Lorne Fleming, CEM, doesn't mince words when discussing emissions regulations. The "barbarians are at the gate," Fleming told attendees at AEMP's Annual Conference last month in Orlando. "It's a reality that we're going to have to deal with."
Fleming manages the equipment fleet for Grace Pacific, and he presented several sessions on emissions and green fleet management over the course of the conference. Unlike the vast majority of equipment managers, Fleming has successfully built an emissions plan for his Hawaii-based fleet.
Last year we asked managers if their fleet had a formal emissions plan or strategy, and 82 percent said no. No doubt, as the California initiatives have become more publicized, that number has dropped. We certainly hope so.
If not, any manager running a fleet that operates in California, or any of the 16 other states anticipated to adopt California regulations, must put an emissions plan at the top of the priority list.
Fleming offered attendees a plethora of tips, but we'll only pass along a few.
- Upper management must buy in, especially the corporate financial managers, in order to budget for the capital expenditures necessary. Emissions-related costs will be the biggest capital expense for the near future. Fleet managers must be able to fund or purchase aftertreatment hardware, GPS monitoring devices, engine retrofits or replacements, and even, yes, new machines.
- The window is closing on grant money. Once emissions regulations become law, most of these dollars go away. Act now.
- Involve the Equipment Triangle (include OEMs and distributor partners). Products must be verified, compliant and effective.
- Partner with an environmental expert. There are "too many bomb craters" to go it alone, Fleming says.
Emissions control is not going away. Management of same must start today.