For any transportation company, taking vehicles off the road for regular oil service is a constant challenge. While necessary, it means the loss of time and money that could be invested in better serving customers.
R.E. WEST TRANSPORTATION
R.E. “Bob” West built his company by tackling challenges like these head on. In 1969, West bought his first truck at the age of 16. Today, R.E. West Transportation is a nationally recognized contract and dedicated carrier with a fleet of 120 trucks and 300 trailers. Still a family business based in Nashville, Tennessee, the company’s trademark black trucks can now be seen on highways throughout the United States and Canada.
Since the company’s early days, R.E. West has depended on Chevron’s Delo® lubricants for its fleet. Even though their trucks often see severe service, the superb protection provided by Delo products means the company’s trucks regularly achieve 50,000-mile drain intervals when done in conjunction with oil analysis.
With a keen eye on its oil analysis program, R.E. West decided the extended engine durability Delo provided meant they could safely extend the oil drain intervals on their Detroit Diesel DD15 engines—from the OEM recommended 50,000 miles to 70,000 miles.
“Even with the extension, the company continued to see clean engines in top condition with minimal wear,” says founder and CEO Bob West.
CLOSER LOOK AT THE ENGINE
The company recently tore down one of these DD15 engines with 400,000 miles of service using Delo 400 LE SAE 15W-40 to see how it was holding up with the extended oil drains.
“The protection Delo offers was clear,” says R.E. West maintenance manager Dustin Stricker, as he examined the engine.
Piston: Shows very minimal deposit formation with ring lands clear of hard deposits ensuring no ring sticking and excellent compression performance.
Wrist Pins: Exhibits no abrasive wear or skidding marks, indicating that the Delo 400 LE SAE 15W-40 is providing excellent wear protection.
Main Bearings: Shows no wear and looks as though they are brand new; they can be used again in this engine due to their excellent condition.
Cam Shaft Rollers: In very good condition with rollers showing no wear or deposit buildup.
Connecting Rod Bearings: Show very slight “rub-off” of black overlay designed for break-in; otherwise, the bearings are in superb condition and can easily be used again.
“With the extended drain intervals we’ve seen great wear [protection],” Stricker says. “You can just see here by looking at this—the head and valves and everything—that it can well withstand the extended drains. It’s proven right here that you can stretch them out without any major issues.”
R.E. West invited a team from Chevron Lubricants to observe the tear-down. Inspecting the engine, Chevron mechanical engineer Keith Narasaki said that despite the severe service the engine had seen and the extended drain schedule, its piston deposits were minimal, and wear on liners and bearings was low.
“What I’m looking for is wear and deposits on the engine parts, and it’s performed very well. It’s very exceptional,” says Narasaki. “On a scale of zero to 10, many of these parts would be 9.5, 9.6, which is almost like a new engine.”
“The same level of protection could be seen throughout the engine,” added Chevron Lubricants senior consulting scientist James McGeehan. “The cam shaft lobes for both the exhaust valves and intake valves were in great condition, with minimal wear on the shaft housing or bearing housing.”
“The overall picture is … it’s absolutely clean. There is absolutely no sludge,” McGeehan says. “Minimal wear and negligible scratching. This engine will do another million (miles) beyond where we are today.” ■
Note: When extending oil drains, always follow OEM recommendations and utilize used oil analysis.
About The Author:
Delo® with ISOSYN® Technology combines premium base oils, high-performance additives, and Chevron formulation expertise to provide superb parts protection to help maximize investment for companies like R.E. West. Chevron’s Delo brand of lubricants with ISOSYN Technology helps provide extended service protection, maximize engine durability, and minimize operating costs. For more information about Chevron’s products, visit www.chevrondelo.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, January 2014
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.