If maximising efficiency and reducing costs is an important part of managing your fleet operation, you need to know more about the lubricants you use in your fleet, writes Richard Tucker, Global Delivery Manager of Commercial and Industrial Lubricants for Shell Lubricants and Commercial Fuels.
While Shell scientists spend most of their working day thinking about lubricants, the majority of the wider world gives it little thought. The fact is, however, that lubricants are essential to the successful operation of a truck or fleet and choosing the correct lubricant can result in cost-saving benefits to boost business profitability.
The highest quality lubricants on the market today, like the ones developed by Shell, are the result of years of Research & Development and some of the best applied chemistry expertise in the world. Shell scientists have carried out rigorous laboratory tests which demonstrate that if chosen and applied correctly, lubricants can deliver tangible business benefits. These results are backed up by millions of dollars in savings that Shell’s lubricants and technical experts have helped deliver to customers across industries and continents.
To get the most out of lubricants for a truck or fleet operation, a better understanding of the role they play is a good place to start. Most readers are probably aware that the purpose of a lubricant is to keep the engine in good working condition, but a high quality lubricant must protect the engine in three essential areas:
Acids— If unstopped, acids can attack and corrode parts of the engine, such as the bearings. A high quality heavy-duty diesel engine oil contains powerful neutralising agents that are active when the acids come in contact with the oil to protect the engine.
Deposits – Piston and general engine cleanliness is critical to ensure proper operation and long engine life. For instance, a buildup of excessive piston deposits can result in ring sticking, abrasion and wear of the cylinder, increasing oil consumption and shortening engine life. To combat this, a heavy-duty diesel engine oil must contain molecules that help keep the engine clean and carry away particles that can cause deposits.
By providing optimal engine protection, a high-quality lubricant can help lower maintenance costs and minimise the revenue losses that can result from downtime related to unplanned truck maintenance.
Shell, working in collaboration with many leading original equipment manufacturers, has developed its range of Shell Rimula heavy-duty diesel engine oils designed specifically to provide outstanding protection against acids, deposits and wear. For example, Shell’s fully-synthetic Shell Rimula R6 LME was developed in collaboration with Daimler, and with its advanced additive technology is well positioned to deliver ‘best in class’ engine protection.