Ask any over-the-road fleet what makes up their largest annual cost and there’s a good chance you’ll hear the same answer again and again: fuel. Depending on the size of the fleet, it’s not uncommon for this price to reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. For these fleets, improving the fuel economy of their trucks by just one or two MPG can equal massive savings.
According to Technical Manager and Heavy-Duty Expert Jim Salmon of D-A Lubricant Co., this kind of fuel economy improvement can be realized without a substantial investment in new trucks or components. Instead, all it takes is switching to a lighter viscosity engine oil like API CK-4 or FA-4.
CK-4 oil is known to improve shear stability, oxidation resistance and aeration control over CJ-4 in SAE 15W-40 and 10W-30 viscosity grades. FA-4 provides similar protection to CK-4 oils, but in lower viscosity grades to meet the needs of next-generation diesel engines and help further increase fuel economy. CK-4 oil can be used as a replacement for trucks currently using CJ-4 oils, however, FA-4 oil is not backward compatible and is only supported by certain engines.
“With the price of fuel going up, the trend for a while now for both on-highway and off-highway trucks and passenger vehicles to go toward a lighter viscosity oil,” Salmon says. “If you have 200 vehicles in a fleet, you’re spending $40,000 a year or more on fuel for these trucks annually, but there’s a substantial amount of savings that can be had by using just a lighter grade oil – not changing anything else.”
For example, using D-A Lubricant Co.’s free online fuel economy calculator available at dalube.com/f-e-calc, Salmon fills in the fields for a fleet of 150 trucks traveling 120,000 miles per year at 9 miles per gallon. If the cost of diesel fuel in this fleet’s area is $3.10, the calculator shows that by switching to D-A Lubricant Co.’s Reliant Premium 10W-30 CK-4 oil that fleet could realize a savings of approximately $455 per truck annually, equaling a total fleet savings of 22,000 gallons of fuel per year.
The calculator also shows that this fleet would save approximately $868 per truck annually by switching to D-A Lubricant Co.’s Reliant Premium Plus 10W-30 FA-4 oil – saving a whopping 42,000 gallons of fuel per year.
“The proof is in the pudding. You can calculate your own fuel savings just by punching in those numbers for your fleet,” Salmon says. “What I do want to emphasize, though, is to please be sure before you switch that your OEM allows the use for your new oil in those units.”
To learn more, D-A Lubricant Co. and Fleet Equipment are hosting a free 60-minute webinar titled “How to save money on fuel: Choosing the right oil for your fleet” on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. ET. Click here to sign up.
To see a full list of D-A Lubricant Co.’s diesel engine oil offerings, click here.