Grants Pay to Repower Two D8Ns

September 28, 2010

Great Lakes Construction Co., a highway and heavy contractor in Hinckley, Ohio, was turned down for its first Ohio Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) because they hadn’t formed a partnership with a public agency.

“We knew there was going to be another round in the fall of '08,” says Jim Fox, vice president, “And we figured we’d better get busy finding a public partner.”

Fox selected the City of Lakewood, Ohio – a town known for its “green” image where he knows some officials – to recruit a partner.

Their plan was to repower a pair of D8N dozers for lower emissions. Fox met with the city services director, got on the schedule for the next city council meeting, and made a simple pitch. It wasn’t hard to convince the city council to act as Great Lakes’ eligible-entity partner and submit their proposal to the state.

“They liked the idea of being on the leading edge, so it passed through the council,” Fox says. “The city lawyers crammed and we had the agreement in hand the week before it was due before the Ohio Department of Development.

Ohio Cat really made us aware of it (grant possibilities) first,” Fox says. “And then we went to an AEMP (Association of Equipment Management Professionals) conference two years ago and my equipment superintendent, Matt Hurd, and I went down got an education about CARB diesel emissions regulations, and that, ‘Hey, it’s coming to a state near you.’ We figure we’d better start paying attention.

“Ohio Cat helped us identify what pieces of equipment might make the most sense in a grant proposal,” Fox says. “The one thing that we really noticed was that we wanted to go after stuff that was high horsepower and high utilization – those are the two keys, to get the most bang for your buck.

The D8s get about 1,100 hours a year, and Caterpillar packages and prices a repower kit that makes the repair a simple addition to a grant proposal.

Great Lakes’ two D8Ns had been rebuilt about 10 years ago and were coming due for rebuild. With the DERG money, they would be able to upgrade to a new, more fuel efficient Tier 3 engine for not much more than that rebuild.

“The Tier 3 got more of a bang for the taxpayer’s buck, and what you're really trying to do is reduce the most emissions – it's always cost per reduction of NOx and cost per reduction of particulate matter,” Fox says. “It was more cost effective to go to Tier 3 than to go to Tier 1 or Tier 2.

“And we said, ‘Heck, they've already got Tier 4. Let's not get left behind here.”

Great Lakes was awarded DERG funding of $190,000 on its $242,000 repowers. The grant paid $60.73 per kilogram for the PM that the engines would eliminated over the projected 10-year life of the two engines. Cost per kilogram of NOx was $3.39.