303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Class Actions

303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Class Actions

Tractor hydraulic fluids (THF) are used to lubricate hydraulic systems, brakes, and certain other systems in farming, construction and logging equipment. Prior to 1974, John Deere manufactured and sold a multi-use THF called JD 303. The 303 fluid contained sperm whale oil, which was banned from use in the mid-1970s. As a result, John Deere discontinued production of the 303 fluid and the 303 designation became obsolete. Over the years that followed, John Deere developed and improved on several other specifications for its tractor hydraulic fluids; the current specification is referred to as J20C.

Although the 303 designation has been obsolete for more than 40 years and the original specification is unknown, certain lubricant manufacturers and sellers have been using the old John Deere 303 name and producing and selling THF as 303 in bright yellow buckets at various farm and manufacturing supply stores in Missouri and throughout the United States. The mislabeled THF often fails to meet any manufacturers’ specifications and is typically made with inferior component products not appropriate for use in a tractor hydraulic fluid. These mislabeled 303 fluids can cause harm, increased wear and damage to consumers’ equipment. In November 2017, the State of Missouri banned the sale of these “yellow bucket” THF products labeled as 303 fluids. White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, L.L.C. was the first to pursue the litigation, which was featured in a Kansas City Business Journal article, Sale of Hydraulic Fluid Spurs Call for Class Action.

Learn more about our class action work to address the damages caused by 303 THF here.

Our attorneys are currently working with farmers and manufacturers to recover damages stemming from the deceptive and misleading 303 THF products, including claims of:

    • Violation of state consumer protection laws
    • Breach of express warranty
    • Breach of implied warranty
    • Fraudulent misrepresentation
    • Negligent misrepresentation
    • Unjust enrichment

If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys about potential 303 tractor hydraulic fluid litigation, contact us today.

 

303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Resource Center

 

CASE BACKGROUND

Hornbeck v. Tractor Supply Company: Like many other consumers throughout Missouri, prior to the State of Missouri’s ban the plaintiffs in this class action purchased a 303 THF product called Super S Super Trac 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid at Tractor Supply Company retail stores. The Super S Super Trac 303 THF was manufactured by Smitty’s Supply, Inc. and was advertised to assist with anti-wear properties, brake chatter, extreme pressure properties, foam suppression, PTO clutch performance, rust protection, and water sensitivity.

The 303 THF product was used by plaintiffs on equipment, including John Deere Skid Steer Loader Hydraulic System, 1944 John Deere B Tractor, 1950 John Deere 50 Tractor, Hay Wagon Lift Cylinder, Log Splitter Hydraulic Tank, 1952 Chevy Grain Truck Lift Cylinder, and 1958 International Dump Lift System. The plaintiffs allege the labeling of the product was deceptive and misleading, and that the product exposed their equipment to increased wear and damage.

  • View the docket here.

Miller v. O’Reilly Automotive, Inc.: Similar to the above case above, prior to the State of Missouri’s ban the plaintiffs purchased mislabeled 303 THF products, specifically O’Reilly 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid, for O’Reilly retail stores.. The plaintiff allege the defendants’ THF did not meet manufacturer specifications and as fluids that are safe for use in farm, construction and logging equipment and have certain characteristics and qualities that protect equipment from wear and damage.

By naming, labeling, marketing, advertising and selling the 303 THF product in such a misleading manner, and by describing the product using words such as “multi-service” and “excellent performance,” plaintiff allege the defendants led them to conclude that defendants’ 303 THF was completely safe and effective for use in consumers’ equipment and all equipment made by the listed manufacturers.

The plaintiffs allege damage to their equipment, including excessive wear, leakage in the seals, exposure to spiral gear damage, improper and poor shifting, wear and damage to the wet brakes, high pump leakage, and damage from deposits, sludging and thickening.

  • View the docket here.

Hornbeck v. Orscheln Farm and Home: Prior to the State of Missouri’s ban, the plaintiffs in this case, purchased defendant Citgo Petroleum’s Premium 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid and its MileMaster 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid sold by defendant Orscheln Farm and Home retail stores in Cass County and throughout the State of Missouri. Similar to the cases above, the defendants’ 303 THF product did not meet the specifications of the other manufacturers defendants list on the labels and advertising of their 303 THF product.

Prior to the filing of a class action petition, Orscheln sold and advertised 303 THF Products in yellow buckets as a fluid designed for use in equipment manufactured by Allis-Chalmers, Massey Ferguson, Deutz, JI Case/David Brown, Allison, International Harvester, White, Kubota, John Deere, Oliver, Ford and Caterpillar.

  • View the docket here.

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