‘Owner’s Manual’: Why OEM cleanliness standards matter

What if we told you that regular oil changes may fail to prevent damage and equipment failure? It’s true. It makes little difference how often oils and lubricants are changed out, if the wrong oil is used in the first place. And the wrong oil is most often the one that’s contaminated and doesn’t meet OEM standards.

Most of the wear and tear to a vehicle is entirely preventable. Its typically caused by a failure to keep the oil in the system clean. Experts estimate that 82% of the wear and tear to mechanical equipment is caused by contamination of the oils and lubricants in the system.

If your goal is to keep your fleet of vehicles and equipment in good working order, then you must make an effort to keep on top of oil system maintenance. That means maintaining regular schedule of oil changes. But you’ll also need to make sure you’re choosing the right oil to use, based on original equipment manufacturers guidelines for cleanliness.

Here’s what you need to know. As part of the manufacturing process, OEMs have done considerable testing to determine the standards set for oil cleanliness in a vehicle, piece of equipment, or part. The standards provide information about how oil contamination levels can impact performance, and even cause irreparable damage.

Contaminated oil damages your equipment in a couple of ways. First, it can cause wear. The fine particles that contaminate oil act like sandpaper inside a piece of machinery. Second, contamination prevents the oils and lubricants from protecting the engine and vehicle components from wear. That means that the normal dirt, minerals, bacteria, and other natural debris that get into the system between components during regular use become a hazard to your equipment. The damage done can include abrasion, erosion, fatigue, adhesion, and fretting.

But the worst contamination comes from particles so small they’re impossible to see, measuring between 1-10 microns. (A micron is one-millionth of a meter. Most people can’t see particles that measure less than 40 microns.)

One source of contamination is new oil that doesn’t meet OEM cleanliness standards. Industry standards have been set and are defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

To prevent oil contamination — and preventable damage in the process — you’ll want to adhere to the OEM guidelines for your machinery, fleet, equipment and parts. That will help you to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to prevent damage, and expensive (and dangerous) equipment failures.

So, how do you find out what the ISO Clean standards are for your fleet, according to the OEM guidelines? Here are a few tips:

1. Check the owner’s manual. You can often find this information online.
2. Use an online tool, such as the Chevron ISOCLEAN Calculator.
3. Call the manufacturer and speak with a representative.
4. Call experienced fuel fleet service staff (such as the team at Greg’s Petroleum Service) to point you in the right direction.

About Us:
If you need additional information, please know that the team at Greg's Petroleum Service is here to help. As your commercial fuel and lubricant supplier in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clarita or Ventura, California areas, we are available to help answer any questions you might have. Visit us online or give us a call to learn more.

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  • Posted by jennh / Posted on 7 May / 0 Comments

Lubricant Price Increases Effective Soon

As you may have already heard, many of the major lubricant manufacturers have announced a lubricant price increase, including two of our major suppliers, Chevron Lubricants and Valvoline. They notified marketers of a general price increase on branded and unbranded lubricants and greases. The increases will be effective May 29, 2019 for Chevron and June 1, 2019 for Valvoline. Suppliers attribute the increase to the higher cost of raw materials.

Another major, Sinclair Lubricants, also announced a price increase that will be effective May 1, 2019.

Shortly after, other majors including ExxonMobil and Shell, announced a general increase of on all its lubricating oils and greases. The increase will be effective May 29, 2019.

Most recently, Petro-Canada advised its US lubricant marketers that the prices for its process oils, Purity FG White Oils, and finished products will increase. The increase will be effective May 7, 2019.

Greg's Petroleum Service strives to deliver quality products at affordable prices. For questions on how price increases across the industry may impact you, please contact your sales representative.

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  • Posted by jennh / Posted on 25 April / 0 Comments

How The Oil Industry Supports Sustainable Agriculture Production

Here's some (proverbial) food for thought. Are you aware of ways in which the energy industry supports agricultural production? Many people aren’t aware of the ways oil and agricultural production work together to optimize use of natural resources, promote conservation, feed people, grow the economy, and protect the environment.

