Kubota oil vs Rotella Engine Oil: Which One Is Better?

Oil is essential to prolong your engine life and provide enough lubrication to keep the engine running. The type of oil you use on your truck will always determine its performance.

Kubota Oil and Rotella are great oil brands for truckers, but certain features differentiate each one from the other. These oils are usually considered for diesel engines and hydraulic systems.

It is normal to come across different rumors and pieces of information comparing Kubota Oil vs Rotella and pitching any of these oils as the best. Apart from voiding the warranty of your engine, it is necessary that you use engine oil that matches the specifications that you seek.

Kubota oil vs Rotella: What Are They?

about Kubota engine Oil

Available in different viscosity ratings; 15W-40, 10W-30, and SAE-30, the Kubota Oil is designed for turbocharged, and supercharged diesel engines with natural aspirations. The varying viscosity levels of Kubota oil indicate how well it can perform under different temperatures.

Kubota oil is a high-standard oil, not restricted to Kubota engines, but also suitable for a lot of automotive engines. During the formulation of the Kubota Oil, additives are added to reduce the formation of foam and ensure soot dispersal.

Macallister Machinery Inc. Company makes Kubota Oil. Macallister Machinery Inc. is a USA company with operations in Indiana and Michigan. They are the authorized manufacturer of Kubota oil and all engine oils that will match the engine specifications of Kubota engines. 

With over 77 years of operation, since 1945, Macallister maintained its position as the leading dealer of heavy equipment and construction tools.

The production of Kubota oil was to match the growing need for engine oils that deliver optimum performance on industrial engines.

However, Valvoline also makes Kubota Oil. They handle the manufacture of Kubota UDT2; Kubota hydraulic fluid. Valvoline handles a large part of producing Kubota fluids (hydraulics).

about Rotella engine Oil

Rotella, also known as Shell Rotella, is a combination of Shell oil products enforced with the triple protection formula. Available in a fully synthetic blend and conventional diesel-specific oil, they offer advanced protection and lubrication for engines. This includes a superior performance that maintains stability in extreme temperatures, wear resistance, protection against deposit accumulation, and engine breakdown. 

Rotella oil is popularly known for its inclusion of Zinc and phosphorus in its formula. The zinc oil additive forms a base that creates an anti-wear coating on the engine. This provides resistance against high pressure and maintains optimal performance.

Rotella oil is the best choice for heavy-duty diesel engines. Nevertheless, it is important to know that not all Rotella oil is a good choice for gasoline vehicles. For instance; the Rotella T3 15W-40 can work on gasoline and diesel engines but it is only for vehicles that do not have catalytic converters.

Newer products like the Rotella T6 are safe for your gasoline engines.

Who makes Rotella oil?

Royal Dutch Shell makes Rotella Oil. Rotella oil is classified into a category of Shell’s heavy-duty engine oil products. These products (Shell Rotella) cover the engine oils, gear oils, and coolants produced by Royal Dutch Shell.

Royal Dutch Shell, founded in April 1907, started as the amalgamation of Royal Dutch Petroleum Co and Shell Transport and Trading Co. 

Where is Rotella manufactured?

Rotella Oil is manufactured in the Netherlands. Rotella is manufactured by Royal Dutch Shell which has its headquarters in the Netherlands. This was before its transfer to Shell Plc, pushing its major operations to London, United Kingdom.

Differences between Kubota oil and Rotella engine oil

FeaturesKubota engine oilRotella engine oil
API RatingCF or higherDiffers based on the oil; C, S, CJ-4, SM.
Viscosity15W40, 10W-30, 5W-3015W-40, 5W-30, 0W-40, 10W-30
SyntheticSynthetic BlendFull Synthetic/Conventional/Fully Synthetic
ProtectionCold Weather ProtectionTriple Protection Plus Technology
Lubrication at high temperaturesGoodBetter


Rotella runs an adaptive additive technology that adapts physically and chemically to all weather and driving conditions. This provides maximum protection when needed. This technology combines antioxidants, antiwear additives, dispersants, detergents, pour-point depressants, viscosity index improvers, and anti-foaming agents.

