Businesses are under increasing pressure to do more with less. By maintaining valuable vehicles and equipment with the right lubricant, it is possible to reduce unplanned downtime, improve productivity and ultimately reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).
However, when it comes to keeping businesses moving, lubricants are often overlooked. In fact, a study carried out by Shell Lubricants found that while lubricant costs can account for as little as 1-2% of total maintenance costs, optimising lubricant usage and management can save 30% of operating costs.
One of the key barriers to choosing the right lubricant is a lack of training and understanding about the specific lubrication needs for each vehicle or piece of equipment. Different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have defined minimum requirements for oils and greases but not all products will meet these standards.
There’s no doubt that it can be confusing choosing the right lubricant. But it doesn’t have to be.
Choosing the right lubricant
Vehicles and machinery often operate in harsh conditions and – in addition to the OEM specification – design, environmental conditions and environment all need to be taken into consideration when selecting the right lubricant. The main application areas for off-road lubricants are the engine, hydraulic pumps and axles and transmissions which are all essential components for keeping machinery moving. For on-road vehicles, the key areas of focus are the engine, gears and axles.
Using the right lubricant helps to:
- Protect components from wear and tear due to extreme operating conditions, contact pressure and heavy loads
- Prevent oil thickening and abrasive wear caused by soot generation
- Neutralise acids and gases from the combustion process to prevent corrosion
- Extend oil life – fighting the effects of oxidation, soot accumulation and oil thickening
- Control contamination from dust and dirt which helps to prevent equipment failure
- Improve fuel economy
- Enhance energy efficiency
Ultimately, using the right lubricant helps to reduce the frequency of breakdowns and time spent on maintenance and spare parts. Lubricants that successfully limit friction can also cut the amount of power required to operate and cool equipment, helping to reduce energy costs.
Even the best lubricant cannot perform effectively if it is not applied and managed correctly. There are a number of key considerations when it comes to managing lubricant consumption and maintenance effectively including correct storage of lubricants to prevent contamination and preserve its performance characteristics.
It’s also important to use the right amount of lubricant and at the right time – any delays in changing the oil can result in accelerated wear. Monitoring oil levels and regular sampling also helps to ensure the lubricant is still working properly and there are no early signs of wear.
Buying cheaper lubricants may seem to cut costs in the short term. In reality, it can lead to increased maintenance costs over time, which ultimately affects your bottom line.
At Certas Energy, we understand that you need to keep your vehicles and machinery operating at maximum performance in all conditions. We offer a full range of hydraulic oils, engine oils, greases and other lubricants from global brands including Shell, Valvoline, Castrol and Gulf.
Our range of products meet specifications for leading on and off-road vehicle and equipment OEMs, and our technical teams support you in choosing the best-suited products for your equipment. Get ahead with the right lubricants for your business – get in touch now.