Chris VandenBussche is the Director of Fleet Maintenance at Bruce R. Smith Limited, and is responsible for a growing fleet of 300 trucks.
Bruce R. Smith
Test Kits used
Mobile 2 (MOB 2)
WearCheck Canada Inc.
On the Road with Bruce R. Smith
Bruce R. Smith Limited is a rapidly growing transport trucking firm based out of Simcoe, Ontario. Chris VandenBussche is the Director of Fleet Maintenance at Bruce R. Smith Limited, and is responsible for a growing fleet of 300 trucks. To help accomplish this task Chris uses oil analysis. “I’ve always used oil analysis everywhere I’ve been, I was trained with it.” Chris’ training has come in various roles over the last 18 years while with Tandet, and Laidlaw Transport.
Justifying the cost of an oil analysis program is simple for Chris, “if it didn’t pay for itself, I wouldn’t use it”. Indeed, the oil analysis program at Bruce R. Smith Limited, has paid for itself many times over. Considering the cost of one engine failure, with repair, loss of revenue, and drivers wages, catching even one problem offsets the cost of the program for the year. “We have had problems with cavitation of cylinder liners in some of our engines”, notes Chris, “and when WearCheck’s analysis reported glycol or water in the oil we checked them immediately”.
With a predictive maintenance program in place Chris has the time to investigate other cost savings potentials in maintenance practice. Chris has changed to a long-life engine oil, Texaco’s Ursa Premium TDX, in an effort to reduce oil waste, and to maximize oil-change out intervals. In order to monitor the effectiveness of this oil in service, Chris has upgraded from WearCheck Mobile 1 kits to Mobile 2 kits. The Mobile 2 kit monitors the TBN value, and oxidation level of the oil in addition to the routine tests performed for a Mobile 1 kit. By monitoring these extra parameters the condition of the oil, and its suitability for further service can be accurately assessed.
By using Mobile Level 2 kits, Bruce R. Smith Limited has now extended the oil drain interval in their engines from 10,000 miles to 20,000 miles, and are testing some engines for 30,000 miles between oil changes. Doubling oil change intervals has resulted in a 50% reduction in oil costs, and a 50% reduction in the amount of used oil that has to be disposed of.
Bruce R. Smith Limited is a good example of company with an effectively run preventive maintenance program. Chris reviews each WearCheck report personally before passing it on to the service managers, George VanGronigen, and Steve Flemming. The service managers, in turn, react by discussing any abnormalities with the engine manufacturer. Based on the oil analysis report, the manufacturer’s knowledge, and the service managers experience the engine will either be pulled off the road for a look, or an early resample of the oil will be submitted to WearCheck to monitor the situation. How effective has the WearCheck program been over the last two years, ask Chris and she’ll tell you, “We haven’t had a major failure on the road since we’ve been doing oil analysis”.