Tech Tips

Hydraulic Oil Q&A’s

Your scissor or boom lift maintenance program should include regularly checking the oil and filters. By doing so, you’ll stay safe and your equipment will run more effectively. In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of hydraulic oil and filters.  


What type of hydraulic oil should I use in my scissor or boom lift?

In most cases, equipment will operate on ISO-32 or ISO-46 rated hydraulic oil, which is a 10w or 18/20w viscosity hydraulic oil. Use only hydraulic oil and do not try to use ATF or motor oil in a hydraulic system.


What exactly is hydraulic oil?

Hydraulic oil is a liquid that is formulated to maintain high lubrication qualities at high temperatures and pressures. It is formulated to resist moisture and is generally non-compressible. Hydraulic oil is the medium in which power is transferred to either motors or cylinders in equipment.


How often should I change hydraulic filters or oil?

Hydraulic filters are designed to remove contaminants such as dirt or metal particles from the oil so as not to damage parts throughout the hydraulic system. Filters should be changed and/or cleaned annually, depending on the type of filter. C-Tech carries a full line of hydraulic filters from popular manufacturers such as Genie, JLG, MEC and more.


Hydraulic oil should be changed every 2 years or whenever major sections of the system are changed. If severe discoloration or large debris is present, oil must be changed immediately.


Make sure to check the operator’s manual for your equipment’s requirements. It will specify what the manufacturer recommends for your specific piece of equipment and will often include multiple choices depending on operating temperatures.


Reminder: ANSI Requirements

Annual inspections are required by ANSI regulations. These should be performed at intervals of 13 months or less from previous inspection, regardless of the amount of hours on the machine. This is the responsibility of the owner of the machine. Also, remember to keep documentation of all maintenance performed on your equipment. ANSI and OSHA regulations require documentation and records of all maintenance performed on your equipment in case your lift is ever involved in an accident.  



It is important to maintain your scissor or boom lift so it not only runs properly, but meets ANSI regulations. Lastly, regular fluid checks help ensure that your lift will operate safely.


C-Tech offers an expansive selection of hydraulic system parts for your equipment on our secure website here. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is available to help you select the correct filters and hydraulic system parts for your boom or scissor lift.


Questions or comments? Contact us at 1-888-755-7311, email us at, or chat with us online.