Compact tractors are wonderful tools that save us a ton of hard work, but they need to be properly taken care of or they won’t work very long. Just think about all the moving parts on a tractor: wheels, steering parts, loader arms, PTO, and driveshafts just to name a few. Every one of these parts pivots, turns, or rotates and is going to need something to prevent them from wearing out. 

All these parts are metal and if metal rubs on metal, it gets hot, this is because of friction. Try going down a slip and slide without the soapy water—same problem—friction. Compact tractors don’t need soapy water; however, they need grease. 

Grease is a specialized lubricant designed to stop metal parts from rubbing on one another and does so by creating a barrier between the metal surfaces and reducing friction. But not all greases are created equal, it is important to make sure you have the right grease for the job.

The Right Grease for Compact and Subcompact Tractors

Getting the right grease is super important because greases are designed for specific uses. For example, thin, jelly like greases, are designed for super high-speed bearings whereas thick, peanut butter-like greases, are designed for slower-moving parts. Other greases are designed to work underwater, which is great for a boat but does not help protect a compact tractor from wearing out. Therefore, a specific grease must be used on compact tractors.   

Think back to all the moving parts on a tractor: wheels, steering parts, loaders arms, PTO, and driveshafts. Some of these parts are slow-moving while over parts are fast-moving. It is important that a grease rated for fast-moving parts is not used in a slow-moving part and vice versa as it can shorten the lifespan of the part. This brings up a common question:  Is more than 1 type of grease required to grease a compact tractor?  No, there are greases called multipurpose greases that can be used in a wider range of moving parts. Being a Multipurpose Grease is the first requirement of finding a good tractor grease.

The next requirement of a good tractor grease is a high-pressure rating. If a compact tractor has a loader, backhoe, or will be pulling heavy loads there will be a lot of pressure created from the weight of the object being lifted or pulled. Therefore, grease with a high-pressure rating is required.  If the grease cannot handle the high pressure created by carrying a load, digging, or pulling it will press out and the joint will wear out quickly. 

Here is a quick easy way to tell if the grease on a tractor loader can handle the pressure. When looking at a tractor with a loader you should not see grease leaking out around the joints that move. If you do, it is because the grease cannot handle the pressure that is being created at that joint and is being pushed out. Greases with a high-pressure rating are usually called EP (extreme pressure) greases and may contain special pressure additives like moly or micro-ceramic. Greases that contain micro-ceramic are the best for high-pressure applications.  

Repairing Tractors

The third requirement for a good tractor grease is the correct temperature rating. There are two temperature requirements for a good tractor grease:  

  1. The grease must be able to withstand the temperature outside.  This includes both high and low temperatures and varies greatly by location and season.  The same grease that has a great temperature rating for tractors in Alaska might not be the best grease for a tractor in Texas.   
  2. 2. The grease must be able to withstand the temperature reached during operation.  Both pressure and operating speed in combination with friction will cause a bearing or part to get hotter during operation. Therefore, a good tractor grease must be able to withstand the peak temperatures reached during operation. You do not want the grease to act like butter and melt the second temperatures increase. You can see this happen with certain greases. If you look at a tractor and see long oil streaks by a joint, it means the grease couldn’t handle the temperature and broke down and ran out of the joint. As you can imagine if the grease runs out of the joint it can result in a lot of damage being caused.  Plus, who wants their tractor to be oily and dirty!

Now that we know some of the major general requirements of a great grease for compact and sub-compact tractors let’s look at some specific requirements.  

What is the best grease for a bobcat compact tractor?

  • 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.

Summary: Multi-Purpose #2 High Pressure, High-Temperature grease with moly or extreme pressure additive.  The #2 rating refers to the NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) consistency rating.  Most common greases are rated #2 and have the consistency of peanut butter.  

Our specific grease recommendation that meets and/or exceeds the above requirements: AirTec Lube-Shuttle® LI400 Extreme Ceramic Multi-Purpose grease or AirTec Lube-Shuttle® MoS2 moly grease.

What is the best grease for a John Deere Compact Tractor?

NLGI 2 Lithium complex grease is recommended with an operating temperature between -15F and 290F

Rated for high temperature and extreme pressure applications 


NLGI 2 Polyurea grease with a temperature rating between -15F and 380F

Rated for high pressure and extreme pressure applications

Summary:  NLGI 2 Lithium Complex or Polyurea grease rated for high temperatures and extreme temperatures.  

Our specific grease recommendation that meets and/or exceeds the above requirements: AirTec Lube-Shuttle® LI400 Extreme Ceramic Multi-Purpose greaseOR AirTec Lube-Shuttle® P100 Polyurea Multipurpose Grease

What is the best grease for a Kubota Compact tractor?

NLGI #2 Multi-purpose grease with an EP2 rating

Contains a Molybdenum “extreme pressure” additive. May Specify MOLY EP

Summary:  NLGI #2 Moly Grease with extreme pressure rating.

Our specific grease recommendation that meets and/or exceeds the above requirements: AirTec Lube-Shuttle® LI400 Extreme Ceramic Multi-Purpose grease. or AirTec Lube-Shuttle® MoS2 moly grease.

What is the best grease for a Branson compact tractor?

SAE NLGI #2 grease with a temperature rating of 32F to 122F


Our specific grease recommendation that meets and/or exceeds the above requirements: AirTec Lube-Shuttle® G200EP Multi-Purpose grease

In summary, all our recommended greases are rated to exceed all the recommendations of the manufacturers.  We only recommend greases that exceed the recommendations because we feel added protection is a great way to protect your tractor from accidentally missed grease fittings or missed greasing intervals.  Additionally, we only recommend a grease that will work in all common geographic areas, so you do not have to worry about different greases for wet/dry or hot/cold weather.   Our recommended greases will protect your tractor in all types of weather and environments ensuring that you don’t have costly repairs.   Lastly, we only recommended lube-shuttle® grease because it is the cleanest and easiest greasing system to use.  Happy Greasing and work safely!  

*Always consult your owner’s manual prior to greasing 

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