Everything about Forklift Transmission Oil

You might think of forklift transmission oil as just one more thing to worry about when it comes to keeping your forklift running smoothly. But like any other component on your forklift, proper lubrication is key to ensuring that it runs smoothly and lasts longer.

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of forklift transmission oil, including what it is, how to choose the right type, and how to use it effectively. So without further delay; let’s get started with it.

What Is Forklift Transmission Oil?

Forklift transmission oil is a special type of oil that is used in the transmission of a forklift. This oil is designed to handle the extreme heat and pressure that is created by the gears in the transmission. It is also designed to protect the gears from wear and tear.

The transmission of a forklift is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the drive wheels and is subjected to high levels of stress and heat. To protect the gears and other components in the transmission and to ensure smooth operation, it is important to use the correct type of lubricant.

What are the Forklift Transmission Fluid Types?

Forklifts are essential pieces of industrial machinery and require regular maintenance to ensure longevity and reliability. One of the most important parts of maintenance is changing the transmission oil. There are different types of forklift transmission oil available, so it is important to know the difference to make the right selection for your particular machine.

Forklift transmission oil

Automatic Transmission Oil:

This is the most common type of transmission oil used in forklifts and is designed to provide smooth, reliable operation. It is usually a synthetic oil that is specially formulated to reduce wear and heat build-up, as well as provide good lubrication and protection. Dexron type oils are generally used as automatic transmission fluid.

Read About: Dexron 3 Vs Dexron 6

Manual Transmission Oil:

This type of oil is designed for manual transmission forklifts and provides the same lubrication and protection as automatic transmission oil. It is usually a mineral oil that is specifically designed to provide good lubrication and reduce wear and heat build-up. Multi-grade GL-4 or GL-5 Oil such as 80W90 or 75W140 oils are used as manual transmission oil.

Read About: Can You use GL5 Gear Oil Instead of GL4?

Synthetic Transmission Oil:

It is designed for more specialized applications and offers improved protection and lubrication compared to regular oil. It is usually a fully synthetic oil that is specially formulated for higher performance and improved protection.

Multi-Viscosity Transmission Oil:

This oil can provide protection in a variety of temperatures. It is a blend of synthetic and mineral oils that is designed to provide reliable performance in both cold and hot environments.

Heavy-Duty Transmission Oil:

This type of oil is designed for heavy-duty applications and provides superior protection and lubrication compared to regular oil. It is usually a synthetic oil that is specially formulated to reduce wear and heat build-up, as well as provide superior protection and lubrication.

No matter what type of transmission oil you choose, it is important to make sure that it is the right type for your machine and that it is changed regularly. Doing so will ensure that your forklift is running properly and reliably.

Benefits of Using Forklift Transmission Oil

When you are looking for a quality forklift transmission oil, it is important to find one that will provide your machine with the benefits it needs. forklift transmission oil provides a number of benefits, which is why it is such an important part of keeping your machine running smoothly. Some of the benefits of using forklift transmission oil include:

Reduced friction:

Forklift transmission oil helps to reduce friction between the moving parts of your machine. This can help to prolong the life of your transmission and reduce the amount of wear and tear on the parts.

Improved lubrication:

Forklift transmission oil also helps to improve the lubrication of your machine. This can help to keep the parts moving smoothly and prevent them from wearing out prematurely.

Protection against corrosion:

One of the biggest dangers to a forklift’s transmission is corrosion. forklift transmission oil can help to protect your transmission from corrosion and keep it in good condition.

Extended transmission life:

Properly lubricating the transmission with the correct oil can help to extend the life of the transmission by reducing wear and tear on the internal components.

Reduced maintenance costs:

Using the correct transmission oil can help to reduce the need for maintenance and repair of the transmission, which can lead to lower maintenance costs over the long term.

Best Practices for Changing Forklift Transmission Oil

Now that you know a little more about forklift transmission oil, let’s go over the best practices for changing it.

  1. Consult the owner’s manual: It is important to follow the recommendations in the owner’s manual for the specific type of oil to use and the frequency of oil changes.
  1. Use the correct oil: It is important to use the correct type of transmission oil as specified in the owner’s manual. Using the wrong type of oil can cause damage to the transmission.
  1. Warm up the forklift: It is best to change the transmission oil when the forklift is warm. This will help to ensure that the oil flows easily and that any contaminants are suspended in the oil and can be drained out.
  1. Drain the oil: Place a drain pan under the transmission and remove the drain plug to allow the oil to drain out.
  1. Replace the oil filter: If the forklift has an oil filter, it should be replaced at the same time as the oil.
  1. Fill with new oil: Use a funnel to add the correct amount of new transmission oil to the transmission.
  1. Check the oil level: Check the oil level using the dipstick or sight glass, and add more oil if necessary to bring it to the correct level.
  1. Dispose of the old oil properly: The old transmission oil should be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, such as by taking it to a recycling facility.
  1. Record the maintenance: Be sure to record the oil change in the forklift’s maintenance log to keep track of the maintenance history of the forklift.

Maintenance Tips for Forklift Transmission Oil

Maintaining your forklift’s transmission oil is an essential part of proper forklift upkeep. To do that, always use high quality transmission fluid that meets factory specifications. If you’re unsure what type of fluid you need for your particular model, consult your owner’s manual or ask your service technician for advice.

You also need to change the oil at regular maintenance intervals. If the wrong type of oil is used or it’s left unchanged for a long period of time, it can cause damage to the transmission and other vital parts of the forklift, resulting in costly repairs or even complete replacement.

The final tip is to keep an eye on the level and condition of the fluid throughout its lifetime. If you notice any changes in color or viscosity it may be a sign that something needs to be addressed immediately by a qualified technician, so don’t wait until your scheduled maintenance interval before having it checked out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is transmission oil the same as hydraulic oil in a tractor?

Though transmission oil is a type of hydraulic oil; but they are not same. Transmission oil is used to lubricate the gears and other moving parts of the transmission system, while hydraulic oil is used to power the hydraulic functions of the tractor, such as the steering and brakes.

Q. What kind of fluid goes in a manual transmission?

There are various fluids that can go in a manual transmission. Some of the notable fluids are 75W-90; SAE 80W; SAE 90 etc.

Q. What are the three types of transmission fluid?

Usually; there are two types of transmission fluids you can find which are automatic and manual transmission fluid. You can also find synthetic transmission fluid and it’s considered as the third type of transmission oil.

Q. Can you use 5W30 oil for forklifts?

You can use 5W30 oil if you have a standard sit-down counterbalance forklift.

Q. What is the forklift transmission oil grade?

A standard sit-down counterbalance forklift may use 5W-30 or 10W-40 while diesel units require oil with additional additives.

Final Thought

It is important to use the right forklift transmission oil to avoid damaging your equipment. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to find out what type of oil is recommended, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also consult with a forklift specialist to find the best oil for your specific make and model of forklift.

Read Also: Semi Truck Transmission Oil Change


Emon is Lubricants specialist who studied on Petroleum Engineering in UAE. He have more than 10 years experience on different kinds of lubrication including automobile troubleshooting.