The collection, transportation, processing, and disposal of waste is a costly and time consuming process that uses specialized vehicles and requires high levels of monitoring and management
July 5, 2017
by Brian Humphrey
The collection, transportation, processing, and disposal of waste is a costly and time consuming process that uses specialized vehicles and requires high levels of monitoring and management. Urban environments are especially tough on heavy duty diesel engines. Heavy loads combined with the constant start-stop transient operations can produce high temperatures, which may result in unnecessary engine wear and lead to unplanned maintenance and downtime—costing businesses money and time. It is therefore essential that waste fleet owners are making the right business decisions to ensure they are running their operations as efficiently as possible.
A focus on fuel economy
Fuel economy is an important area for any fleet business to focus on when striving to manage operational costs. As one of the leading operating costs for heavy duty diesel fleets – often accounting for 30-40% of your overall costs – even small decreases in fuel consumption can have a significant impact on businesses’ bottom lines.
Improving truck fuel economy is not just a business concern. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transport have introduced new regulations for Class 8 trucks, requiring that their fuel economy increase up to 40% by 2027, compared with levels in 2010. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are also responding to end user demands, and these legislative changes, by developing smaller, more efficient engines that can run on lower viscosity oils which, in turn, can deliver improved fuel economy.
Waste fleet owners are often under pressure to not only manage costs and the organizational demands of collection, but also maintain compliance with industry regulations around fuel emissions and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore essential they consider the full range of factors which can contribute to improved fuel economy.
How can lubricants contribute to fuel economy?
Lubricants can have an important role to play in contributing to fuel economy and operational efficiencies for waste businesses. In December 2016, the North American lubricants industry witnessed its biggest specification overhaul in history with the launch of the new API heavy duty diesel engine oil categories: CK-4 and FA-4. The need for a new oil category arose following five years of demand from the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), OEMs, and environmental agencies to produce more efficient engines and compatible engine oils that deliver better fuel economy and significantly reduce carbon emissions.
With their design reflecting the needs of current and future engine hardware, both oil categories deliver improved fuel economy for end users and help reduce the environmental impact of heavy duty diesel engines. Both CK-4 and FA-4 oils have been carefully designed for improved resistance to oxidation, aeration control, and better shear stability.
The low viscosity FA-4 lubricants will also provide potential to improve fuel economy, as they have been specially designed to cope with the pressures of higher operating temperatures and more fuel efficient, low emissions diesel engines. Lower viscosity oils provide lower frictional resistance and drag in the engine.
This means, very simply, that less fuel is needed to provide the same level of power. This allows them to run more efficiently and use less fuel, while still offering improved levels of wear protection. In turn, this supports the reduction of CO2 emissions and helps to improve fuel economy.
We expect new API FA-4 oils to deliver up to 2% improved fuel economy over conventional API CK-4 SAE 15W-40s. In addition, we expect to see up to 1% better fuel economy vs. an API CK-4 SAE 10W-30 diesel engine oil in on-road service. Lower viscosity transmission and axle fluids could also help provide fuel economy gains.
Consulting the experts
As with any business decision, we recommend fleet operators consult their engine/vehicle OEM for specific guidance regarding the recommended API performance category and SAE viscosity grade for their engines, and their lubricants supplier on which oil sub-category will be best suited for their business.
At Petro-Canada Lubricants, we have developed DURON™ Next Generation, which promises to bring new levels of engine protection and help contribute to fuel economy for waste fleet operators—factors that will help keep every vehicle on the road for longer. For more information on the new API CK-4 and FA-4 oils and how they may benefit your fleet operations, visit www.DURONTheTougherTheBetter.com