Bio-based Lubricants: An Environmental Solution for Fleets


Industry professionals can ensure they have a positive impact on the environments in which their clientele live and work on a daily basis when they select bio-based hydraulic fluids, greases and other lubricants.

The waste industry and municipal leaders continue to be pacesetters in regards to environmental stewardship, with many organizations having converted some or all of their fleets to clean burning natural gas engine technologies and hybrid-electric vehicles. The net result is a significantly reduced environmental impact from these power units due to a capital equipment investment proven to lower carbon and NOx emissions. With fleets operating in both urban and rural settings, the health and wellbeing benefits to citizens in the operating areas of these progressive fleets are notable indeed.

Refuse fleets are known for operating in a number of different areas and terrains, including near waterways and certainly over soil. The potential damage to the environment as a result of an inadvertent lubricant leak, which could potentially impact both water and soil quality, suggests that responsible equipment owners/operators consider additional pro-environmental steps in regard to their overall maintenance program.

A lubrication strategy to minimize the risks associated with potential environmental exposure is to integrate the use of readily biodegradable, minimally toxic, non-bioaccumulative lubricants into fleet operations. Grueling stop and go driving, intermittent highway driving, and even some off-road driving encountered in rural areas is a daily occurrence that is tough on equipment and componentry and the potential for lubricant leaks is high, which makes the advantages of integrating the use of high performing bio-based lubricants quite compelling.

Potential Damage
Hydraulic systems have a particularly high risk of potential physical damage due to the exposed hoses of the system, and the likelihood of a busted hose resulting in a hydraulic oil spill is extremely high. Bearings, U-joints and other grease-lubricated applications also have the potential of releasing lubricant into the environment.

The monetary ramifications of an unintentional lubricant spill may include expensive cleanup and remediation costs due to environmental damage, not to mention the negative impact a spill could have on an organization’s brand and reputation.A conversion to readily biodegradable, minimally toxic and non-bioaccumulative lubricants is easily done, with no changes to established PM programs, and absolutely no decrease in lubricant performance when used in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. A conversion to bio-based lubricants is a viable alternative available to fleet owners to mitigate the negative impacts resulting from an inadvertent release of conventional petroleum and synthetic lubricants to the environment.

Once the value of converting to biodegradable lubricants that perform in service and also eliminate or minimize the negative monetary and environmental effects of an unintended release is realized, the process of choosing a viable option can be intimidating due to a lack of insight into the proper selection for these types of lubricants.

By partnering with a reputable bio-based lubricants supplier that has a proven track record of supplying high performing products, industry professionals can be sure they are choosing lubricants that protect their costly capital equipment investments, while at the same time expanding their already significant environmental accomplishments. It is time to make the easy transition to bio-based lubricants and eliminate the risks completely.

Source: BioBlend Renewable Resources,
Crevier Lubricants Inc.

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