Stevens Transport testing onboard oil refiner system

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Stevens Transport has completed the first year of its long-term plan to outfit the company’s entire fleet with the OPS-1 onboard oil refiner system from Oil Purification Systems. At the end of the first year, Stevens Transport has outfitted the OPS-1 system on nearly 50 percent of its fleet of more than 1,600 trucks.

“With a large fleet of trucks, one of our most costly reoccurring maintenance expenses has been oil changes,” says Eric Smith, Stevens Transport’s director of maintenance and equipment. “The OPS-1 Oil Refiner enables us to decrease our maintenance costs with fewer oil changes, and also saves us money in decreasing the time required to take each truck off the road to perform an oil change. By keeping the oil cleaner, the system also helps extend the life of the engine as well as ensure compliance with EPA regulations. As our entire fleet is outfitted with the OPS-1 system over the next couple of years, we expect to save more than a million dollars per year on the cost of oil changes alone.”

The OPS-1 reduces or eliminates the solid and liquid contaminants from engine oil, thereby greatly extending the time between oil changes — or eliminating them entirely, according to Oil Purification Systems. Instead of changing the oil every 30,000 miles, analysis of the oil determines the required interval for an oil change. Weighing only 11 pounds, the OPS-1 is a compact, two-piece system that can be split up for easy installation on the engine, the company says.

Stevens’ fleet maintenance crews are continuing to install the OPS-1 on approximately 50 trucks per month. During the year, Stevens Transport estimates that it has achieved an 80 percent oil maintenance cost savings on each truck fitted with the system by eliminating three to five oil changes per year. By keeping the oil cleaner and preserving the engines, Stevens expects to be able to use its trucks a year or two longer, with an even greater savings on capital expenditures.

The company first installed the OPS-1 on three trucks in March 2003 for a pilot test. The first truck in the test ran 70,000 miles before an oil change was performed. The Stevens truck maintenance crew changed filters every 30,000 miles, and sent oil samples to a third-party laboratory for analysis. Although the oil analysis at 70,000 miles didn’t mandate an oil change, Stevens chose to take a conservative approach and change the oil during this testing phase. As the company became more comfortable relying on the oil analysis to determine oil change intervals, the second test truck ran approximately 140,000 miles, while the third truck was able to run 192,000 miles before an oil change was necessary.

“With oil prices continually on the rise and new EPA regulations expected in 2007, Stevens Transport is ahead of the technology curve with its decision to outfit its entire fleet with the OPS-1 Oil Refiner,” says Tom Bock, Oil Purification Systems vice president of operations. “We are extremely pleased that they have chosen the OPS-1 to help their trucks run more efficiently.”