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SECTOR FOCUS: AUTOMOTIVE HDDO


Top tier oils drive profitable fleet management


Alan Henderson, Senior Marketing Specialist for Heavy Duty Engine Oils, Afton Chemical


Commercial fleet management has matured. Fleets are taking an increasingly strategic approach to optimising their operations, with a greater reliance on data.


Top tier heavy duty engine oils have also come of age; over 40% of medium/large European fleets will require top tier oils as defined by ACEA E6/E8 performance specifications. Top tier additives offer the longer-lasting cleanliness and improved wear protection that modern engines need, to deliver the superior productivity and profitability that fleet managers demand.


Strategic approach


As even the most fragmented and less economically developed markets increase in maturity, the trends are echoing those that have been seen in Europe for years. Competition between heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) operators is rising and fleet sizes are growing. Fleet management systems that enable hauliers to comply with statutory reporting requirements, meet the high expectations of their customers and extract maximum value from every vehicle are becoming commonplace.


Managing a profitable HCV fleet in today’s marketplace means taking a strategic approach to total cost of ownership (TCO). It’s not only about


10 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.164 AUGUST 2021


vehicle efficiency – minimising fuel consumption and planned time off the road. Additional maintenance costs arising directly from truck breakdowns also contribute to profitability. Although harder to quantify, indirect costs should also be taken into account: unreliable vehicles have a detrimental and often long lasting impact on customer satisfaction.


Finally, fleet management strategy should also look to optimise a truck’s residual value when sold on or returned at end of lease. Larger fleets often rely on selling their used trucks as a profitable revenue stream alongside their core logistics business, by commanding higher resale values through strong maintenance practices.


Proven top tier value With TCO being the number one priority reported by European fleet managers, top tier engine oils should not be viewed as only relevant for factory fill. Appropriately specified top tier fluids can add value in several measurable ways: • Increased fuel economy: just a 1% increase in fuel efficiency can save three times the cost of a top tier engine oil.


• Lower maintenance costs: increasing oil drain intervals can significantly reduce planned downtime, saving up to 10% on maintenance costs during a truck’s lifetime.


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