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August 10, 2015 – Press Release

Successfully Optimizing Oil Drain Intervals Requires The Right Planning Procedures

Establishing an optimized oil drain interval is a lengthy process. It can be labor and time intensive. But the potential benefits can be exceptional.

In addition to helping to save money on maintenance costs, a successful, extended oil drain interval program can help trucks and commercial equipment run more miles or operate longer with each gallon of oil, which is good for a company’s bottom line and the environment.

As a senior field technical advisor for Imperial Oil, Stephanie Jaworski knows that when trying to extend oil drain intervals, having positive results are a direct result of having the right process in place.

“Our ultimate goal is to help identify the oil drain interval that will yield the lowest total operating cost without sacrificing engine reliability – or the resale value of trucks,” Jaworski said. “But it’s important to understand that each fleet’s needs, equipment, and maintenance protocols are different.”

That’s why Jaworski says she and her team seek to customize drain interval targets for each fleet they work with.

For example, Jaworski and her colleagues worked with the maintenance team at Danfreight Systems (DFS), a Quebec-based fleet that specializes in refrigerated transport and operates more than 130 tractor trailers, the majority of which are Peterbilt’s with PACCAR MX-13 engines.

Working together, Jaworski and her colleagues helped to determine a lubricant solution capable of helping the company reduce both operating costs and environmental impact.

“Our analysis of the fleet’s operations supported the recommendation that switching from a conventional, mineral-based engine oil to Mobil Delvac 1TM ESP 0W-40 synthetic diesel engine oil, would deliver significant benefits for the DFS fleet,” Jaworski said.

Since making the transition to a synthetic engine oil more than two years ago, the company has reported that it has successfully extended oil drain intervals to 100,000 km for the majority of its fleet, reducing fuel consumption and lowering maintenance costs.

Used oil analysis results have shown that even with the extended oil drain intervals, the engines have exhibited normal wear patterns, with some parts of the engines exhibiting no wear at all.

According to Jaworski, the Imperial Oil team uses a comprehensive, data driven approach that employs a wide range of tools and expertise to support fleets that want to extend oil drain intervals, including:
• State-of-the-art lubricant technologies, laboratories and facilities;
• Data-driven methodology and analytical tools;
• Specialized engineering services;
• Dedicated and experienced engineers; and,
• Close working relationships with leading OEMs.

Typically, Jaworski said, the work occurs across four distinct phases, which are central to Imperial Oil’s approach to optimizing oil drain intervals. They include:

Stage 1: Feasibility analysis— A thorough analysis of the fleet’s current duty cycle and maintenance practices helps determine different optimized oil drain interval scenarios that should be tested in order to quantify potential cost savings and sustainability-related benefits.

At this stage, the key items evaluated are:
• The type of application the fleet is used for;
• Climates and terrains in which the equipment is operating;
• The equipment type, age, and emission compliance;
• Experience of the maintenance staff; and,
• If available, the fleet’s used oil analysis history.

This is also a time to engage the fleet’s OEM partner/s. Doing so, right from the start, can play a critical role in helping understand any engine warranty and policy implications of the extended drain intervals.

Stage 2: Field test — A series of in-service testing programs, which may continue for a year or more, can help determine whether the fleet or company can operate efficiently between the proposed, targeted service intervals.

Stage 3: Evaluating results — A thorough data analysis will help ensure that the service interval recommendations are safely achievable.

Stage 4: Ongoing program maintenance — Periodic reviews and continued customer education will help ensure that business objectives are being achieved and program protocols are being followed.

Click here to learn how the team behind Mobil Delvac approaches the process of optimizing oil drain intervals.

Did You Know? Imperial Oil is an affiliate of ExxonMobil.


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