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How often to change oil in a lightly used machine?

Discussion in 'Lubrication' started by emmett518, Nov 3, 2021.

  1. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    The Deere dealer suggested changing the oil and filter every year in a lightly used machine. They also advised changing the fuel filters as well.

    Other fluids every 2-3 years.

    My farmer friend said to change it when it started turning black.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Nick...

    Nick... Member

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    Oil and filters are cheaper than parts.change at least yearly if I was you
    Nick...
     
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  3. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    G..G..G..Granville.........!! Fetch your cloth.
    Farmers have a reputation of having short arms and deep pockets.............:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  4. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    ......and equipment that is patched with tie wire and duct tape.
     
  5. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    I'm repairing a Cat CB64 roller right now. Its last service was 10/19/20......when I did it last because I always mark my filters. It has 386 hours since its last service, but my own rule of thumb is on these types of machine conditions...........its getting replacement filters anyway.;)
     
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  6. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    That too.
     
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  7. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Stick with the dealer suggestion. Turning black doesn't indicate much of anything, the black is carbon, many diesel engine oils will turn black the first time they run because the engine can't drain all the old oil out, and hydraulic oil should never turn black in most equipment. Once a year is plenty of a light service machine that doesn't get the hours, or extreme conditions.

    Better idea would be to sample the hydraulic oil at 2-3 year intervals and replace the filter only until the oil shows some contaminants, or breakdown. Does your fuel tank have a petcock to check for water?
     
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  8. JLarson

    JLarson Senior Member

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    Farmers would run stuff that was on fire if it was still moving fast enough to keep the flames away from them.

    Yearly is a pretty good recommendation for a lot of fluids that are open to atmosphere.
     
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  9. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    A lot of the gear I work on is just used occasionally. Sometimes the annual oil change (250 hr) service is the only time the engine enclosure gets opened or the machine gets greased. So, annuals is a good rule of thumb.
     
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  10. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Here is an example of a Bobcat that only sees about 50hrs a year. It sits at a remote airport. I’m the only adult it ever sees, so She gets a 250 from me every year, a bath and paint touch ups. And maybe a battery. Because batteries get stolen all the time. But, the culprits often leave me a dead one in trade.
    B84983B7-4ACB-4A5C-8B74-2947DB8F41B0.jpeg
     
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  11. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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  12. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    My fuel tank does have a drain. I checked it a month ago. No water. I also have a filter and water separator on my fueling station.
     
  13. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Need to stop thinking on the cheap, just a annual service is a form of guarantee the machine will continue to operate, spend a little on a annual service or a lot later when that engine/machine has issues, and a service is more than a oil/filter change, it is also a Inspection of the components around those areas you have to access to change the oil and filters, use your eyes and look at the components for loose, damaged, can be adjusted, leaks, frays, rubs, or was fine last time but was a tad bit off kind of stuff.
     
  14. 1693TA

    1693TA Senior Member

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    Annual is usually my routine in the first week of October. I kinda earmark that week each year as consistent. I don't have anything that uses oil, but I do look closely at hose and line routing to ensure nothing gets astray, and everything gets greased.
     
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  15. ThreeCW

    ThreeCW Well-Known Member

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    You guys are sure a tough crowd with respect to farmers.

    With new combines costing north of $500,000 and tractors costing in multiples of a $100,000 you gotta know that maintenance schedules would be followed religiously.

    On our “hobby farm” I put about 50 hours a year on a tractor or a skid steer. Using name brand synthetic DEO, I follow a 100 hour oil and filter change frequency. I believe the CAT recommended frequency is 250 hours for non-CAT branded oils and 500 hrs for CAT branded oil.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
  16. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Is your money and your machines, Mine are on Annual changes/services regardless hours.
     
  17. ThreeCW

    ThreeCW Well-Known Member

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    I seem to recall that after 50 hours (1 year of use) my engine oil was still fairly clean ... clean enough to still see the cross hatches printed on the dipstick ... thus my decision to put another 50 hours on it. Call me crazy but I find it pretty hard to justify changing "relatively clean" oil.

    I guess a CAT SOS fluid analysis would have definitively assisted in guiding me in the optimum oil change interval. I wonder what recommendations would have come out of analysing a 50 hour / 1 year oil sample?

    I just changed oil on my 242B today (109 hours / 2 years) ... perhaps I will do an SOS oil analysis for the sake of science next year on a 50 hr / 1 year oil.

    emmett518 - Perhaps an oil analysis for your "lightly used machine" might be in order?

    What is the experience / results of other HEF members with respect to using an oil analysis for "lightly used machines"?

    I have attached the CAT SOS Analysis brochure for reference.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
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  18. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    Based on a few samples of two years or so and typical change interval hours, they were well within the limits. Only samples I've seen over were new questionable machines, obviously had over the hours and years. The clear damage from engine oil comes at five to ten times the suggested interval, not double or triple. And that happens less often than running low or overheating.
     
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