How to Change Hydraulic Fluid in a Western Snow Plow
Seasoned snow removal professionals know that the performance and longevity of their plows and spreaders depends on proper preventive maintenance and preseason care. Overlooking even the simplest maintenance tasks can lead to big problems when you hit the road, resulting in headaches for you and the people who depend on you to keep their roads clear and safe.
Servicing Your Snow Plow’s Hydraulic System is a Must
Servicing your snow plow’s hydraulic system should be a top priority on your annual maintenance checklist. Start by making sure fittings are tight and free of corrosion, inspecting hoses and fittings for damage or leaks, and replacing damaged parts. Now is a good time to consider purchasing an emergency hose kit in case you blow a hose while plowing. To find the specific hose kit for your Western snow plow, visit the Plow Parts Direct website.
You should also flush and replace your Western snow plow’s hydraulic fluid once a year, ideally before plowing season starts. This will ensure the unit is free of water, dirt and debris, and help keep your plow operating properly all winter long.
Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Hydraulic Fluid in a Western Snow Plow
The fluid change process varies slightly depending on the model, but the basics are similar to the steps outlined here for the typical Western UltraMount straight blade snow plow.
- Perform this operation with the snow plow attached to the truck on a hard level surface.
- Lower the blade to the ground.
- Manually collapse the lift piston all the way, and place a container for your used oil under the plow.
- Locate the fill and drain plugs on your hydraulic unit, and loosen the ﬁll plug slowly to relieve any pressure in the reservoir.
- Remove the drain plug and drain the reservoir. This may take a few minutes.
- Once the fluid is drained completely, replace the drain plug/cap.
- If necessary, use a floor jack to lift the blade up, and secure the plow so it will not fall on your toes or fingers. Carefully note hose routing and the positions of any protective hose wraps for proper reassembly.
- Remove the angle ram hoses from the ﬁttings on the hydraulic unit and manually angle the plow to the left and the right to push out the fluid in the angle pistons and angle hoses.
- Reconnect the angle ram hoses to the proper ﬁttings. Reinstall all protective hose wraps in their original positions to make certain that the hoses will not be pinched while plowing.
- Fill the hydraulic unit to the fill cap. Run the plow through all functions, making sure to deadhead the plow one second in each direction. This helps push air out of the cylinders. Top the unit off with fluid and replace the fill plug.
Keep Your Snow Removal Equipment in Peak Working Condition
Your plow is now ready for another winter season. Remember to not mix different kinds of hydraulic ﬂuid. Some ﬂuids are not compatible and may cause performance problems and product damage. Be sure to use genuine Western hydraulic oil from an authorized dealer (at Plow Parts Direct, we sell it by the quart and the gallon.)
The Western website offers maintenance guides, helpful tips and how-to videos to help you keep your snow removal equipment in peak working condition. For additional parts and service, Traffic Safety Direct and our sister site Plow Parts Direct are your one-stop shops. We stock hundreds of thousands of snow plow parts from Western and Snoway and offer complete installation and repair services. Give our experts a call at 888-260-3246.