A new patent-pending 15W-30 engine oil blend is being officially introduced by Chevron Products Co. this week – developed specifically for the on- and off-road truck markets as well as agricultural and construction equipment applications.
The new Delo 400 SD SAE 15W-30 is a CJ-4 engine oil blend specifically formulated for what Jim Gambill, Delo brand manager for Chevron, called “severe duty” cycles characterized in trucking by higher engine revving due to stop-and-go driving on congested roadways as well as engine idling restrictions.
“These are not new conditions but they are occurring more and more frequently, putting more strain on engines,” he explained in a conference call with reporters last week. “We’re seeing more equipment usage in shorter lengths of haul due to the rise of intermodal, more growth in city fleet/hub-and-spoke operations, and much more traffic congestion exacerbating stop-and-start engine conditions.”
Randy Brillhart, Chevron’s global product manager, said the new Delo 400 SD blend is the end result of about two years of development work aimed in part at meeting a growing industry need for lower-viscosity engine oils to boost truck fuel economy.
John Green, a product technical specialist with Chevron, noted that engine tests the lubricant maker conducted with the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) found that frequent stop-and-start vehicle movement causes truck engine temperatures to increase 18 deg. F, while automatic engine shutdowns to reduce idling create a 25 deg. F spike two minutes after shutdown occurs and a 67 deg. F spike at restart.
“That ‘heat soak’ caused by frequent stops-and-starts along with engine shutdowns leads to increased oxidation conditions,” he said.
Gambrill added that similar “high heat” situations can be generated when towing heavy loads on steep grades or when cycling between fully loaded and unloaded engine operation in off-road applications, especially in the case of agriculture and construction equipment using higher efficiency engines.
For that reason, Chevron expects its new Delo 400 SD blend will find a home in the light-duty diesel segment of the truck market, specifically for those frequently engaged in towing operations.
Gambrill added that Delo 400 SD should also address another “heat soak” issue in the heavy truck space: turbocharger failures. Right now, he said industry data indicates one in seven commercial trucks can expect to suffer a turbocharger failure this year – translating into a $400 million annual warranty claim issue.
The Delo 400 SD SAE 15W-30 formulation encompasses on- and off-highway applications including 2010 and Tier 4 compliant low emission diesel engines equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems, as well as diesel particulate filters (DPFs).
Gambrill noted that third-party testing Chevron conducted showed that its new Delo 15W-30 blend offers comparable fuel economy to SAE 10W-30 Class 6 stop-and-go truck applications and up to 0.7 % fuel economy improvement with long haul Class 8 trucks when compared to a SAE 15W-40 oil blend.
Chevron pointed out that Delo 400 SD SAE 15W-30 is formulated to meet a range of OEM requirements, including the Paccar’s MX engine line for Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks, Cummins, Mack and Volvo. Additionally, it is recommended for use in select engines from Caterpillar, Daimler, Detroit Diesel and MAN.
For users with a wide mix of engine brands, Chevron said Delo 400 SD SAE 15W-30 is backwards compatible with previous API oil service categories, and engine models where XW-30 oils are appropriate as noted by the OEM.
One rule of thumb Gambrill stressed for the new Delo 400 SD engine oil blend is that in severe-duty truck operations, especially in over-the-road applications where fuel economy is in the mid 5 mpg range, oil drain intervals need to be shortened some 30% to 60%.
He added that pricing for new Delo 400 SD formulation will be comparable to current 15W-40 blends and that Chevron won’t be releasing the new blend in Canada until next spring.
Delo 400 SD SAE 15W-30 is being offered with Chevron’s “Warranty Plus” package, providing what the lubricant maker calls “bumper-to-bumper” protection from the engine to the drive train. Also, to help promote use of the new Delo 400 SD engine oil, Gambrill noted that Chevron is offering five free oil analysis tests for every 10-gallon purchase as a way to demonstrate its effectiveness to customers.
“It’s really a way to provide the proof customers need that the oil is going to do what we say it’s going to do,” he stressed.