Companies are missing an opportunity to significantly reduce the cost per kilometre of their fleet due to a lack of understanding around vehicle lubrication, a new study by Shell Lubricants has revealed.
The findings show that many companies do not realise how their lubrication procedures can influence critical operational factors. According to the report, the transportation industry in North America alone could be missing out on potential savings more than $6.5 million, while for the UK’s fleet companies the figure could exceed $11.4 million.
Deficiencies in vehicle lubrication are having a financial impact on fleet operations, at a time when cost competitiveness and vehicle reliability is a priority. Fleet operators admit that 54% of their vehicle breakdowns or unplanned downtime in the last three years were likely due to their incorrect selection and/or management of lubricants. The resulting costs are significant–32% estimate that this unplanned downtime cost their business USD 100,000 or more, and 19% believe the sum could have exceeded USD 250,000.
The international study of fleet and transport companies across Asia, Europe and the Americas commissioned by Shell Lubricants reveals that 63% of fleet operators do not understand how effective vehicle lubrication can influence unplanned downtime and 53% do not understand how lubricants can help lower costs through improved fuel efficiency.
John Walters, Shell Global Sector Manager for Fleet, said: “Fleet operators are under pressure to achieve high standards of reliability, whilst at the same time minimising operating costs to stay competitive. Vehicle availability, maintenance costs and fuel expenditure all influence the ‘cost per kilometre’ of the fleet, but the impact of lubrication on these critical factors is too often underestimated. Shell Lubricants has delivered over USD 21 million in savings to fleet customers globally over the last five years. We work closely with fleet customers of all sizes, all around the world, to help deliver significant business value by properly looking after the lubrication needs of their vehicles.”
The study uncovered several barriers that mean businesses are not well equipped to act. 67% of companies think they don’t conduct staff training on lubricants as regularly as they should, and only 33% have all the recommended procedures in place to manage lubricants effectively. Additionally, only 52% of those surveyed regard product performance as an important consideration when purchasing lubricants.
John Walters added: “When under pressure to lower maintenance costs, fleet operators often look to reduce spend on lubricants, but the detrimental effect of cheaper oils and greases on equipment can prove more expensive over time. 52% of companies surveyed wouldn’t expect a higher quality lubricant to help reduce maintenance costs. However, a lubricant that offers improved wear protection, longer oil drain intervals, and enhanced fuel efficiency has the potential to deliver significant cost savings. Beyond helping customers choose the right lubricant, Shell Lubricants also has in-field experts and a range of services to advise on correct application and management.”
Shell Lubricants has released a whitepaper to address some of these issues and show the tangible business benefits that can be achieved through correct selection and management of lubricants.
For more information: www.shell.com/lubricants