So, if I can't determine what fluid I now have, I should drain the entire system and replace rather than mix? Sounds like a lot of trouble; mixing a UDT fluid is that bad huh? Well, the tractor is stuck in my driveway and can't move as the backhoe and out riggers are on the ground. Guess I'll mix long enough to move it and drain the system later.
Don't spend the extra money on Kubotas, Case, or New Hollands UDT when you can find an ideal equivalent at any of the auto parts stores or even Wal-mart. Its not like any of the equipment dealers have they own oil refinery to bottle their own oils. Even Service Dept Vic has mentioned in the past that he uses Wal-marts UDT in his own tractor. Just check to make sure it has the equivalent properties in it. There is a TON of members on here who use after market lubes. Myself included.
I don't know why you can't mix fluid as long as it's the correct type. When you drain the system and install a different brand you have only changed the fluid that is in the reservoir, not the entire hyd system. I know the hyd fluid I use is compatible with conventional trans/hyd fluid.
There is a huge difference in the quality of different oils. Cheap oil is cheap for a reason, it doesn't have the same quality or performance as some other brands do. Not saying the cheap oil won't work because it will. It kind of like a real coke or a store brand soda. Looks the same, goes down the same but just doesn't taste the same. If price is #1 then you go with the cheap stuff. If you want a better product you pay more money. I don't plan on selling my tractors and have no desire to replace them so a higher level of protection is justifiable.
AMSOIL, protect your investment.
Equipment: BX2200, BX2660, L5740 HSTC, M8540HDC and some other tractors and equipment
Re: Hydraulic Fluid question
I guess it's a "can you/should you" mix fluids. I have, but prefer not to and might do something to my own tractors I wouldn't recommend someone else to do.
If you don't know what is in your system, you don't know if it's synthetic or dino, I really, really don't like to mix these; no, your tractor won't explode if you do and yes there is always residual fluid in the system.
If my UDT filled Kubota needed some fluid and all I had was Ambra or equivalent and I needed to add a bit to get some work done, I would do it and wouldn't feel the need to replace eleven gallons of fluid, but if I had time, I would get UDT, I have mixed fluid in one of my tractors now; been that way for a year and will be until the next scheduled change.
If I had synthetic in it, I would go get synthetic.
On my older gear and shuttle shift Kubotas I use Chevron THF-1000 equal to K-UDT.
On hydrostatic drive units I use K-SuperUDT (SUDT). Per threads on this website tends to make a difference on hydrostats although I haven't experimented on these units.
No occasion yet to use latest (nomenclature correct?) SUDT-II.
Another poster here had it right: quality costs. You're paying for the additives package added by the lube plant packager to meet a set of marketing or OEM specs. There are literally hundreds if not thousands (depending how counted) of commercially available "admixture packages" on the market for and used by large brands/packagers. The base stock oil is virtually all the same in mineral (not synthetic) oil types. You or I could buy any non-proprietary blended lubeoil additives mix pkg by signing a contract, paying cash, and taking delivery of a railcar full at our convenience.
MoGas the same: when a fuel is advertised as "special" for fuel injectors, by brand or model, high octane, cleanliness, whatever is being sold...the tanker trucks all come out of the same regional refineries and are "dosed" when filled. Dosed nowadays by the loading rack operator calling up that account, matching ID numbers, pushing a button. Somewhere on the rack there is an array of injectors pumping a metered amount of "additive" from a bulk tank into the stream being sent to the truck.
Here's my current favorite: "nitrogen enhanced" gasoline to clean your valves. Let's see, nitrogen is basically inert--except it tends to form under certain conditions smog precursors in and as a matrix of nitrogen dioxides. So nitrogen that does not 'burn' during the combustion process passes right through the engine and contributes to smog production. I love salesmanship.
Equipment: L3700, Box Grader, 60" Bush Hog, Rear Grader Blade, York Rake, Boom Pole.
Re: Hydraulic Fluid question
You say you are a new owner and I assume you own a used tractor?
The best investment you could make would be an operators manual for this tractor. All of the basic service requirements are contained in this manual and frankly, if your tractor is so low on Hydraulic fluid, you are probably looking at a tractor that has not been serviced properly.
Were it mine, I'd first check for leaks and then after correcting any found, do a complete fluid and filter change including crankcase, cooling system, air intake and hydraulic system. Goosing the hydraulic system with any fluid necessary to move it to a proper service location won't hurt anything.