Any business relying on a fleet of vehicles to operate understands that fleet-related costs are one of the most substantial expenses it will incur. Most often, controlling these expenses is the job of the company's fleet manager. The fleet manager's job description is most frequently quite lengthy, but ultimately it all comes down to improving efficiency, reducing costs, and providing compliance with government regulations. The responsibility of keeping vehicles on the road and generating revenue rests squarely on this individual's shoulders.
By now, companies have reviewed the numbers from 2019. One line item highly scrutinized by management was more than likely 'Maintenance Costs.' Whether the bottom line is red or black, companies want to cut the costs of keeping vehicles on the road. Streamlining regularly scheduled maintenance is the most obvious place to make that happen.
The responsibility for cutting costs in the maintenance department falls squarely on the shoulders of commercial fleet managers. So, where to begin? The labor-intensive oil change is an excellent place to start.
The frequency of oil changes is dependent on how a fleet operates. Typically, the low-end for oil changes are somewhere between 13,000-16,000 miles for heavy-duty vehicles and 3,000-5,000 miles for light-duty vehicles. It doesn't take long for most fleet equipment to rack up that amount of mileage, so scheduled oil changes are a significant part of a service department's routine.
In the past, maintenance technicians would spend hours removing plugs and draining oil into a container, then unscrewing the used filters--all while trying not to cause a spill that would have the EPA knocking on the door. Finally, out came a funnel, and fresh oil added to the engine. Fortunately for fleet managers and their technicians, new technology has made oil changes faster, safer, and cleaner.
The QuickFit Oil Change System from Parker is a self-enclosed, single-point connection that allows oil to extract directly from the vehicle to the final waste containment. By employing the same connection point for extraction and oil refill, the oil change process is controlled and simplified, as well as eliminating any risk of safety hazards or spills.
When used appropriately, the QuickFit System greatly reduces oil spills, and because the system creates less consumable waste, it promotes environmental sustainability. The safety factor is significantly improved as well because less spillage means workers won't be slipping and falling.
In a recent article published on VehicleServicePros.com, Matthew Walley, product sales manager for Parker, advises that even with a closed-loop system, technicians need to be aware of all parts of the system. For example, making sure the hose on the other end of the fluid being evacuated is securely positioned in the final waste drum to prevent any spilling. Walley also mentions devices or features that can be included on fluid exchange equipment, such as non-spill valves, which can help prevent spills during the disconnect.
What are the advantages of the QuickFit System? First and foremost—TIME! Most oil change times are reduced by approximately 50 percent with Parker's innovative system. This time savings is due to its ergonomic design, which provides easier access within engine compartments.
Here are some staggering statistics: In the United States, data shows that a workplace injury occurs every seven seconds, and about 65 percent of all workdays or 95 million workdays are lost due to slips, trips, and falls. That's reason enough for worker safety always being on the mind of the fleet manager. Injuries mean downtime, and downtime equates to a loss of productivity and, ultimately, revenue. Employing the QuickFit Oil Change System improves safety conditions by eliminating spills and leaks, and that translates into fewer injuries to the maintenance team.
Moreover, with fewer connection points, the chance of an operator suffering a burn is lessened, as is exposure to fluids. The bottom line is the QuickFit System keeps workers safer, cleaner, and more productive.
In the United States alone, 61 percent of used oil is disposed of improperly. Since QuickFit eliminates all consumable waste, it's not just a big win for the fleet manager and the company. The environment, too, comes out ahead; the system makes it much easier for the maintenance department to adhere to strict regulations covering the disposal of used oil.
So, as a fleet manager, is the QuickFit Oil Change System the right choice for your shop? The numbers speak for themselves:
Parker's QuickFit Oil Change System revolutionizes the process with a faster, cleaner and safer way to change engine oil. In three easy steps, technicians can purge, extract, and refill a vehicle's system with new oil without ever spilling a drop. This revolutionary process means money saved, and that’s a good thing for fleet managers when the year-end 2020 budget review takes place.
Learn more about implementing QuickFit for your fleet.
Contributed by Matt Walley, product sales manager, Quick Coupling Division, Parker Hannifin