Viva Energy, which licenses Shell products for the Australian market, has revealed the results of its study, which shows that trucks can realise up to 2.5% extra fuel economy with the right choice of lubricant.
While the improvement may seem small, it can result in a considerable saving when extended to a fleet of long-range haulage vehicles.
Viva Energy went to great lengths to ensure the validity of the test. First, it selected a working truck from a fleet instead of a new vehicle to better reflect a normal situation, specifically a 560 horse power Western Star 5800 SS Prime Mover with a 14.8 Detroit Diesel DD15 engine. Next, a transient drive cycle was selected with a mix of highway, urban fringe, and city driving to represent the typical conditions a truck would encounter in Australia.
ABMARC, an independent transport research company with experience in accurately measuring fuel efficiency, performed the tests, first with a mineral-based commercial vehicle oil before switching it with a synthetic Shell lubricant and repeating the same tests. A fuel measurement system was attached to the fuel lines to accurately measure fuel consumption.
Viva Energy’s product support engineer, Paul Smallacombe, summarised the results:
“The fuel consumption saving results achieved in the testing were impressive. The Shell Synthetic Lubricants range of products performed faultlessly throughout the testing regime and this research offers real substantive benefits to the Australian transport industry. A 2.5% reduction in one of the largest cost components of transport operators is significant.”