The State of Missouri Department of Agriculture Weights, Measures & Consumer Protection Division ordered that effective immediately Tractor Hydraulic Fluid (THF) labeled only as “303” can no longer be sold in the state, and the reason why is clear.
The John Deere (JD) 303 designation is 57 years old and has been obsolete for 43 years. In addition, there are no specifications available for 303 THF, and as such products making only “303” claims cannot be tested to assure compliance with any known specifications. Because of this, in the interest of protecting consumers, the State of Missouri ordered that “303” THF cannot be sold in the state.
Missouri’s banning the sale of “303” THF will have a significant impact due to the proliferation of 303 fluids in the market. These fluids are typically sold as low cost THFs and account for a very significant share of total THF sales. In fact, in some markets they are the leading type sold. Further, they are produced and sold by many lubricant manufacturers, marketers and retailers in the US and some have already received Stop Sale orders from the State of Missouri Department of Agriculture Weights, Measures & Consumer Protection Division.
Although not necessarily a shot heard around the world, the actions taken by the state of Missouri will most certainly send a clear message to marketers, retailers and farmers in other states. Because whereas the State of Missouri is the first to ban the sale of 303 THF, chances are others will follow.