FLEET MAINTENANCE’S 2017 OIL STUDY
in partnership with Shell Rotella,
presents the study results
Maximizing uptime, minimizing costs and maintaining a safe, efficient and profitable operation
are the primary goals of any fleet. Fleet Maintenance is committed to serving as your ongoing
resource for information and knowledge on fleet maintenance and repair. As such, we provide
best practices and pertinent information to help fleets achieve the aforementioned primary goals.
On December 1, 2016, the North American lubricants industry witnessed its biggest specification
overhaul in history with the launch of the new American Petroleum Institute (API) heavy duty diesel
engine oils CK-4 and FA-4. After years in development, these new oils mark a significant step-change
for the industry as it meets the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions requirements to reduce carbon
emissions and fuel consumption.
To gauge the impact of this on the market, Fleet Maintenance has conducted an oil study for the
past two years to monitor the awareness and adoption of these oils, as well as practices fleets are
using regarding oil change intervals. The results are in, and a lot has changed from our first study.
This year, in partnership with Shell Rotella, the results of the latest oil study have been incorporated
into this 2017 Fleet Maintenance Oil Study supplement.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the 2017 Fleet Maintenance Oil Study:
» Of the individuals surveyed, 92 percent indicated they influence the decision making
process for purchasing lubricants; 73 percent were the primary decision maker for these
» On December 1, 2016, the API began licensing two new diesel engine oils: CK-4 and FA-4
(formerly known as PC11A and B). Seventy-three percent of study respondents are aware
that CK-4 is backward compatible with CJ-4 and CI-4 plus oils. Sixty percent are also
aware that FA-4 may not be backward compatible.
» The breakdown for fleets surveyed includes the following:
• 55 percent are heavy duty (Classes 7 and 8).
• 24.5 percent are medium duty (Classes 4, 5 and 6).
• 20.5 percent are light duty (Classes 1, 2 and 3).
» On average, two thirds of respondents have 100 or fewer vehicles in their fleet. The
remaining third of the respondents have 100 or more vehicles.
» There is a considerable amount of uniformity in current oil practices: 72 percent of
respondents use or have considered using fuel additives or premium diesel; 70 percent
do not use engine oil supplements.
Study results also indicated a shift in oil practices and preferences, mainly due to the two new API
diesel engine oils. Seventy-five percent of the study respondents plan to adopt CK-4 and FA-4
oils as new vehicles enter their fleet; 33 percent plan to switch to CK-4 oil in all their vehicles,
since it is backwards compatible.
Over the next few pages, we provide a general overview of the feedback from readers surveyed,
insights into fleets’ current oil practices, current oil preferences and how fleets plan to implement new
CK-4 and FA-4 oils.
MAY 2017 | VehicleServicePros.com 3
By Fleet Maintenance Staff