GREENSBORO, NC – In anticipation of a new oil category set for 2016 (dubbed “PC-11“), Shell is testing an experimental new engine oil in a fleet of test trucks with the goal of improving efficiency and fuel economy.
The oil corporation has been testing its own Rotella 15W-40 and 10W-30 alongside the new oil, a 10W-30 that has viscosity properties close to what is expected under PC-11 guidelines.
This week at a shop in Greensboro, NC, Shell took several of its 2011 Detroit DD15 test engines out of their Freightliner Cascadia homes to dissassemble and demonstrate the new oil prototype’s effectiveness to trucking journalists from around North America.
What they saw is that the difference in wear, shearing, and oxidation is negligible compared to current oils while offering a more durable compound, better fuel economy and lower emissions.
Dan Arcy, Shell’s global OEM technical manager, said that the oil has to be able to protect with thinner films and hotter temperatures without compromising durability or engine life.
“Our customers have become extremely accustomed to getting long lives out of their engines,” Arcy said. “They’re not going to be willing to give that up in exchange for fuel economy.”
The test fleet drives about 402,000km per year with average loads of approximately 35 tonnes. Shell says that over these extended distances, the experimental 10W-30 performs as well as its traditional 15W-40.