How to Change Hydraulic Fluid in Your Big Tex Dump Trailer in 5 Simple Steps

When it comes to maintaining your Big Tex dump trailer, understanding the hydraulic system and emphasizing regular maintenance are key to ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. Hydraulic systems play a crucial role in the operation of dump trailers, utilizing fluid to power the lifting mechanism that raises and lowers the bed. Proper maintenance of this system is not just a recommendation; it’s essential for safe and efficient trailer operation.

Quick Guide to Changing Hydraulic Fluid in Your Big Tex Dump Trailer:
1. Wear Safety Gear: Always protect yourself first.
2. Drain Old Fluid: Locate the drain plug and properly dispose of the old fluid.
3. Clean and Inspect: Replace filters, check for leaks, and inspect the hydraulic pump.
4. Refill with New Fluid: Use the recommended hydraulic fluid type, filling carefully to avoid contamination.
5. Test the System: Ensure there are no leaks and that the trailer operates smoothly with the new fluid.

Hydraulic systems are fascinating in their ability to lift heavy loads with precision and ease, yet they require careful attention to keep them running smoothly. From selecting the right hydraulic fluid to performing routine checks for leaks and wear, every step you take can help prevent costly repairs and downtime. This intro will lead you through the essential steps to change the hydraulic fluid in your Big Tex dump trailer, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge to maintain your equipment’s heart.

How to change hydraulic fluid in your Big Tex dump trailer - big tex dump trailer hydraulic fluid infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Step 1: Preparation and Safety

Before diving into the task of changing the big tex dump trailer hydraulic fluid, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. Just like any maintenance activity on heavy equipment, changing hydraulic fluid comes with its own set of risks and requirements.

Safety Gear

First and foremost, gear up with the right safety equipment:
Gloves: To protect your hands from hydraulic fluid, which can irritate skin.
Safety goggles: To shield your eyes from any splashing fluid.
Closed-toe shoes: To protect your feet from heavy tools or parts.

Tools Needed

Having the right tools will make the process smoother and safer:
Wrench set: For opening the hydraulic fluid reservoir and drain plug.
Funnel: To pour new hydraulic fluid without spills.
Drain pan: To catch the old hydraulic fluid as it drains.
Rags or paper towels: For cleaning any spills or drips.

Choosing the Right Hydraulic Fluid

Selecting the appropriate hydraulic fluid is critical for the performance and longevity of your Big Tex dump trailer. Not all hydraulic fluids are created equal, and using the wrong type can lead to poor performance or even damage.

  • Big Tex hydraulic fluid type: It’s essential to refer to your Big Tex dump trailer’s owner’s manual to identify the specific type of hydraulic fluid recommended by the manufacturer. Typically, a high-grade, anti-wear hydraulic oil is suggested for these trailers to ensure optimal performance and protection against wear and tear.

The goal here is not just to perform maintenance but to ensure the continued reliability and efficiency of your dump trailer. Taking these preparation steps seriously sets the foundation for a successful fluid change, keeping your equipment in top condition and ready for the demands of your business.

Step 2: Draining the Old Hydraulic Fluid

Changing the hydraulic fluid in your Big Tex dump trailer is a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to draining the old fluid. Let’s dive into how to locate the drain plug, handle proper disposal, and consider environmental factors.

Locating the Drain Plug

First, identify where the drain plug is located on your Big Tex dump trailer. Typically, the drain plug can be found at the bottom of the hydraulic reservoir. It’s crucial to ensure your trailer is on a stable, level surface before you start. If you’re unsure, refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location and any precautions you should take.

Proper Disposal

Once you’ve located and unscrewed the drain plug, allow the old hydraulic fluid to drain completely into an appropriate container. This step might take some time, so be patient. It’s essential to capture all the old fluid to prevent any spills or leaks, which can be harmful to the environment and a hazard in your workspace.

