Lower viscosity grades are becoming more and more prevalent each year and will soon outpace 15W-40. According to Kline & Company, the demand for 10W-30 is expected to grow to 24.6% by 2025 and 33.7% by 2030, while 15W-40 is expected to decline to 50.4% by 2030.

As the industry continues to move towards thinner oils and more fleets look to dealerships to provide them with maintenance and technical support, it pays to use lubricants that will keep their equipment at optimal performance for longer.

What Are the Benefits of Low Viscosity, Synthetic Oils?

Improve Performance for All Kinds of Engines

Synthetic engine oils aren’t just for high-performance engines. They deliver improved protection for a variety of heavy duty trucks working in extreme conditions, and many OEMs have been using 10W-30 to factory fill for almost two decades – beginning with Navistar in 1998.1 While OEMs still allow 15W-40 heavy duty engine oils to be used in trucks, customers won’t receive the maximum benefits from the new engine design.

Equipped to Handle Demanding Conditions

Synthetic engine oils help protect trucks working in conditions that require increased resistance to heat and stress. Whether your customers have trucks working in extreme temperatures, on routes with a lot of stop-and-go driving or out completing frequent long hauls, synthetic oils provide the protection their engine needs.

Superior Fuel Economy Performance

Prevention is always better than treatment, especially in the trucking industry. Minimize unplanned downtime and keep customers’ trucks on the road by recommending more high-quality oil options. With formulations like Shell Rotella® T5 10W-30 Synthetic Blend, for example, truckers can achieve up to 2% fuel economy savings.² Thin, low viscosity engine oils flow faster than high viscosity oils, so they can reach the critical parts of the engine sooner during a cold start-up and deliver better protection against wear.

Lower viscosity oils can reduce fuel costs, and by extension, CO2 emissions. Lower viscosity engine oils generally reduce the energy required to keep engine components moving, and the less fuel a truck uses, the less CO2 it emits. Like many industries, the trucking industry is increasingly moving towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting global fuel economy targets. Customers want dealerships that can guide them in achieving better fuel economy and protection without increasing their total cost of ownership or sacrificing productivity.

Stronger Engine Protection

Synthetic blend and full synthetic formulations offer greater protection against wear, deposits and oil breakdown to keep equipment performing better for longer. Oils with quality additives, like Shell Rotella® heavy duty engine oils, will better protect the engine in extreme conditions. For example, Shell Rotella® T5 10W-30 Synthetic Blend provides, on average, 44% more protection than CK-4 wear requirements.3

Extended Oil Life

Synthetic blend and full synthetic heavy duty engine oils may have a higher upfront price point, but the improvements they provide in terms of protection, oil intervals and equipment life end up saving your customers more money in the long run.

The average Class 8 truck will travel 62,751 miles each year and have a lifespan of seven years, so if the truck used an engine oil with a drain interval of 35,000 miles, it would need a total of 12 oil changes in its lifetime.4 If it used a synthetic option with lower viscosity, like Shell Rotella T5 10W-30 Synthetic Blend, the ODI could increase to around 60,000 miles and may only need seven oil changes in its lifetime. 


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Customers should always consult their OEM’s recommendation for their truck first and use oil analysis when extending drains.


[1] As reported by Commercial Carrier Journal.

[2] Compared to conventional 15W-40 in Class 8 trucks.

[3] Based on API CK-4 wear test results.

[4] Based on a fuel economy field trial program by Shell Lubricant Solutions, reported by FleetOwner.com

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