Tools for Fuel

July 10, 2015

Fuel accounts for nearly half of the operating cost of equipment, and with new-equipment prices rising, it’s no surprise equipment manufacturers are beating the fuel efficiency drum in their marketing.

Manufacturers recognize that fuel is a cost that equipment users have no real control over. Users do have control over capital expenditures, though, so convincing them that new machines produce the same work for less fuel will ease a decision to buy.

Construction Equipment investigated that marketing push in March to determine just what manufacturers mean by fuel efficiency and what the potential cost savings mean to equipment owners. Here are some additional tools, provided by equipment manufacturers, to understand fuel efficiency benefits.

  • Komatsu America was the first to recognize fuel efficiency as a strategic issue for fleet managers. It put hard numbers behind idling costs, and promoted the use of telematics to monitor idling and change operator behavior. It has designated a section of its website to house videos and training tools.
  • Volvo Construction also provided data showing immediate benefits to cutting idling time. The fuel-efficiency section on its website on which it houses tools for equipment users, including FAQs, videos and success stories. Volvo was also the first to offer a fuel-efficiency guarantee: Volvo will reimburse a portion of the additional fuel used if a new machine does not meet rated fuel-efficiency levels.
  • Caterpillar, which cites 50 percent as fuel’s portion of operating cost, recently announced its own fuel-efficiency guarantee, good through the end of the year. On its website, equipment users can find tips, videos and ways to tie job site setup to fuel efficiency. Caterpillar highlights one contractor who found a “clever way” to build operator buy-in to idling reduction.
About the Author

Rod Sutton

Sutton has served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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