After draining, you must dispose of the old fluid responsibly. Hydraulic fluid should never be poured down the drain, onto the ground, or into waterways. Instead, take it to a local recycling center, auto shop, or hazardous waste facility that accepts used hydraulic fluid. These facilities are equipped to handle the fluid in an environmentally friendly manner.

Environmental Considerations

Being mindful of the environment during this process is crucial. Spills can contaminate the soil and water, posing a threat to wildlife and ecosystems. Always have absorbent materials on hand, such as sand or cat litter, to quickly manage any accidental spills. Additionally, wearing gloves and protective gear during the process can prevent skin irritation and ensure your safety.

By following these steps, you’re not only maintaining your Big Tex dump trailer but also contributing to environmental conservation efforts. Proper disposal of hydraulic fluid is a simple yet impactful way to minimize your ecological footprint and promote a healthier planet.

Next, we’ll move on to cleaning and inspection, where we’ll replace the filter, check for leaks, and inspect the hydraulic pump to ensure your Big Tex dump trailer operates smoothly and efficiently.

Step 3: Cleaning and Inspection

After draining the old hydraulic fluid from your Big Tex dump trailer, it’s crucial to not jump straight into refilling it. First, we need to ensure everything inside is clean and in good working order. This step is about giving your trailer a health check-up.

Filter Replacement

Just like changing the oil filter in your car during an oil change, replacing the hydraulic fluid filter in your dump trailer is essential. This filter catches any debris or contaminants that could harm your hydraulic system. Over time, it can become clogged, which can reduce the efficiency of your system or even cause damage.

  • How to Do It: Locate the hydraulic fluid filter, which is usually found near the hydraulic pump. Remove the old filter and replace it with a new one. Make sure it’s secured tightly to prevent any leaks.

Checking for Leaks

Leaks in the hydraulic system can lead to a loss of pressure, making your dump trailer less efficient and potentially causing damage to the hydraulic pump over time.

  • How to Spot Them: Look for any signs of hydraulic fluid on the ground under the trailer or along the hydraulic lines and connections. Pay special attention to the area around the hydraulic pump and the cylinders. If you see any wet spots or drips, you’ve likely found a leak.

Inspecting the Hydraulic Pump

The hydraulic pump is the heart of your dump trailer’s hydraulic system. Ensuring it’s in good working order is key to maintaining the performance of your trailer.

  • What to Look For: Check the wiring and connections to make sure everything is secure and there are no signs of wear or damage. You’ll also want to look at the pump itself for any signs of leaks or corrosion.

Big Tex dump trailer hydraulic pump wiring diagram - big tex dump trailer hydraulic fluid

Unfortunately, without a specific image, we can’t show you exactly what to look for in a wiring diagram. However, consulting the owner’s manual for your Big Tex dump trailer or visiting the manufacturer’s website can provide you with the specific diagram for your model. This diagram will be an invaluable resource in ensuring everything is correctly connected and in good condition.

Why This Step Matters:

Skipping the cleaning and inspection phase can lead to bigger, more expensive problems down the road. By taking the time to replace the filter, check for leaks, and inspect the hydraulic pump, you’re investing in the longevity and efficiency of your Big Tex dump trailer. This not only saves you money in the long run but also ensures your trailer is ready to handle whatever job you throw at it.

Next, we’ll move on to refilling your dump trailer with new hydraulic fluid, where we’ll cover the recommended fluid types and the filling process to avoid contamination and ensure your trailer operates at its best.

Step 4: Refilling with New Hydraulic Fluid

Refilling your Big Tex dump trailer with new hydraulic fluid is a crucial step to ensure its optimal performance. The right fluid will keep your trailer’s hydraulic system running smoothly and efficiently. Let’s dive into the types of fluids recommended, the filling process, and how to avoid contamination.

