Who Makes John Deere Oil


Golden Chicken
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Who makes John Deere oil? Where do you buy it in bulk?
Who really makes John Deere and Case tractor oil?
December 16, 2019 by filtersfortractors
Who really makes John Deere oil?
So who really makes this stuff?
I get asked who makes John Deere oil and Case oil all the time, and the truth is it depends on the year, or sometimes the month. John Deere simply hires the lowest bidder that can meet the spec they specify. For most common non specialty tractor engine oils, this usually means Northland Oil in Waterloo, IA. For specialty oils it could be Chevron, Mobil, Shell, Exxon or any other of the big brands, depending on who won the low bid that month. Case is exactly the same way.
You’ve probably heard through the grapevine that John Deere doesn’t make their own oil so there is no point in paying a premium for their logo on the jug. While this seems logical, you have to understand how oils are made to make your own decision.
  1. All oils are made by blending a base oil (synthetic or conventional) with additives to change the weight of the oil and give it different properties (like detergents and anti friction molecules).
  2. Base oils are pretty much the same from company to company. If you take straight base oil from Northland and Exxon and compare them, there’s no way to tell the difference.
  3. The differences in come from the additives put in the base oil. John Deere specifies the exact additive package they want in their branded oil down to a molecular level. Case does the same, along with Cat, Kubota the list goes on. Every manufacturer thinks that the additive package they specify is the best for their engines.
  4. The companies who can meet the exact performance and additives spec that John Deere or Case requires, for the lowest price, gets the rights to put the John Deere or CNH sticker on the jug.
To summarize, we know that A. The base oils are nearly identical between companies, and B. The additives and specs are set by the tractor manufacturer. This means that just because Mobil or Shell is currently making a certain John Deere oil, it does NOT mean a jug of Mobil off the shelf at Walmart is the same oil.
Now that we have this info it makes it easier to make an informed decision on what you want to put in your tractor. The real question becomes; “Is the spec that John Deere or CNH set for their oil good enough?” In my opinion, the answer is “probably”. If probably isn’t good enough for you, then we start to look for oils that actually exceed John Deere spec.


Farm Hand
JD is AMS oil - same as their filters.

As to "low bidder" - I dont think its that simple, price, quality, availability, capability all factor in to their choice.