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 07-16-2009, 00:18 Post: 164099
Earthsurfing



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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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 07-16-2009, 08:50 Post: 164106
auerbach



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 Alternative Fluids

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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 07-16-2009, 10:01 Post: 164109
Murf



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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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 07-16-2009, 14:21 Post: 164117
Earthsurfing



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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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 07-16-2009, 15:49 Post: 164126
Murf



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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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 07-16-2009, 17:59 Post: 164129
hardwood

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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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 07-16-2009, 21:37 Post: 164131
earthwrks

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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? Laughing out loud

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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 07-16-2009, 21:44 Post: 164132
Earthsurfing



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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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 07-17-2009, 08:38 Post: 164142
Murf



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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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 07-17-2009, 10:09 Post: 164145
hardwood

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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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