Recommended Fluid Types

For your Big Tex dump trailer, using the manufacturer-recommended hydraulic fluid is paramount. Typically, a high-grade hydraulic fluid that matches the specifications outlined in your trailer’s manual is ideal. While some trailers may run well on universal hydraulic fluids, Big Tex dump trailers often require specific types of fluids to ensure peak performance and avoid damage. If in doubt, refer to your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly.

Filling Process

  1. Locate the Hydraulic Fluid Reservoir: First, identify where the hydraulic fluid reservoir is on your Big Tex dump trailer. This is usually detailed in your owner’s manual.
  2. Clean Around the Cap: Before opening the reservoir, clean any dirt or debris around the cap to prevent contamination. This step is crucial for maintaining the purity of the hydraulic system.
  3. Remove the Cap: Carefully remove the cap from the reservoir. Some models may have a vented cap that helps regulate pressure; handle with care.
  4. Fill Slowly: Using a clean funnel, slowly add the new hydraulic fluid into the reservoir. Fill it up to the mark indicated in the manual, but do not overfill. Overfilling can cause excessive pressure and lead to leaks or damage.
  5. Replace the Cap Securely: Once filled to the appropriate level, replace the cap securely to prevent any leaks.

Avoiding Contamination

Contamination is one of the leading causes of hydraulic system failures. To avoid this:

  • Use Clean Tools: Ensure that the funnel and any other tools used are clean and free of any debris or old fluid residues.
  • Seal the Fluid Container: Keep the hydraulic fluid container sealed until ready to use, and promptly reseal after use to prevent airborne contaminants from entering.
  • Check for Leaks: After filling, check around the reservoir and hose connections for any signs of leaks. A leak can introduce contaminants into the system and should be addressed immediately.

By following these steps and ensuring you use the correct type of hydraulic fluid, you’ll help extend the life of your Big Tex dump trailer’s hydraulic system. Regular maintenance, including fluid changes, is key to preventing downtime and costly repairs. A clean and well-maintained hydraulic system is a reliable one.

Next, we’ll move into testing and final checks to ensure everything is in order and your trailer is ready to go back to work.

Step 5: Testing and Final Checks

After you’ve refilled your big tex dump trailer with the new hydraulic fluid, it’s crucial to ensure everything is working correctly. This final step is all about making sure your trailer’s hydraulic system is not just filled, but fully functional and leak-free. Let’s walk through how to do this with simplicity and precision.

Operational Testing

First, it’s time for some operational testing. This is where you’ll see the fruits of your labor. Start by activating the hydraulic system. Raise and lower the dump bed a few times. This helps the new hydraulic fluid circulate throughout the system. Watch and listen. The movement should be smooth, and there shouldn’t be any strange noises. If the bed raises and lowers without any hitches, you’re on the right track.

Checking for Leaks

Next, while the system is pressurized (with the dump bed either raised or in the process of being raised), take a careful look around all the hydraulic lines, fittings, and the pump itself. You’re looking for any signs of leaks. Hydraulic fluid leaks might appear as wet spots or drips. If you spot a leak, it’s important to address it immediately. A small leak can quickly turn into a big problem, leading to system failure and potentially hazardous situations.

Ensuring Proper Fluid Level

Finally, check the hydraulic fluid level one more time. After operating the system, the fluid level might have adjusted slightly. With the dump bed lowered (to ensure maximum fluid return to the reservoir), open the reservoir and verify the fluid level. It should be at the full mark on the dipstick or within the sight glass, depending on your trailer’s specific setup. If it’s not, add a bit more fluid until it reaches the correct level.

This step is crucial because operating with too little hydraulic fluid can cause the pump to cavitate, leading to damage over time. Conversely, too much fluid can lead to over-pressurization and leaks.

By following these simple steps for operational testing, checking for leaks, and ensuring the proper fluid level, you’re not just completing a routine maintenance task. You’re ensuring the longevity and reliability of your big tex dump trailer’s hydraulic system. Regular maintenance, including these final checks, is key to preventing downtime and costly repairs. A clean, well-maintained, and thoroughly checked hydraulic system is a reliable one, ready to support your business’s needs without unexpected interruptions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Big Tex Dump Trailer Maintenance

In dump trailers, especially those from Big Tex, maintaining the hydraulic system is crucial for smooth operation. Let’s dive into some of the most common questions we get about keeping these systems in top shape.

