Though the new federal fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks might not go into effect until 2014, fleet owners and OEMs can take immediate steps to help reduce fuel consumption, as well as lower engine oil usage, according to officials from Castrol Heavy Duty Lubricants. By switching to a technologically-advanced low-viscosity synthetic diesel engine oil and leveraging other equipment specifically engineered to reduce fuel use, fleets and OEMs can start getting closer to future standards today, says Dave Berlin, Castrol’s Heavy Duty marketing director.
The guidelines announced by President Obama on May 21 – a first for heavy-duty trucks – are expected to require upwards of 25 percent improvements in fuel efficiency. “There are two ways to view the new targets,” Berlin says. “As a burden, or as a great opportunity to think and act on a broader scale to operate more efficiently … and profitably. We advocate the later.”
As an example, switching to Castrol Elixion, a 5W-30 viscosity oil with certified API CJ-4 performance, can provide an up to 4 percent fuel economy improvement over conventional oils, Berlin says. “In addition to fuel economy, Castrol Elixion helps extend oil drain intervals and minimizes oil consumption through less burnoff,” he says. “All this translates to less maintenance, less labor and, most importantly, getting that much closer to meeting the new targets.”
For OEMs, the company has dedicated fuel-efficiency experts to assist in the design and engineering of new engines and other machinery to improve fuel economy and eventually help comply with the 2014 targets. “Our engineers and development teams have spent thousands of man-hours on real-world tests dedicated to innovating and improving the efficiency benefits through the use of our products,” says Matt Rudd, heavy-duty on-road manager. “By working closely with OEMs, we’re helping to bring more efficient power units to market and benefiting the industry as a whole.”