In California, local energy production actually provides an additional source of water used to irrigate and grow crops. Although this state has faced water shortages due to growth and natural conditions, energy producers have processes in place that recycles used water, creating additional supply for farmers.

To understand how that works, you have to start by looking at some facts and statistics that contribute to the bigger picture. First, it helps to recognize how much agricultural product comes from California. Consider that eight percent of ALL crops produced in the U.S are grown in California. Those crops are 40 percent of the table foods (such as fruits and nuts) consumed nationwide.

Based on those conditions, it’s easy to understand how the hunger for water is high! So, where does the water go? Half of California’s natural water is reserved for environmental habitat. Of the remaining 50 percent, the majority (40 percent) is used by farmers. The last 10 percent is consumed by people.

But that water isn’t enough to keep farmers’ crops watered. Each year, crop acreage lies fallowed because there isn’t enough water to use in production. Enter the energy industry. For more than 30 years, energy production has created a sustainable, recyclable source of water that can be used for crop irrigation.

The recycled water is a byproduct of energy production. When oil and gas reserves below the ground are tapped, the water mixed in can be separated out and treated. When water is reclaimed from energy production, it’s called “produced water.” The water is processed, treated, and delivered to water districts in California, where it is blended with other surface and groundwater and released to farmers.

This source of water is tested by both California regulators, as well as the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

Even better, it’s a source of water that helps to conserve resources, provide a sustainable solution, and supports agricultural growth. Recently, more than 16.3 billion gallons of water recycled from energy production was used to irrigate more than 50,000 acres. That’s a statistic you can feel good about.

We’re proud to be part of the California energy industry, and to support agricultural producers as a commercial fuel delivery provider and lubricant supplier!

Need more information? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Greg’s Petroleum Service. As your fuel delivery service provider in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clarita or Ventura, California areas, we are available to help answer any questions you might have. Visit us online or give us a call to learn more.

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  • Posted by jennh / Posted on 16 April / 0 Comments

'In Bloom’: News and Facts About Almond Season in California

Did you know that California is home to the only region where almonds are grown commercially in North America? We covered this topic in a recent blog. Today, we’re sharing additional news, information, and facts about the almond season this year.

In general, the local California almond growing season is between late February and the middle to end of March. Of course, that can vary based on the conditions from year to year. So, how were conditions this year? Here’s a wrap of the 2019 almond season.

Season and conditions: This year, California growers had to deal with stormy, wet weather conditions. Warm temperatures and sunny skies in early February accelerated an early bloom, but the bloom progressed slowly after rain moved in during mid-February. After the almond bloom peaked in late February, stormy, cooler conditions in early March brought the end of the season a bit early. In the first week of March, growers saw what is known as “petal fall” – when the blooms drop from the trees. Now, the white flowers of the bloom have given way to green leaves as crops progress.

Bee Thieves: Another factor growers dealt with this year was the theft of bee colonies. Bees are critical to pollinate crops, as they collect nectar from blooming trees and spread them between flowers. But this year, almond producers found themselves dealing with bee theft, which could lead to serious issues with crop production.

Facts and FAQs: Are you aware that 90 percent of almond producers are family-owned businesses? As we consider the California almond bloom conditions, it’s useful to put it into perspective by considering ‘big picture’ conditions. Additional facts: 80 percent of the world’s almonds are produced in California; and there are multiple different varieties of almonds, that can be used for different purposes. Growing different varieties helps with pollination, and produces almonds for lots of different uses, including snacking and in recipes.

Unique Considerations: Did you know that the California almond bloom draws tourism to the state? It’s true. Many guide books lay out how visitors can check out the “California Bloom Trail,” a 62-mile loop drive that takes motorists through spectacular views of the crops. While in bloom, the sight rivals the famous cherry blossom festival.

