June 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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80 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | JUNE 2015 Why do I have to top-off oil in my engine? Most of you probably check your oil level each day or when you fill your fuel tank. Low oil level can lead to faster degradation (oxidation) of the oil, faster consumption of the oil additives and potentially shorter engine life. When discussing the issue of oil consumption, we must keep in mind that there are only two ways oil is consumed in a diesel engine: oil is either burned in the combustion chamber or it leaks through seals or gaskets. There are also a number of factors or conditions that can affect the amount of oil an engine consumes. Some of the factors that affect oil consumption include engine idle time, driving conditions, load, terrain, engine operating temperature, oil volatility, fuel dilution, and miles on the engine. Another important point to remember is that no two engines are alike. You may have noticed that engine oil consumption has been reduced with late model trucks. New oils help control piston deposits which results in better oil consumption control. Newer piston and piston ring designs, along with changes in engine operating conditions, are also factors. Oil formulation can help provide the best oil consumption control. Premium motor oils are formulated to exceed the most current requirements of all North American truck engine manufacturers, as well as those of the American Petroleum Institute. Shell Rotella ® engine oils are formulated with a careful balance of detergent, dispersant, anti-oxidant and anti-wear chemistry designed to maximize engine protection. Adding a gallon of oil every few thousand miles was once common. We now see late model engines that will go an entire drain interval without requiring that any additional oil be added. However, we still recommend you check your oil daily and top-off as required. To further help monitor conditions in your engine, we recommend having an oil analysis program. It is one of the most effective ways to monitor the condition of your engine. A regular oil analysis program helps you build a historic database and watch for trends in a variety of areas. Ideally, you want to analyze a sample of used engine oil after every oil change. By Dan Arcy Shell Lubricants The term "Shell Lubricants" refers to the various Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. This monthly column is brought to you by Shell Lubricants. Got a question? Visit, call 1-800-BEST-OIL or write to The ANSWER COLuMN, 1001 Fannin, Ste. 500, Houston, TX 77002. PREVENTABLE or NOT? Corvette cuts off Doe's pizza daydream H aving delivered a pallet of Mrs. Frisky's Rock-Throwing Kits to Toys Galore – off Pudd Pike, in the Smurdley Shopping Center – trucker John Doe was heading eastward on Route 409 with an empty dry van in tow. A drizzling rain was starting to fall, making the road- way slick. It also was approaching lunchtime. "A hot pizza with extra veg- gies and low-calorie cheese sure would hit the spot," Doe mused. After passing some turtle-paced traffi c, Doe continued to run in the left lane at the posted speed limit of 55 mph, daydreaming about his upcom- ing order at Paul's Pizza Palace. Simultaneously, Hortense P. Pocallia, rolling along slightly ahead in the right lane, noticed that cars ahead were stopping, but only in her lane. "There must be an accident," Pocallia concluded as she hit her brakes and swerved her Corvette to the left into Doe's path, hoping to escape the traffi c jam. Suddenly faced with the Corvette's posterior, Doe also braked hard, fi gured that he couldn't stop in time, steered into the right lane, started to jackknife and slid entirely off the road into a hefty light pole. He wasn't hurt, but his long-nose conventional now resembled a COE, inspiring his safety director to charge him with a preventable accident, which Doe contested. Asked to render a fi nal decision, the National Safety Council's Accident Review Committee upheld the preventable ruling. Despite worsening road conditions, Doe had passed more-cautious drivers instead of slowing down, even when traffi c in the next lane was braking. Under those conditions, he should have anticipated lane-hopping by Pocallia and others, NSC said. John Doe's efforts to avoid a Corvette that swerved into his path caused him to jackknife and slide off the wet road and into a light pole. Was this a preventable accident?

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