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Winter transport focus: lubricants

During the busy winter season, any disruption to tight scheduling can have a significant impact on meeting deadlines and, ultimately, a transport business’ bottom line. Effective lubrication is key to delivering cost savings in winter by protecting vehicle components from the elements and extending the periods between maintenance. 

So, how can lubricants help keep your fleet moving both in winter and all year round? 

Minimising downtime

Lubricants help to protect heavy duty diesel engines, transmissions, axles and wheel bearings from the wear, deposits and corrosion that lead to frequent oil changes, maintenance and even component failure. Despite this, a recent survey by Shell Lubricants revealed that 56% of transport businesses do not expect high quality lubricants to help cut maintenance and 66% do not expect them to be able to help reduce unplanned downtime.

In reality, using a high performance lubricant that protects essential vehicle parts extends component life and increases windows between maintenance periods. Not only can this save fleets money on parts and maintenance costs, it means that vehicles can be on the road for longer, driving a greater profit during the busiest time of year.

Improving cost per mile

As well as minimising maintenance costs and downtime, the latest lubricants help to keep emissions low by protecting the performance of exhaust emission systems. Using a poor quality lubricant can degrade equipment such as catalysts and diesel particulate filters (DPF), leading to compromised systems which can contribute to greater emissions. 

Blocked DPF have also been shown to increase fuel consumption. By prolonging the life of these systems, lubricants can also contribute to enhanced fuel efficiency. With fuel accounting for as much as 35% of fleet operating costs, a lubricant that can offer even a small increase in fuel economy can be a real winter warmer for a business’ bottom line.

Protecting against the elements

During winter, vehicles drive in some of the harshest conditions of the year, operating in low temperatures, heavy rain, snow, slush, ice and sleet across grit-covered roads. The moisture and salt spray produced by driving in these conditions can impact the operational performance and life of vital vehicle components.

To avoid lengthy and disruptive maintenance periods, vehicle components must be protected from moisture through the regular application of rust-preventative aerosols. Apply a coating of rust preventative to the underbody of your HGVs. This will cure into a thin film that will protect against abrasive damage and corrosion to extend the life of parts, saving you costly maintenance spend and vehicle downtime.

By choosing high quality lubricants that deliver enhanced equipment protection during the winter months and throughout the year, transport operators can boost productivity and reduce maintenance cost to keep their fleet moving no matter the weather.

We work closely with the transport sector to provide technical expertise and deliver value by reducing TCO and increasing vehicle availability through tailored lubricant solutions. To find out more about our leading portfolio of lubricants, oils and greases, click here.  

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