It wasn’t all fun and games in San Antonio with Shell. In addition to checking out the beautiful iron at SuperRigs, we had important work to do! Shell gave us an insightful update on the upcoming PC-11 engine oil category, which will include two sub-categories: PC-11A, a straight replacement for your current CJ-4 engine oils; and PC-11B, a fuel-economy oil that’ll be of a lower viscosity for significant fuel savings.

Until now, we’ve heard all along that the PC-11B fuel economy oils will not be backwards compatible. However, Shell seems to be taking a more optimistic view about this. Extensive field testing is showing PC-11B oils can work just fine in existing engines without compromising wear protection.

This is encouraging. Shell’s Dan Arcy said there’s hope the PC-11B oils will at least achieve “limited backwards compatibility” and at least one engine OEM seems to agree.

“Engine durability cannot be compromised,” said Greg Shank, executive staff engineer with Volvo Group. “We’re starting to get good data that says it won’t be. We’re hoping we can go back as far as EPA07…Our engine hardware hasn’t changed a lot since 2007, so that’s our goal, to get back to there. It’s a big deal to our customers and it’s a big deal for us and it could be a competitive advantage for us to go back as far as we can.”

You can read more about PC-11 here. Or if you want to dig into it even further, check out this feature I wrote a few weeks ago.

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James Menzies is editorial director of Today's Trucking and TruckNews.com. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 24 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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