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#3186824 - 11/13/13 05:21 PM Diesel genset oils & prices??
KenO Offline


Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1174
Loc: Auburn, GA
In my line of work, I deal with after hours approving or denying cost increases for a variety of PM and repair procedures for a large corporation. I just had a supplier call in for a cost increase approval for a PM service for a disel genset. They wanted $44/qt for 5W-30 synthetic oil. Even with 100% mark-up, I can't for the life of me think of a HDEO 5W-30 syn that would cost $20/qt. What could they be using??
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1995 Volvo 960 ShagginWagon
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#3186836 - 11/13/13 05:35 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
Bandito440 Online   content


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 1636
Loc: Northern NY
Unicorn tears?

Has anyone seen a diesel generator that specs 5w-30?

Tell them to get some Rotella T6 at $5/qt.
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#3186838 - 11/13/13 05:37 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: Bandito440]
KenO Offline


Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1174
Loc: Auburn, GA
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Unicorn tears?

Has anyone seen a diesel generator that specs 5w-30?

Tell them to get some Rotella T6 at $5/qt.



Ya, I didn't quite get the spec either, maybe it's some specialty HDEO?? It's at a high altitude, and in the Pacific NW, and it's a site that runs pretty often during the wintertime, but still. I called the person in charge of the site,a nd since they're already on site with the oil, they're going to use it, but it will be investigated after the fact. In the end, it would cost more to tell them to leave and come back with a different oil.


Edited by KenO (11/13/13 05:39 PM)
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1995 Volvo 960 ShagginWagon
1995 BMW 328ti
1997 Chevy C2500 5.7l V8
1998 BMW 528i

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#3186875 - 11/13/13 06:07 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
yucca Offline


Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 514
Loc: NM
I have several dozen 500 KW gen-sets in the fleet. All CAT powered. I think the last bill I signed the HDEO was 11.25 per gallon.

What is the make, model and spec of the gen-set? What is the brand of oil?

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#3186894 - 11/13/13 06:22 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
djb Online   content


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 483
Loc: Maryland
Hmmm, that's a pretty strong incentive to only have unicorn-tear oil in the service truck. The customer has a choice of paying for expensive oil, or a return visit with regular oil. Perhaps also carry under-spec oil, so it's not quite as obvious.

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#3186937 - 11/13/13 07:01 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24167
Loc: ME
They really screw over the business to business business.

The guys who maintain our rooftop AC units make separate service calls for belt tightening vs filter changeout. As the turn-ons of the units are staggered only one sees any real work load but the rest of them get new filters while their practically new filters get chucked in the trash.

Our work generator runs off natural gas and does take a fairly interesting natural gas spec'd oil. We have a 5 gal pail that's gone forgotten about. Its batteries are 8 years old and I can't wait to see the markup on those. We're cunning, though: We won't fix it until it breaks. thumbsup

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#3186972 - 11/13/13 07:24 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
KenO Offline


Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1174
Loc: Auburn, GA
It's a 35KW Cummins fixed genset with a GM engine, propane/spark ignition.
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1998 BMW 528i

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#3187719 - 11/14/13 02:51 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
KenO Offline


Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1174
Loc: Auburn, GA
After some googling, it's more than likely a propane-injected, GM Vortec 305. Why such a clean burning, run of the mill engine needs $40/qt oil is beyind me.
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1995 BMW 328ti
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1998 BMW 528i

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#3187802 - 11/14/13 04:28 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
yucca Offline


Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 514
Loc: NM
Do they have to hike the oil into the location or something?

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#3187853 - 11/14/13 05:42 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14643
Loc: Midwest
Does the cost of the oil include labor?

Gaseous fueled engine oils are more expensive because of the salicylate detergents needed, but even Lubrication Engineers oil for those engines aren't that expensive.
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#3187934 - 11/14/13 07:18 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: MolaKule]
KenO Offline


Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1174
Loc: Auburn, GA
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Does the cost of the oil include labor?

Gaseous fueled engine oils are more expensive because of the salicylate detergents needed, but even Lubrication Engineers oil for those engines aren't that expensive.



No, labor was separate. I didn't realize that propane-powered vehicles would require a special lubricant. I was under the impression since they burnes significantly cleaner than gasoline, it wasn't a big issue.
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1995 Volvo 960 ShagginWagon
1995 BMW 328ti
1997 Chevy C2500 5.7l V8
1998 BMW 528i

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#3187967 - 11/14/13 07:46 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14643
Loc: Midwest
Many of them require a low to medium ash formulation with special detergency adds.


I would contact Lubrication Engineers and get a quote on 5 gal pails.

LE Dry Fuel Engine Oils

$40/quart is nutty price.

I would also do some homework and find out what the engine is and the required engine oil.

Also ask this group what oil they put in (get a detailed itemized receipt) since you ARE paying for it.

For comparison, Amsoils dry fuel oil costs about $11.00/quart retail in 5-gallon pails.

Dry NG fuel Engine oil


Edited by MolaKule (11/14/13 07:54 PM)
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#3188293 - 11/15/13 07:16 AM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
RF Overlord Offline


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3155
Loc: Cape Cod, MA
That's absurd. (Not referring to Mola's comments, obviously)

We have a number of propane powered standby sets (60 kW) that are serviced with plain old HDEO. I believe the last time the service provider used Peak. At least one of them has been in service for 5 years with no apparent issues.
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#3189056 - 11/15/13 09:21 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
KenO Offline


Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 1174
Loc: Auburn, GA
FYI, I looked in the notes of the workorder that they made a correction - the vendor made a note to specifically inform me that the oil requested was 5 x 5-quart containers.....That was NEVER the case in point at the time of the initial cost request. So, 25 quarts for $219.96, $8.80/qt. Thats a MUCH more livable pricepoint. I have a feeling had nobody noticed, they might very well have stuck us with 5 quarts only.
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1995 Volvo 960 ShagginWagon
1995 BMW 328ti
1997 Chevy C2500 5.7l V8
1998 BMW 528i

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#3189552 - 11/16/13 02:06 PM Re: Diesel genset oils & prices?? [Re: KenO]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2143
Loc: California
The only special oil I've used for a diesel generator was GE Generation 4 approved oils and for the GE diesel locomotive engines, we last used Chevron Delo 710 LE which was a replacement for the previous Delo 6170 cfo. Low zinc pack because of the silver used in the bearings.
We would get something 1500-1600 gallons for around $13k or so delivered.
There were a lot of other oils listed.

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