Choose the Right Oil and Grease for Your Equipment | Bobcat Blog


Bobcat engine oil

With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions regulations, the use of higher-grade engine oil is mandatory to maintain proper engine performance. A benefit of the newer oils is that they’re compatible for use in earlier engines.

There are two characteristics to look for when choosing the right engine oil for your compact equipment: classification and viscosity rating.

Oil Classifications

Oil categories for use in diesel engines begin with “C.” The American Petroleum Institute (API) CJ-4 category was introduced in 2006 and was intended for high-speed, four-stroke diesel engines. It was designed to meet 2007 model year on-highway exhaust emission standards, and is uniquely formulated to avoid impacting new diesel engine technology durability.

In December 2016, API introduced a new heavy-duty oil engine category: CK-4. The new formulations help protect engines from high-heat, high-load conditions typical in non-road applications. CK-4 oils are backwards compatible with all trucks and non-road equipment that use CJ-4 oils.

Always use a premium oil that meets or exceeds the API service classification of CK-4 for EPA-compliant engines.

Viscosity Matching

It’s important to properly match the viscosity rating of your engine oil to the outside temperatures at your work environment. Always refer to the Operation & Maintenance Manual to determine the weight of oil that is recommended in various conditions.

A 10W-30 weight oil is a common factory-fill for many current production machines. It offers top performance in temperatures typically ranging from zero degrees F to 90 degrees F and above. A 15W-40 weight performs well from 25 degrees F to 110 degrees F and above.

Synthetic or synthetic-blended oils are formulated with additives that can extend oil change intervals and promote longer engine life. A 5W-40 weight synthetic oil is usually capable of providing protection in harsh conditions as cold as minus 40 degrees F and as hot as 120 degrees F.

Hydraulic and Hydrostatic Oils

Hydraulic and hydrostatic oils are formulated to meet the growing demands placed on hydraulic components, and there are several different types of these fluids for various applications:

  • High-performance — Typically, a custom blend of high-quality lubricants designed to provide peak flow at subzero temperatures while maintaining stability during periods of high-temperature use.
  • Synthetic — An advanced liquid technology designed to optimize cycle times and productivity, and provide good cold weather fluidity for seasonal changes.
  • Biodegradable — Introduced to meet customer demand as federal, state and local governments set environmental-related project restrictions. It’s biodegradable, non-toxic and formulated to reduce the potential for environmental damage.


Many machines require grease as a lubricant in pivot points where pins and bushings are located. The lubrication points need greased at various intervals specified by the machine manufacturer. If used correctly, the right type of grease will help extend the life of components:

  • Multi-purpose #2 — Developed for normal applications, it provides lubrication to prevent rust and corrosion and protection under heavy and shock loads.
  • Heavy-duty — Containing moly for better adherence to all surfaces, it offers water resistance, extreme pressure capabilities, pumpability in cold temperatures and good seal compatibility.
  • High-performance — Formulated to provide high-temperature performance in severe operating conditions, it’s intended for lube points with sliding and pivoting movements.
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