For a service-based business, the fleet is the lifeline of the organization. Whether it's making service calls or deliveries, it's important to keep the fleet moving and on the road. Choosing an appropriate lubricant is an excellent step in this direction. Lubricate keeps the engine running smoothly and also minimizes the risk of a malfunction. However, how true this statement is has everything to do with the type of lubricant used. Before selecting a new lubricant for your fleet, know what factors to consider.
As a fleet owner, your search should primarily be centered around heavy-duty lubricants. Lubricants that fall in this category are optimized for high performance and a longer life. Since fleet vehicles typically accumulate more miles than the average vehicle, both of these factors will be very important.
It's important to note that using a lubricant that is not classified as a heavy-duty grade will not necessarily cause damage to the engine. However, it will generally require that you change out the lubricant more frequently. In the long run, this may not be the most cost-effective option.
It's also helpful to consider the local climate in which your fleet will operate when making your selection. As a general rule of thumb, the warmer the climate, the thicker the lubricant, and the colder the climate, the thinner the lubricant.
When lubricant gets warm, it naturally thins out, so in a warmer climate, the heat from outside will help thin a thicker lubricant and ensure proper flow. As far as a colder climate, if you use a thick lubricant, it won't thin out properly. If the lubricant doesn't thin out, it won't flow properly and this can lead to starting troubles and even engine overheating.
All lubricants are subject to some level of evaporation as a result of atmospheric changes or burn off when the engine is operating. Make sure you understand that when it comes to the rate at which a lubricant evaporates, all lubricants are not created equal.
The rate at which a lubricant is prone to evaporation is measured by its volatility percentage. The higher the percentage, the greater the risk of evaporation. To keep your maintenance costs and efforts fewer and better protect your engine, it's best to choose a lubricant with a lower volatility percentage.
The more effort you put into choosing an appropriate lubricant, the better you can protect your fleet.