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Have you used diluted oil?

28th June 1980, Page 32
28th June 1980
Page 32
Page 32, 28th June 1980 — Have you used diluted oil?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

I WOULD be interested to know how many of the operators who read Commercial Motor can afford to have 25 per cent of their vehicles off the road!

This is a situation my company has had to contend with during certain periods in 1979, and was caused by the disastrous effect of using a recommended engine oil which proved to be substandard. We estimate this has cost us £25,000 in additional repairs, investigations and hire of replacement vehicles — not to mention the loss of revenue!

The problem stemmed from a bulk delivery of 15/40 oil made in February 1979, a product we changed to on the recommendation of our suppliers for easier starting. Shortly after installation of the oil we experienced minor problems of lowering oil pressures and were assured by our suppliers that this could occur in older or high mileage vehicles using this oil, and there was nothing to be concerned about.

In May and June 1979 we began experiencing serious crankshaft failures affecting at least ten of our vehicles and after consultation with our suppliers they agreed to take a sample for analysis. The results showed that the product was off specification. We immediately reverted to the product we had been using for many years prior to the change — a monograde oil.

While we appreciate that it is not in the interest of a major oil company to market products which do not conform to its published specifications our investigations showed that it is highly probable that the oil in question was diluted in some way before reaching our storage tank. The important points are as follows: (1) We are informed by analysis results that the problem was most likely caused by a dilutant mineral oil.

(2) The oil carried in the compartment of the delivery vehicle immediately prior to our delivery was mineral-based.

(3) There was no question of dilution occurring in our own storage tank as this was thoroughly cleaned and drained prior to delivery. In fact the delivery driver on arrival pointed out to our receiving staff that the drain plug was not replaced.

We can understand that even in the most efficiently run organisation things such as this can happen particularly when it is necessary to employ subcontracted labour as in this case.

Our twenty years' association with this North American-owned oil company had to this point been problem-free. However, we believe one would expect a little more prompt action and co-operation from a supplier when a problem like this occurs.

Instead, for months now we have been met with excuses, delaying tactics, broken promises, and the only positive move being an insulting offer of £2000 without prejudice.

This attitude has hardened any ideas we may have had to compromise in the dispute and we are now determined to obtain full retribution for our operational losses.

I would be interested to hear of any CM readers who may have experienced similar pro blems and perhaps could off any practical advice to ensu that this "David and Goliatt situation goes the way of tl original Yours faithfully J. L. DAVIES Managing Director C. J. Hammond & Co Ltd Redhill Surrey, RH1 5HB


Locations: Surrey

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