Rotella also includes approx 1200 ppm of Zinc and 1100 ppm of phosphorus. This acts as a beneficial agent for old engines and engines with the need for higher performance.

There are no specifications on the type of additives used in Kubota oils. We can only confirm that they have anti-friction, high performance, and extreme pressure additives, with high VI base stocks and shear stable polymers. This is in the absence of Zinc or any special element.

Winner: Rotella


Kubota Oil is built with high-performance additives combined to provide high-level protection against corrosion and rust. This ensures reliable service, durability, and longevity of your engine. Kubota Oil has a cold-weather protection system that makes it perform well even in cold temperatures. 

Rotella doesn’t have these. Rotella employs triple protection plus technology. The protection technology in Rotella combines synthetic base oil technology, and adaptive additive technology to achieve an advanced level of ownership.

Rotella protection maximizes the benefits of low viscosity. This increases fuel efficiency, reduces operating costs, and lesser emissions. There is an improved level of wear control, acid control, prevention of metal corrosion, sludge control, and prevention of deposit building in the piston.

Winner: Both

However, Kubota oil performs better in cold temperatures. 


Kubota Oil usually comes in a synthetic blend formula. Rotella comes in varying structures. Some are fully synthetic, conventional, or synthetic blends. 

The varying formulas for Rotella run through its T4, T5, and T6 products. Rotella T4 is a synthetic blend product, T6 is fully synthetic, and T5 is a synthetic blend. However, the T4 product was initially a conventional oil.

Winner: Both

API rating

API oil rating is the overall rating of oil according to its evaluation by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The API rating differs for the individual products of these brands. For instance; Rotella T6 has an API rating of API CJ-4/SN, while T5 is compatible for use with engines that need oil with an API rating of CK-4, CJ-4, CH-4, or CI-4.

Kubota engine oils are specifically built to match the engine needs of the Kubota engine. They are always with an API rating of CF or above.

Winner: Both

Whichever oil that you wish to use for your engine, either Kubota or Rotella, it is important that you confirm that it is a HD diesel oil with a CF API rating or higher.

Kubota oil vs Rotella: Which one to choose? 

Kubota oil and Rotella are heavy-duty engine oil for diesel engines. It boils down to the reasons why you need engine oil. Some truckers will always go for Kubota engine oil because of its ability to perform well in cold weather and maintain thermal equilibrium in engine parts while Rotella offers a better lubrication efficiency at high temperatures.

On a general scale, I will advise that you choose Kubota if you are running a hydraulic system, or you wish to maintain the warranty of your Kubota engine. 

Rotella vs kubota engine oil (key Similarities)

Heavy Duty Oil

Rotella and Kubota Oil are heavy-duty oils. It is inarguable that they come with distinct features with performances that match the extreme needs of heavy-duty engines.


Both engines have a viscosity level ranging from 15W-40 to 10w-30. They maintain optimal flow through engines and lubricate the parts.


Kubota and Rotella are designed with additives. This makes them achieve a  similar coating, protection, and purification effect in engines.


The Rotella engine oil and Kubota are used in tractors, trucks, construction machinery, and all diesel engine applications. They have a similar best use case; heavy-duty diesel engines.

people also ask

Is Shell Rotella good for diesel engines?

Yes. Shell Rotella is good for all diesel engines. The specifications might vary with different viscosity ratings, Shell Rotella is a good choice for diesel engines.

Does Rotella still have Zinc in it?

Yes, it does. Rotella 30, Rotella T 15W-40, and all Rotella oil products still have Zinc in them. Rotella contains an approx. 1200 PPM of Zinc. 

Is Kubota Oil Full Synthetic?

No. So far, Kubota oil products are not fully synthetic. Instead, they are synthetic blends. 

Kubota Oil Vs Rotella: some key Takeaways

  • Rotella is a better choice if your engine requires full synthetic engine oil
  • Kubota oils are great in cold temperatures but they are mostly synthetic blends.
  • The triple protection plus technology in Rotella enhances your engine protection, extended oil life, and temperature protection. This conserves the cost of maintaining your engine and the overall performance of your vehicle.


Who Worked on This?



I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is helpful for our reader.

Mahir Ahmed


I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

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