There’s an old maxim that if fleets could add up all the fuel savings promised by fuel and oil additives, aerodynamic add-ons, components and other items, they’d be selling diesel to the oil companies instead of the other way around. That’s why Valvoline is backing its new partnership with tiwi, a telematics company, with a money-back claim: The company’s “Fuel Proof Guarantee” will refund any incremental costs incurred by fleets during a 120-day demonstration period if that fleet does not verify a 4-percent increase in fuel economy during that time.
“Too many fuel economy claims out there today have made fleets skeptical, and we know that,” says John Noal, vice president of international and commercial platforms for Valvoline. “They need proof they’re going to better mpg numbers with their own drivers in their own operations. This guarantee is a risk-free way to prove that our mpg gains are for real.”
Fleets eligible for the program will have Valvoline’s Premium Blue Extreme engine oil and Syn Gard FE gear oil installed. Additionally, the tiwi verbal coaching system is installed on participating trucks and tractors and activated to provide realtime verbal mentoring on vehicle speed, seatbelt use, aggressive driving and other bad highway habits. “Nothing impacts fuel economy as positively – or negatively – as a vehicle’s driver,” says Todd Follmer, tiwi’s chief executive officer. “Our system reinforces good behavior.”
Follmer says that although some drivers initially are resistant to having their performance monitored and coached, that passes quickly. “Fleets using our system have seen an 86-percent reduction in speeding violations and an 89-percent decrease in aggressive driving,” he adds. “And fleets that have drivers consistently obeying posted speed limits have potential fuel economy gains of up to 23 percent. And the best part is that we see no driver regression back to bad driving habits if the tiwi system is kept active.”
Fleets enrolled in the program agree to a 60-day baselineestablishment period. When that time is up, vehicles are flushed and filled with Valvoline oils and grease, and tiwi mentoring is activated. At the end of the 120-day period, Valvoline says fleets will see a 4-percent increase in fuel economy (or even higher figures for fleets in less-than-truckload or pickup-and-delivery applications), or it will remove all its oils and components from the vehicles and reimburse any incremental costs accrued during the test period.
To be eligible for Valvoline’s Fuel Proof Guarantee, fleets must meet the following criteria: • 30 model-year 2002 or newer vehicles based in a single location; • Consistent routes and drivers; and • Mandatory oil sampling and recordkeeping.