A while back while reading here I came across the thread discussing HPL and needing an oil change soon I decided to try them out since they’re local. I sent an email asking if I could pick up a case of oil sometime.
I got an email from David Ward, the owner, inviting me to come pick it up at my convenience, and if I was interested, take a tour of their facility and lab. I wasn’t going to turn that down, so I was able to stop by on short notice Friday and was met by David and David Silver.
They were worn out from bottling 23,000 quarts of hand sanitizer to help with the battle against COVID but they spent 3 hours of their Friday evening just showing me around.
I guess I kind of expected some basic mom and pop oil shop, whatever that means, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the facility I saw when I walked in. Here was this sparkling warehouse filled floor to ceiling with totes and barrels of base stocks, additives, huge stainless blending tanks, state of the art bottling and labeling equipment. I made a comment that “you could eat off the floor in here.”
We also visited their in-house lab where they do all their testing and research. There were so many instruments they named off that I had heard of before, but it was really cool to see how the tests actually work and such. David listed off the price of each piece of equipment in that room and it didn’t take long to realize there was over a million bucks in there.
The Davids explained a lot of the give and take and compromises that have to made with lubricants and what they do to minimize those compromises. David explained his passion for racing which got him in this business to begin with, and with some wins under their belt with no paid sponsorships, they were able to kind of snowball that success into other industries that demand the highest quality lubricants.
It was also really interesting to see some graphs and charts showing their oils compared to other competing oils when it comes to foaming, oxidation resistance, corrosion resistance, etc. There was another machine which I forgot the name of that has a diamond inside it that records frequency and can help show what is in a given oil.
Admittedly by this point they were talking a bit over my heads but to say the least the comprehensive study and science, dedication to absolute cleanliness, and refusal to settle is what really stuck out to me. Having all their tanks inside is a big bonus too because they can control temperature and humidity and condensation which keeps moisture out during the blending process that inevitably occurs with outside tank setups.
All in all I couldn’t have been more impressed with my visit. These guys are passionate and driven and are serious about their products and their customers. I always root for the underdog that’s out there trying to carve out a niche for an ultra-premium product and HPL is doing just that.
As a disclaimer (because I know someone will accuse me of being a shill) I did not ask for a tour and I happily paid for the case of oil I took home and put 8 quarts of it into my Yukon Saturday afternoon.
Here are some pictures I took with their permission: