Following what the company referred to as a “year of transition” for the heavy-duty diesel engine lubricants business, top representatives from Petro-Canada Lubricants said the rollout of its all-new Duron lineup of engine oils marks a “a big milestone in the industry and for Petro-Canada,” says Barnaby Ngai, the company’s marketing manager.
“This was the biggest specification overhaul in the industry’s history. From our perspective, it was definitely one of the largest projects in recent memory,” said Ngai in a press event held last week at Petro-Canada headquarters outside of Toronto.
The new Duron products, developed as part of the industry’s transition to the new CK-4 and FA-4 generation of lubricants, came to market just shy of a year ago, last December, when official licensing of the two new oil categories began. The new lineup is made up of four tiers. In the CK-4 category, Petro-Canada provides Duron High Performance (HP), Duron Super High Performance (SHP) and Duron Ultra High Performance (UHP). The fourth tier is Duron Advanced, its new FA-4 product.
But the overhauled lineup was in the works well ahead of last December, says Petro-Canada, and the company has millions of kilometers and miles of testing behind its new Duron lubricants.
The next-generation engine oils are, in short, designed to handle the needs of modern engines and aid in lowering fuel consumption and, thus, emissions of greenhouse gases. Both CK-4 and FA-4 lubricants are meant to last longer and extend oil drain intervals by providing better shear stability, standing up to oxidation and reducing aeration, among other improvements over prior generations.
The new lubricants are meant to be tougher than their predecessor, and that’s how Petro-Canada bills its new Duron products. “We’ve reinforced tough,” says John Pettingill, product specialist. “We have tested tough in the lab” and “the toughest of extreme loads,” he says.
Ngai says the deployment of the new line has been “a complete success,” with Petro-Canada having converted all of its customers to the new oils.
While the CK-4 lubricants are meant to replace the prior CJ-4 category out right and are backwards compatible with nearly all engines on the market, FA-4 products are designed to work mostly with 2017 engines and newer, though manufacturers have the ultimate say in recommending which lubricant to use in their engines. FA-4 oils are “thinner,” meaning they have a lower viscosity. They’re designed to boost fuel economy by providing less friction between engine components while providing the same level of engine protection as thicker oils.
In addition to bringing a completely refreshed lineup of Duron products to market, the company rebranded the lubricant products with redesigned labels, new names and new colors to help buyers identify the proper product for their equipment. Particularly, the FA-4 products received special branding treatment. “We wanted it to stand out like a sore thumb,” says Ngai of the product’s distinct yellow branding. “That’s entirely on purpose.”
As part of the switch to the new generation of oils, Petro-Canada has solicited both Canadian and U.S. fleets to take what the company calls the Duron Challenge, in which Petro-Canada partners with fleets using competitor products to run real-world tests with Duron products. “100 percent of customers who did the challenge saw benefits, whether that was extended drain intervals or reduced component wear, longevity of the engine,” says Ngai.
Petro-Canada also has online resources available to help educate oil buyers about its products and the new oils in general: Duronthetougherthebetter.com, which provides educational materials about CK-4 and FA-4 products, and the Lube 360 Selector Tool, which helps fleets choose the proper lubricant for their fleet.