While the almond bloom is over, the growing season will last through the summer with the tail end of harvest finishing up in October.

We’re proud to serve our local almond growers, and agricultural producers! In an upcoming blog, we’ll explore more information about the close, mutually beneficial relationship between agricultural producers and the oil and gas industry.

And in the meantime, if you’re ever in need any additional information please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Greg’s Petroleum Service. As your commercial fuel delivery provider and lubricant supplier in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clarita or Ventura, California areas, we are available to help answer any questions you might have. Visit us online or give us a call to learn more.

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  • Posted by jennh / Posted on 2 April / 0 Comments

Avoid Getting Played By Thieves Targeting Your CFN

Are you taking steps to prevent fraud, theft, and loss? Many operators are focused on fleet maintenance and overhead cost reduction and aren’t aware of the risks from thieves and scammers targeting commercial fueling network (CFN) cards. Are you protecting your CFN cards as you would a credit or debit card, or other assets tied to your accounts? If not, you’re leaving yourself and your organization at risk.

It’s a fact that scammers have developed technology to make it easier than ever to steal information and valuable assets through use of magnetic and RFID-enabled cards. They can install readers at the pump to target both magnetic strips and the newer chip technology, and use the gleaned information to clone cards and steal data that allows them to steal from you down the line.

Today, we’re going to share a bit of information that will help you protect your assets and investment, by giving you the tools you need to avoid the potential pain points of theft, misuse, and loss at the pump. We’re sharing three main ‘best practices,’ with recommendations for fleet fueling service leadership, maintenance, and support staff. You’ll want to bookmark this link to share with your team and refer to later.

Tips From A Fleet Fueling Service Provider To Prevent CFN Loss And Theft

Tip #1: Stay informed and aware.

Are you informed about the types of fraudulent practices bad actors use to steal CFN info? Unfortunately, thieves have gotten savvy about using technology to steal card information. You need to watch for the following:

- Wanding: The practice of getting close enough to a magnetic card to “read” it and steal valuable data that allows access to accounts and other information.
- Skimming: When thieves install a small, unnoticeable card reader on a fuel pump payment terminal to take the card information when you swipe it to make a payment for fuel.
- Shimming: Similar to skimming, this is a device installed at a fuel payment pump to read the newer EMV card chips and steal information to clone the card, and steal from the account.

All of these are theft practices that your team will need to be aware of and watch out for at the pump.

Tip #2: Keep track of critical information.

Getting started, you’ll want to make it a point to know the potential use amounts of fuel for your vehicles, the patterns and habits of drivers, and the typical charge amounts on your card. Otherwise, it will become hard to spot fraudulent activity.

Additionally, just as you’d want to keep track of credit or debit card purchases, and watch for out of the ordinary activity, you’ll also want to keep an eye on the amounts moving through on a CFN card. It just makes good sense, and it will save you trouble if you catch any fraudulent activity early.

Tip #3: Put preventative measures in place.

One easy thing you can do getting started is to protect cards by purchasing RFID blocking wallets or sleeves, to prevent wanding. Also be sure to inform your drivers and maintenance crew of the risks and have them take care to watch for anything suspicious at the pump on a payment terminal.

You may also want to set policies in place to better track fuel purchases, if necessary, and inform your staff of the need to prevent fraud and theft. For example, you might find it useful to restrict card usage based on need, or through a reporting system, that the drivers take part in.

Ideas include restricting card usage by time of day, geography, or amount per month. If you see purchases outside of the normal shift hours, or range for your fleet, you’ll know to check if your CFN card has been compromised or cloned.

Ready to get started? We can help and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have about CFN technology and use. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

About Us

If you need additional information, please know that the team at Greg's Petro is here to help. As your commercial fuel and lubricant supplier in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clarita or Ventura, California areas, we are available to help answer any questions you might have. Visit us online or give us a call to learn more.

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  • Posted by jennh / Posted on 21 March / 0 Comments