The Georgia Department of Agriculture, Fuel & Measures Division has issued a Stop Sale Order for Tractor Hydraulic Fluids (THF) products in the market labeled, claimed or implied as meeting the THF “303” specification.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is responsible for insuring that all lubricating oils, greases, and other similar products sold or offered for sale in the state of Georgia are properly labeled.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 10-1-162(b) (3) “No person shall store, sell, expose, or offer for sale any liquid fuels, lubricating oils, greases, or other similar products… [i]n any manner whatsoever which may deceive or have the effect of deceiving the purchaser of such products as to the nature, price, quality, or quantity of products so stored, sold, exposed, or offered for sale”
The Department’s Fuel & Measures division has issued a stop sale order for Tractor Hydraulic Fluids (THF) products labeled, claimed, or implied as meeting the THF “303” specification. The THF 303 specification was discontinued in 1974 and was subsequently replaced with the current JDM-J20C or D specifications. The department has determined that all THF 303 labeled products shall be removed from sale in Georgia within 180 days of the date of this order.
Provided, however, that nothing in this order shall prevent a manufacturer of such products from correcting product labeling and resuming the sale thereof after such products are validated as meeting the current JDM-J20C or D performance specifications. Performance specifications include but are not limited to those set by original equipment manufacturers and standards-setting organizations such as ASTM and/or SAE.
Georgia is the Second State to Issue a Stop Sale Order on J303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid
Prior to today’s announcement that Georgia has issued a stop sale order on J303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid, the state of Missouri announced a stop sale order of J303 THF on November 17, 2017.
While the action taken by the states of Georgia and Missouri certainly helps to protect farmers from obsolete THF, fluids bearing the J303 specification continue to be sold in other states. Based on the high level of agricultural activity of other states (see map), its clear that the presence of J303 in the market remains a significant concern.
Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Timeline
As stated in the Missouri Department of Agriculture Consumer Protection Alert when it issued a Stop Sale on 303 THF, “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 Tractor Hydraulic Fluids and, as such, products making only ‘303’ claims cannot be tested to assure compliance with any known specifications.”
See below for a simple to understand chart illustrating the timeline for John Deere THF specifications and where “303” fluids fit in.