It's the little things that count in a lot of what we do in agriculture. When it comes to daily operation of the big machines farmers have come to count on something as simple as oil selection can be the difference between getting harvested or sitting on the sidelines waiting for repairs.
Oil producers have been fine-tuning lubricants to meet rising standards for lower ash and improved performance for the past decade. One area that many are looking at are low-viscosity oils with a rise in 10w-30 as a choice for those engines. Chevron has announced a new oil - Chevron Delo 400 SD which is an SAE 15W-30 oil designed to meet the needs of what the company calls the "XW-30" market with a different viscosity profile.
Randy Brillhart, general marketing manager, Chevron, notes that today's market is "not a one oil fits all world." He notes the company has been working to innovate what the customer needs and targeting to answer the needs of a changing on-road and off-road market.
Changing engine uses
In the on-road market, where farmers increasingly run large trucks to move grain from farm to market, higher efficiency engines are being asked to do more severe service. In some case, large Class 8 trucks are used in a stop-and-go environment, which can be hard on engines designed to run longer distances at constant speed.
In the off-highway market, Jim Gambill, Delo Brand Manager, explains, that machinery is being used in more "load/no-load" situations where the machine runs at constant rpm but the machine senses when it's not under load and changes operation until put back under load.
It's those kinds of situations that can stress a lubricant as engine temperatures can spike quickly an drop back just as fast. Temperature changes, and high-temperatures situations, can wear down engine oils, but the new Delo 400D product is designed to work in those more severe duty situations.
Chevron sponsored research at the Southwest Research Institute, which does a lot of engine research, to look at how engine temperatures change during operation. More specifically, they looked at what happens when you turn an on-road engine off. "During engine shut-off the oil return from the turbo can rise 25 degrees F," says John Green, product technical support specialist. That temp spike can rise as high as 67 degrees F just a few minutes after shutdown, he adds.
That's an on-road example, but shows what users are asking of oil these days. "Oil has to cope with those higher temperatures and that can increase oxidation," Green adds.
And farmers may find they're putting other diesels in their operations under severe service conditions without thinking about it. During a webinar detailing the new product, Green showed a light-duty diesel pickup pulling a stock trailer. That's a common sight in the country, and one where that diesel engine is sometimes stressed pretty hard. That can oxidize oil faster as well.
In tests conducted by Southwest Research Institute, the new Delo 400 SD actually out-performed two competitive synthetic oils and two synthetic oil blends. In the test, oil is heated to 210 degrees C until it produces what is called an "exothermic" peak. The new 15W-30 lasted longer before oxidizing that a range oils - including two competitive conventional oils.
In another test, which measures deposits, each of the test lubricants was poured over a rod heated to 285 degrees C and the amount of material left behind was measured. In this test the Delo product performed as well as the two synthetics included.
Standing behind new tech
According to Chevron the new product has a patent pending formula with what it calls ISOSYN technology to protect engines.
During an informational webinar, Chevron folks walked through the benefits, and did show that the new oil performed well from a fuel economy standard showing itself comparable to a 10W-30 in a Class 6 application and showing a 0.7% boost in fuel economy for over-the-road trucking. While there were no off-road examples offered, the new oil should be comparable to lighter viscosity oils in the same applications.
Whenever a company brings out a new product there are questions and Chevron is working to answer them. In fact, purchase just 10 gallons of the new product - about what you need for a heavy duty pickup oil change, and you're eligible for five free oil analyses. "This is to provide the user the proof they need that the product performs," says Brillhart.
It's also a great way to determine the right engine oil change interval for your specific application based on what's actually happening in the engine as well. You would go online to register to get those tests sent your way once you provide proof of purchase of the 10 gallons.
The new product - Delo SD SAE 15W-30 is designed for use in on- and off-highway engines including 2010 compliant engines using ultra-low sulfur diesel. And the oil is designed to "meet the most stringent [exhaust gas recirculation] soot control and particulate requirements," according to the company.
Chevron is recommending that users follow original equipment manufacturer change intervals, this product is not being released for use as a way to extend service intervals. Instead it's designed to provide enhanced engine protection over competitive oils in severe service situations.
You can learn more about the product by visiting www.thisisservereduty.com.
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