What type of hydraulic fluid is best for my Big Tex dump trailer?

For Big Tex dump trailers, it’s important to use a hydraulic fluid that matches the manufacturer’s specifications. Typically, a high-quality ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) is recommended. This type of fluid is designed to operate efficiently across a wide range of temperatures and provides the necessary lubrication and corrosion protection. The specific type of ATF may vary, so it’s wise to consult your trailer’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly to ensure you’re using the right fluid.

How often should I change the hydraulic fluid in my dump trailer?

The frequency of hydraulic fluid changes can depend on several factors, such as the intensity of use and the operating environment. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to change the hydraulic fluid every 1 to 2 years. However, if your trailer sees heavy use or operates in particularly harsh conditions, you might need to change the fluid more frequently. Regularly checking the fluid’s color and consistency can help you determine when it’s time for a change. If the fluid looks dark or contains particles, it’s time for a replacement.

Can I mix different types of hydraulic fluids?

Mixing different types of hydraulic fluids is generally not recommended. Different fluids can have varying chemical compositions and may not be compatible with each other. Mixing them can lead to reduced performance, increased wear, and even damage to the hydraulic system. If you’re unsure about the type of fluid currently in your trailer or if you need to switch to a different type, it’s best to completely drain the old fluid before adding the new one. This ensures that your hydraulic system operates efficiently and avoids potential issues.

Regular maintenance of your Big Tex dump trailer’s hydraulic system is not just about changing the fluid. It’s also about ensuring the system is clean, checking for leaks, and making sure all components are in good working order. By keeping up with these maintenance tasks, you can help prevent downtime, extend the life of your trailer, and keep it ready for whatever job comes next.


Maintaining your Big Tex dump trailer isn’t just a one-time task—it’s an ongoing commitment. Regular maintenance, especially changing the big tex dump trailer hydraulic fluid, is crucial. It’s not just about swapping out the fluid. It’s also about ensuring the system is clean, checking for leaks, and making sure all components are in good working order. By keeping up with these maintenance tasks, you can help prevent downtime, extend the life of your trailer, and keep it ready for whatever job comes next.

Why is regular maintenance so important? Well, for starters, it ensures your dump trailer operates efficiently. A well-maintained hydraulic system means smoother lifts and lower chances of mechanical failures. It also plays a significant role in safety. Hydraulic leaks or failures can pose serious risks, not just to you but also to those around you. Plus, regular maintenance helps you save money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or replacements.

But we know, maintenance can be daunting, especially if you’re juggling the demands of a small to medium-sized business in construction, landscaping, or any industry that relies on heavy equipment. That’s where steps in.

At, we’re not just about selling you a trailer. We’re about providing a resource you can rely on for maintenance tips, industry trends, and practical advice tailored to your business needs. Whether you’re figuring out the best hydraulic fluid for your Big Tex dump trailer, troubleshooting a hydraulic pump issue, or seeking ways to extend the life of your equipment, we’ve got you covered.

The key to a long-lasting, reliable dump trailer is regular maintenance. And when you need guidance, is here to help you every step of the way. From detailed maintenance guides to expert advice on equipment selection and business management, consider us your go-to resource for all things dump trailer. Together, let’s ensure your equipment stays in top shape, ready to tackle the challenges of your next big project.

4 thoughts on “How to Change Hydraulic Fluid in Your Big Tex Dump Trailer in 5 Simple Steps”

  1. Its like you read my mind You appear to know so much about this like you wrote the book in it or something I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit but other than that this is fantastic blog A great read Ill certainly be back


Leave a Reply

Discover more from The Best Dump Trailers

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading