What Hydraulic Oil to Use in Bobcat

By Robert Romboa •  Updated: 03/05/24 •  8 min read

Did you know that using the wrong hydraulic oil can result in up to 75% of hydraulic system failures in Bobcat equipment?

Choosing the correct hydraulic oil for your Bobcat is essential for its performance and longevity.

Understanding the specific requirements and characteristics of hydraulic oils tailored for Bobcat machinery can greatly impact the efficiency and durability of your equipment.

Make sure you select the right hydraulic oil to optimize your Bobcat's functionality and avoid potential costly issues down the line.

Key Takeaways

Importance of Choosing the Right Oil

Choosing the correct hydraulic oil for your Bobcat is essential for ensuring top performance and longevity of your equipment. Using the recommended hydraulic oil isn't just a suggestion; it's a critical requirement to maintain the efficiency of the hydraulic system in your Bobcat.

The hydraulic oil plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of your equipment. If you use the wrong hydraulic oil, it can lead to decreased performance, increased wear and tear, and potential damage to the system. Bobcat specifies the type of hydraulic oil to use in their equipment for a reason – to guarantee proper functioning and maximum lifespan.

Understanding Hydraulic Oil Specifications

When selecting hydraulic oil for your Bobcat, understanding oil viscosity ratings, additive requirements, and equipment compatibility is important.

Make sure to pay attention to the viscosity grade recommended for your specific Bobcat model to guarantee peak performance.

Additionally, checking for any specific additive requirements and confirming the oil is compatible with your Bobcat equipment will help maintain its efficiency and longevity.

Oil Viscosity Ratings

Understanding hydraulic oil specifications, particularly oil viscosity ratings like AW32 or AW46, is important for selecting the right hydraulic oil for your Bobcat equipment. Viscosity ratings such as AW32 indicate the oil's thickness and flow characteristics in hydraulic systems. Maintaining the proper viscosity is essential for guaranteeing peak performance and protection against wear and tear in your machinery.

Consult your Bobcat equipment manual for recommended viscosity ratings to assure peak performance. Matching the correct viscosity rating to your specific operating conditions is vital for efficient hydraulic system operation. By understanding and adhering to these viscosity specifications, you can maximize the lifespan and effectiveness of your Bobcat equipment.

Additive Requirements

To guarantee peak performance and longevity of your Bobcat equipment, understanding the additive requirements in hydraulic oil specifications is essential.

Hydraulic oils for Bobcat machines often require specific additives to ensure ideal functioning. Anti-wear additives, such as zinc-based compounds, play an important role in protecting components operating under high pressure, extending the lifespan of your equipment.

Additionally, anti-foam additives are necessary in hydraulic oils to prevent foam formation, which can hinder system efficiency. Detergent additives aid in keeping hydraulic systems clean by dispersing contaminants and preventing sludge buildup.

Furthermore, viscosity index improvers in hydraulic oils maintain consistent performance across a wide temperature range.

Compatibility With Equipment

Make sure that the hydraulic oil you select is compatible with your Bobcat equipment to optimize performance and longevity. Bobcat recommends using hydraulic oil specifically rated for hydrostatic drive systems.

It's essential to avoid using engine oils in Bobcat hydraulic systems, as newer models no longer endorse this practice. Consult the service manual for some Bobcat models, as they may suggest using 10/30 oil.

Using oil that meets the hydraulic system's specifications is vital to make sure the Bobcat equipment operates at its best. By choosing the right hydraulic oil for your Bobcat machinery, you can help maintain its efficiency, prevent potential damage, and prolong its lifespan.

Types of Hydraulic Oils for Bobcat

When selecting hydraulic oil for your Bobcat, you'll want to contemplate factors like oil viscosity ratings and whether to opt for synthetic or conventional oils.

These choices can impact the performance and longevity of your equipment, so it's crucial to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Understanding the differences between these types of hydraulic oils will help you maintain your Bobcat efficiently.

Oil Viscosity Ratings

Understanding the viscosity ratings of hydraulic oils is essential for selecting the right type to maintain peak performance in your Bobcat equipment.

