When a heavy-duty lubricant is used alongside a used oil analysis program in a comprehensive maintenance plan, managers can be confident that their proactive approach is helping them run an efficient fleet.
By Brian Humphrey
Collecting and transporting waste puts equipment under a variety of extreme pressures; they are required to stop and start regularly and operate at varying temperatures, which can be tough on the engines. This means that any unplanned maintenance that leads to unnecessary stops can be extremely disruptive for managers trying to run an efficient fleet.
When a fleet runs smoothly, everyone involved in its operation will benefit. Increasing the safety of a fleet and improving the reliability of its vehicles ensures that the operator’s time is not needlessly wasted, and the maintenance team can use their time more effectively by undertaking proactive maintenance, which is much more efficient than reacting to issues once they arise.
Additionally, managers are ultimately responsible for the overall safety of their company’s employees, so safety must be of paramount importance especially during unscheduled maintenance.
Undertaking a proactive maintenance program will help to keep vehicles safe and reliable so they can work longer. Taking regular and preventative maintenance measures is the most cost-effective solution to keeping vehicles running at peak performance because it avoids the costly repairs that a reactive maintenance strategy can lead to. Individual pieces of equipment are always vulnerable to wear and tear, but if maintenance issues are postponed, they could cause a catastrophic failure, which often require larger and more expensive repairs on the whole vehicle.
Managers must also find different ways to protect their vehicles and should look to find efficiencies in different areas of the engine. Looking at maintenance in a holistic manner, lubricants can have an important role in the maintenance process. High quality engine oils can increase efficiency and overall performance by minimizing metal-to-metal contact between moving components and reducing pumping and spinning losses.
Selecting an Engine Lubricant
When selecting an engine lubricant, managers should consider the most recent oil category, API CK-4. These engine oils offer improved resistance to oxidation and aeration and increased shear stability in comparison to the previous API CJ-4 oils. These heavy-duty products have helped improve engine efficiency by reducing the amount of energy needed to pump the oil at start-up and fighting through the viscosity drag at high temperature. They also outperform CJ-4 oils in their ability to resist oxidation through a more effective approach to combat acid formation. The new category therefore offers enhanced engine performance and protection over extended drain1 periods, increasing reliability for owners and operators.
It is important for managers to consult the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) recommendations and seek expert advice when selecting their fleets lubricants. This extra precautionary step ensures that waste equipment will receive the required protection from the oil and that its warranty is complied with.
An Oil Analysis Program
A used oil analysis program will help to maintain a superior level of engine protection and should be an important part of a proactive maintenance program. Used oil analysis highlights potential issues and problems before they become serious and require expensive maintenance work. By preventing these unplanned stops and breakdowns, owners and operators will find that oil analysis can help them run with greater efficiency and equally as important, be more cost-effective.
Using an oil analysis program can also extend oil drain intervals1 for waste fleets. While it offers clear benefits to operators, extending drain intervals must be supported by recommendations from the OEM manual and advice from technical experts that will consider what is best for the engine, given the age of the vehicle and its application. The process of oil analysis typically involves three simple steps:
1. Take a representative sample—A crucial step because an improper or contaminated sample could lead to inaccurate results and jeopardize the rest of the process. Using a clean, dry container, the sampling point should be cleaned before a small amount of oil is flushed to ensure that no foreign contamination can make its way into the bottle.
2. Send to qualified used oil analysis laboratories—To resist contamination, this should happen immediately once the clean sample has been taken. The lab will then test the oil using the standard testing procedure that will provide accurate results and diagnosis in a report that can be sent by e-mail or viewed online.
3. Interpret used oil analysis results—Technical advisors can then evaluate the results and provide recommendations on how to extend the oil drain intervals.
A regular used oil analysis program gives managers the ability to draw trends from specific vehicles when measured over an extended period of time. Oil analysis is most effective over when undertaken over time as it allows maintenance plans to be adjusted and adapted based on the equipment’s results. Organizing analysis alongside scheduled downtime also prevents additional and unwanted stops.
A Proactive Approach
The unique pressures on waste fleets mean that managers need to take any opportunity to improve efficiency and reduce costs. A comprehensive maintenance program can prevent unplanned downtime and maintenance stops, meaning that equipment will spend more time working and reduce expensive repairs. When a heavy-duty lubricant is used alongside a used oil analysis program in a comprehensive maintenance plan, managers can be confident that their proactive approach is helping them run an efficient fleet.
Brian Humphrey is OEM Technical Liaison for Petro-Canada Lubricants (Mississauga, ON). He can be reached at Brian.Humphrey@petrocanadalsp.com. For more information, visit https://lubricants.petro-canada.com and search DURON.