Synth Cost/Benefit Analysis?

Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
Hey, my forest is considering synth for the fleet pending cost/benefit analysis. Anyone have any links to any of these done by other companies/agencies? Right now the routine from the fleet manager is 3 mos/3k or manufacturer's recs. However, since most of us are responsible for taking our assigned rig to get the oil changed ourselves, we go to gas stations/quick lube places and go dino 3k. I know it's a waste of money but don't know how to put it into the right terms. Then again perhaps it's not since we spend most our time on dusty gravel roads. I'm not responsible for the analysis but figured I'd provide some helpful insights. I'd like something a little more authoritative than a little blurb from Uncle Al... [Wink]
 
Messages
34,159
Location
Southern NJ
How many miles per year are you looking at per vehicle? Would you be able to change the oil yourself? With a good synthetic, you could go 15k miles or one year, which ever comes first. I would recommend routine oil analysis at least once a year. I don't think it would be worth it unless you extend drains this far.
 

BrianWC

Thread starter
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
Nah, I doubt people would take to changing their own oil. Perhaps with a change to synth, though, the district fleet person could oversee the longer drains. Most of our offices/work centers do have the ability to do oil changes.... On the low end of the fleet, trucks may get 7-8k yearly. On the other end of the spectrum 15-20k? Hmm, but like I said, I wonder if the severe service we put the trucks thru would make a difference...
 
Messages
111
Location
Richmond, VA
I would continue with the 3 mo 3k changes. Most folks probably even some fleet drivers just gas and go. Going in every 3 mo helps with low oil, etc. that might not be caught with a longer interval. Theoretically you could probably go longer with dino, and certainly with syn....but at the end of the day optimizing your change interval is not the only dynamic you are managing. I am sure you will hear lots of horror stories re stealerships and iffy lube.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
Sure it would be nice to reduce the frequency of service in any fleet operation. The difference is that your primary interest of your outfit isn't trasportation. They aren't in the horse business ..even though they use them everyday. You would have to do UOA to figure out how good your current method is working before you could apply the synth template of getting the same miles/$$ (or more) out of your OCI. Then the savings only has to be in terms of productivity. More time doing your job instead of tending to the horses.
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
The 3month 3,000 mile oil changes are the best so as mentioned the cars get "hopefully" the tires aired fluids checked etc. This type of interval is used cause it works best in real life.
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
The 3month 3,000 mile oil changes are the best so as mentioned the cars get "hopefully" the tires aired fluids checked etc. This type of interval is used cause it works best in real life.
 
Messages
47,776
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
You should calculate it yourself. Include ALL costs, time, manhours, etc. Extended OCI's work fine for fleets, in fact typically better than the single vehicle comparison here on BiTOG. By your description it sort of sounds like in general these vehicles are/can be ignored. That is never a good thing.
 

BrianWC

Thread starter
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
Well, I hate to say it but the "I didn't pay for it" attutide is pervasive. However, recent stronger emphasis on safety as well as strained federal budgets as of late have the agency looking for ways to make the fleet safer, more fuel efficient and of course, cheaper. We do have mechanical inspections periodically. Otherwise, it's up to the individual the rig is asigned to.
 
Messages
23,776
Location
CA
Any SM/GF-4 rated full synthetic engine oil will last 7500 miles or 1-yr, whichever comes first. There's no need for an upgraded oil filter either, even an orange can will do fine. In order for this program to be successful, your employer needs to somehow mandate monthly oil level checks on all fleet vehicles.
 
Messages
6,156
Location
Buffalo, NY
I know of no specific synthetic oil studies, but you might start with the infamous "Consumer Reports" study regarding engine oils in NYC taxi cabs...
 
Messages
2,187
Location
Arizona
Brian, from my experience with pickups in severely dusty agricultural conditions (very heavy use as well), synthetics can more than triple your current OCI. However, that is predicated upon excellent air filtration and seal against dirt ingress. The only reliable way I know of to check that is with UOA.
 
Messages
537
Location
California
The value in synthetics is related to the problems they prevent, not just to money saved by extending the OCI. Some synthetics actually do help hard run engines last longer.
 

BrianWC

Thread starter
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
quote:
Originally posted by carock: The value in synthetics is related to the problems they prevent, not just to money saved by extending the OCI. Some synthetics actually do help hard run engines last longer.
I realize that but we actually don't usually have any engine maintenance in the time we use the vehicles anyway. Tires and battery are typically the only things replaced in adition to fluids/filters.. So money spent on oil and filters is the main concern.
 
Messages
782
Location
Alberta
As pointed out, the one advantage with 3/3 is that the oil gets “checked”/changed regularly, so even if the vehicle is burning/using 1 liter every 3K miles or so, it’s not really a big deal. A friend of mine Michele (girl) just bought a new Ford Focus last year. When I asked her about checking the oil, she said it gets checked when she brings it to the dealer for its service and oil change (whatever interval that happens to be-- probably 6 months or a year. I’ll have to ask). She would never know how to check the oil and I imagine this is the case with the vast majority of females. I know there are even a fair amount of guys these days that never check the oil. Probably more than when I was growing up in the 70’s where just about every guy I knew had changed the oil in some vehicle at some point. Before the era of fast lube joints. If these non-oil-checkers (which seem more common now than ever because more females are owning and driving their own cars) happens to be driving a car that uses a some oil -- say 1 liter/3k miles, and the oil only gets checked and changed every 6 months or once a year, and maybe up to 10k miles gets driven between an oil change. There isn’t going to be much oil left in that engine when it goes in for service, and a lot of that engines life will be spent running while low on oil and maybe getting down to as low as 1 liter at some points. I think you could run the latest SM oils out to 5-6k miles without a problem. But for any “extended” OCI the oil needs to be checked and topped up if necessary. So something would have to be put in place for that.
 
Messages
632
Location
Idaho
Set up an account with a few lube shops for a 7.5 K semi synthetic or group III synthetic OCI. On the 15 to 20 K rigs do the OCI every 4 months. I am sure it would save big bucks. You could figure the numbers easy per mile by the cost vs. mile figure. I am sure the group III or semi synthetic would only run 15 to 20 dollars more per OCI. For 4.5 K more miles per OCI the numbers already look good in my mind!
 

BrianWC

Thread starter
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
Well the thing is we are spread throughout the state and don't have the same quicky lubes everywhere. It could be done, though. Perhaps the best thing would be just to enforce the manufacturer's OCI with dino....since the cheap insurance/3k attitude is pervasive. Yep, some of these vehicles only get driven a couple of miles a day (if that) while others are pretty beat up driving down logging roads and worse.
 
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