufacturers specifications, you're on the hook for any lubricant related problems.

I fail to understand some of your comments though. One of our principle areas of work is building golf courses, we are working in environmentally sensitive areas constantly. There is no issue, the oils are securely contained within a sealed container, the tractor. Nothing escapes into the environment.


Best of luck. ....

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Earthsurfing
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9 Johnson, VT
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2009-07-16          164117


I hear all of your concerns, and that's why I'm asking!

I guess I'm less concerned about the hydraulic fluids than the grease. (Which does get everywhere!)

Anybody paying with the non-petroleum grease?

I know its popular in Germany... ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7199 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-07-16          164126


We use regular grease, but pay special attention to both the application and cleanup of it.

The machines that are working in sensitive areas are pressure washed with special solvents in the shop, then greased, then the excess cleaned off, then test run, then re-cleaned, then sent out to the site. It's a bunch of extra work, but it's both worth it, and charged back to the customer anyways.

Best of luck. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-07-16          164129


Our oldest son is a tribologist with a major oil company. One of his jobs is to supply non toxic food grade lubricants to food productin plants. All of the hydraulic fluids, gear oil, grease, etc, must be am edible peoduct. I don't know anything about their lubricating qualitys compared to petroleium products, but these things are available. Frank. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-07-16          164131


Soooo Franky are you saying that if you get hungry or thirsty out in the field, you just crack open a (hydraulic) line, or grab a glob of lube? LOL

Maybe it's the same stuff Lay's offered with their "WOW" line of low-fat potato chips. Talk about getting a lube job---yes, WOW! (I had 'em---once--and only for a few hours) ....

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Earthsurfing
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9 Johnson, VT
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2009-07-16          164132


Thanks- that's what I'm looking for- organic stuff that meets machine specs.

Any brands you know of? Websites?

Thanks,
K ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7199 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-07-17          164142


Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthsurfing | view 164132
Thanks- that's what I'm looking for- organic stuff that meets machine specs.


I think the key is "meets machine specs".

Note that Frank said his son sells to "food production plants".

Also note the statement I made early on;

"In applications which are non-critical stuff, like running a press or just moving a cylinder in & out it might be ok, but with high operating temperatures, and wide swings in oil temperatures, I doubt it's feasible in any tractor built since I've been alive."

There's a big difference between greasing a bearing on a conveyor belt in a food plant and greasing a FEL digging in sand or muck from a tidal swap. Likewise, operating a hydraulic cylinder that maybe dumps a vat of food is not the same as a HST transmission and it requires vastly different fluids.

If you want sources, just contact any of the big oil companies, nearly all of them offer this sort of thing.

Best of luck. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-07-17          164145


Earthsurfing;
Call Allan at 319-364-1531, he can tell you what spec's these things meet far as replacement for regular fluids in farm equipment, or if they even do. Frank. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-07-17          164146


EW;
Our garden is outdoing it's self this summer, especially rutabagas. So if your insides are in need of more of the treatmrent the Lays chips gave you I can ship you a box of them. They do the trick.
My Mother always said a body needs a good "Fizzik", so she would stuff turnip greens, beet tops, and that sort of thing down us till we were well cleaned out. Have a swig of organic hydraulic fluid, it might be better than Geritol. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2009-07-18          164165


Hmmmm....... Maybe we are getting an early warning of next weeks political emergency......... grease and trade?

If neanderthals like me continue to use regular lubricants at least we can buy environmental grease credits from folks like earthsurfer. Wonder if he takes paypal.......

....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2009-07-18          164166


Frank..... I think you may be on to something here.

Maybe Obammas mamma gave him to many of those "Fizziks" and now he is doing it to all of us! ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2009-07-18          164173


This thread has me wondering about hog lard. Doctors tell us it is not good for you. But it sure is greasy. Would not suggest it for high temp use but think it really would work for such as the plastic covers on pto shafts. No idea about issues with insects. I do find it hard to believe for a normal tractor excess grease on fittings could be an issue. Now the boom on excavator while digging in pond...oh yeah, but keeps most of the duck weed off!

Also reminds me of a fellow coworker from years back. His dad flew along oil pipelines watching for signs of leaks. My thought was dead vegetation, oh no, really green vegetation as crude oil is a fertilizer. Maybe what we need to do is cut out the refinery.
....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-07-18          164182


KT;
Wow, "Hog Lard", the good memories that brings back. Mother used to "Render" lard after we butchered a hog. The "Cracklins" that were left over after the hot lard was strained thru a dishtowel made great snadwiches, and also another REAL GOOD "Fizzik".
Our local cafe had an older lady who made about a dozen pies every morning before they opened with genuine hog lard crust, they were usually gone before noon. Since she retired they have factory pies that get stale before they throw them out.
I think they use lard as a cutting oil for machine shops, not sure.
If there are any heart doctors on the board they may want to study me to see why I survided all the "Fizziks", etc., have another cracklin sandwich. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2009-07-18          164188


Frank I had forgoten about those home made cracklins! Never made a sandwich from them, just ate them like a snack. Those sold in stores today are nothing like the ones my Mom made. As to the pie crust, I could see it as you described it. This past Sunday night "I" tried making bisquits with lard, tasted good but looked like a rookie made them. ....

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