Just like with engine oil, hydraulic oils also have viscosity grades like AW32 or AW46. These ratings indicate how the oil flows at different temperatures, affecting its suitability for your Bobcat machinery.

By following the manufacturer's recommendations in the equipment manuals, you make sure that you're using the appropriate viscosity oil for your specific Bobcat model.

Choosing the correct viscosity oil isn't just about peak performance but also about safeguarding your Bobcat hydraulic systems.

Make informed decisions based on viscosity ratings to keep your Bobcat equipment running smoothly.

Synthetic Vs. Conventional

For best performance in your Bobcat equipment, it is essential to comprehend the differences between synthetic and conventional hydraulic oils.

Synthetic hydraulic oils offer extended life, improved performance in extreme temperatures, and enhanced equipment efficiency, making them ideal for high-demand applications where peak performance is critical.

On the other hand, conventional hydraulic oils are cost-effective, readily available, and commonly used in various machinery, providing a budget-friendly option for routine maintenance in moderate operating conditions.

Synthetic oils can enhance cycle times, reduce wear on components, and improve overall productivity in Bobcat equipment, offering advantages that conventional oils may not provide.

Consider the specific requirements of your equipment when choosing between synthetic and conventional hydraulic oils.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Hydraulic Oil

To guarantee peak performance and longevity of your Bobcat, carefully consider various factors when selecting the hydraulic oil to use.

The ambient temperature plays a vital role in determining whether you need cool climate or warm climate hydraulic oil for the best performance in your Bobcat.

It's essential to select the hydraulic oil recommended by Bobcat to make sure compatibility, performance, and longevity of your machine.

Different Bobcat models may have specific hydraulic oil requirements, so consult your manual or dealer for the correct fluid type to avoid any issues.

Using the wrong hydraulic oil can lead to damage and decreased performance in your Bobcat equipment, highlighting the importance of using the right fluid.

Remember to regularly check and maintain the hydraulic oil level and quality in your Bobcat to prevent any potential problems and ensure the smooth operation of the machine.

Considering the hydraulic oil recommendations provided by Bobcat for your specific model is important to guarantee peak performance and longevity of your equipment.

Bobcat advises using hydraulic oils specifically rated for hydrostatic drive systems in their machines. It's important to avoid using universal tractor fluids and engine oils in Bobcat hydraulic systems, as newer models no longer recommend engine oils and instead suggest oils rated for hydrostatic drives.

Some Bobcat models may indicate 10W-30 oil in the service manual for hydraulic systems. To ensure peak performance and durability, always consult the machine manual and use the appropriate hydraulic oil as specified by Bobcat.

Following these guidelines will help maintain the efficiency and reliability of your Bobcat equipment, preventing potential issues that may arise from using the wrong type of hydraulic oil.

Best Practices for Hydraulic Oil Maintenance

Regularly checking and replacing your Bobcat hydraulic oil as recommended in the machine manual is important for maintaining smooth operation and maximizing equipment lifespan.

Using high-quality AW hydraulic oil, such as AW32 or AW46 grades, is vital for optimal performance in Bobcat hydraulic systems. Avoid the temptation to use engine oils, as they can cause damage and reduce efficiency in your Bobcat equipment.

Seek advice from professionals or experienced users when selecting the right hydraulic oil for your Bobcat machine to guarantee compatibility and performance.

Proper maintenance of hydraulic oil is essential to prevent costly repairs and extend the lifespan of your equipment. By adhering to recommended oil grades, conducting regular checks, and following manufacturer guidelines, you can keep your Bobcat running smoothly and efficiently.


To sum up, selecting the right hydraulic oil for your Bobcat equipment is essential for top performance and longevity.

By choosing a high-quality AW hydraulic oil with antifoam properties, you can guarantee smooth operation and prevent potential issues.

Remember to avoid using engine oils in hydraulic systems.

Follow these recommendations and best practices for hydraulic oil maintenance to keep your Bobcat machinery running smoothly.

Robert Romboa

Just amazed daily by the heavy machinery used to make our days easier and allow for fast and simple construction from your backyard to a city!