Break the Chain
By Paula Del Castilho
Achain reaction is a series of events in which each causes or influences the next. In forestry, that’s often related to equipment downtime, since when one piece of gear breaks down, it often leaves other machines sitting idle. This is especially the case in a full-tree system like that run by Transport Hardy Inc. of Val d’Or, QC. The company handles everything from roadbuilding and log harvesting to log loading, hauling, and unloading at the mill.
By Paula Del Castilho
As a result, one key piece of gear going down can cost money and expenses all the way through the chain. Still, the 37-year-old business is combining quality equipment, preventive maintenance, oil analysis, and carefully chosen lubes to make this ugly chain reaction a thing of the past. When you’re one of the largest contractors in Quebec, serving a range of clients across the Abitibi region in the province’s remote northwest, that’s no small feat.
“Preventive maintenance is very important,” explains Jody Morrison, operations manager for the company. “We do oil analysis on all our machines and keep detailed charts and records,” he says of the practice that allows them to create baselines on their entire fleet. This includes a whopping 16 swing-boom log loaders, four articulated rock trucks, three wheel loaders, three graders, three dozers, and a processor, all working around the clock under severe-duty conditions and heavy workloads.
Cold weather is also a factor. “We are faced with severe cold temperatures in this region. It’s quite common for us to see -39 degrees Celsius, and last winter we saw -42 degrees,” Morrison adds.
Morrison was looking for an ultimate heavy-duty engine oil that would provide all-season protection and performance, making fleet management easier.
“I didn’t want to have to worry about cold weather starts, or stocking and rotating different oil grades. At the same time, I don’t need reliability issues, or premature engine or component wear. I also like to have control over my service intervals. It’s not cost-effective for me to send a mechanic out to work on one machine, when we’re talking about a 300 km drive out to the site, an hour of work, and then a 300 km drive back. I want to have the option of extending service intervals so that we can do three or four machines at once.”
To manage all this, Morrison upgraded and consolidated his fleet to Petro-Canada’s DURON Synthetic 5W-40. “It gives me great cold start capabilities, lubrication, and wear protection,” he says in explaining the switch.
DURON Synthetic 5W-40 is an all-season heavy-duty engine oil formulated to maximize reliability and minimize wear, particularly in extreme cold temperature conditions. It also helps conserve energy through ease of cold weather start up and provides exceptional fluidity without sacrificing high-temperature properties.
“It’s my job to make sure all of our machines are running at peak performance, so now I’m using the DURON 5W-40 in all our gear.”
Among other things, this allows Morrison to schedule remote service calls in a more cost-efficient manner.
“Our service intervals used to be 250 hours. Since switching to the synthetic oil, we’ve extended that to 400 hours, which gives me an extra 150 hours to play with. This helps me schedule
service appointments for several machines all on the same day.”
Paula Del Castilho (email@example.com) is a category manager, commercial transportation lubricants, with Petro-Canada.