Supply Chain Puts Spotlight on Fuel Consumption in Construction

  • by Evelyn Long
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  • 2022-05-04 00:00:00
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  • International
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  • 2979

Fuel is a costly resource for construction companies. Conserving the energy source can increase a business owner’s financial savings. It may also improve the stability of a company’s monthly bills by decreasing its reliance on inconsistent diesel prices. 

Additionally, organizations with dreams of sustainable operations have to contend with energy efficiency to play their part in combating the global climate crisis. New technology is making electrified operations more feasible, but in the middle of a surge in fuel prices, the environmental and economic costs require more immediate action.

Professionals may increase the efficiency of their machinery, but first, it’s vital to assess the efficiency challenges with industrial equipment. Here are some organizational improvements construction companies can make to decrease their environmental footprint and save money.

Challenges With Low-Efficiency Machines

The current price of diesel fuel has reached $5.04 USD per gallon in the U.S., $8.29 USD in Germany and , $4.40 USD in Japan, to compare a few national prices. Inefficient heavy machinery can significantly increase a company’s operating costs. When equipment overconsumes fuel, it may also signify a mechanical problem.

Some older machines lose their efficiency over time because of failed or broken parts. Adequately maintained equipment can use less fuel, helping owners save money. When heavy machinery quickly burns through gas, it may also decrease the air quality within a warehouse.

High emission rates indoors can cause adverse health effects for machine operators and other workers. Warehouse air pollution may increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses. It also enhances the frequency of asthma attacks and causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Construction businesses can preserve the environment, save money and protect their employees’ health by increasing their heavy machines’ fuel efficiency. There are five ways operators may limit unnecessary energy consumption on-site. Over time, conservation efforts can significantly improve a company’s success.

1. Reduce Idle Time

Idling is the leading cause of decreased fuel efficiency. When machines are on and unmoving, they receive zero miles per gallon. Additionally, idling creates stress on the engine, reducing a piece of equipment’s longevity.

Professionals can reduce the fuel-wasting action by installing efficiency-enhancing technology. Auto idle can turn an engine off when a machine is stagnant. 

Of course, it can be even simpler than that. Construction teams may also reduce idling by adequately training their employees in best practices — just turning off the engine while parked can save half a gallon of gas per hour. Emphasizing energy efficiency in training can make a startling difference over time.

2. Train Operators for Efficiency

Employers that develop thorough and effective training programs for equipment operators can increase fuel efficiency on-site. Ensuring a worker’s complete understanding of a machine can reduce operation deficiency resulting in energy waste. Additionally, managers can train their employees to minimize controllable idling.

Companies can regulate their equipment’s fuel use to determine which operators are taking the proper efficiency steps. Additionally, managers can create easily accessible operation manuals, helping workers improve their on-site practices. They may also use a simulator during the training process to minimize fuel-depleting errors when controlling real equipment.

3. Create Adequate Job Site Flow

Drivers who regularly commute through high-traffic regions may notice a decrease in their vehicle’s fuel economy. Similar occurrences happen within a warehouse when obstacles minimize a machine’s efficiency. Each piece of equipment serves an essential function on a job site, and increasing the ease of its task is critical.

Professionals can use telematics to assess the operation deficiencies of equipment. After applying the technology, workers can reorganize their production system and warehouse layout, improving the fuel efficiency of their machines. They may also reduce the number of operators and devices on-site to limit flow-disrupting congestion.

4. Clean the Diesel Particulate Filter

Over time, warehouse equipment can collect soot, ash and other minuscule particles, degrading its efficiency. When foreign elements invade a machine’s diesel particulate filter (DPF), it may disrupt its longevity, engine functionality and warranty. Professionals can improve their machinery’s fuel efficiency by actively cleaning their DPFs throughout the year.

Machine engines run smoothly after thorough cleanings. Employers can train operators to clear their equipment’s DPF, reducing fuel waste. Additionally, cleared engines produce less air pollution and protect workers’ safety.

5. Upgrading Outdated Equipment

Many machines are unable to withstand the test of time. General wear and tear, combined with poor maintenance practices, significantly degrades equipment’s fuel efficiency. Manufacturers are also improving fuel economy, making modern versions more sustainable.

The fuel efficiency of trucks has risen by nearly 29% since 2004. Construction business managers can improve the general fuel economy on-site by upgrading their equipment and trading out their less efficient machines. Additionally, individuals may examine the size and necessity of their equipment, exploring more effective alternatives.

Some organizations overstock heavy machines, using more fuel than necessary. Investing in one multifunctional piece of equipment can minimize operational costs and improve indoor air quality. It is also essential to calculate and compare the fuel usage of each machine before purchasing new versions.

Environmental and Economic Benefits of Fuel-Efficiency

Increasing the fuel economy of industrial equipment can provide a leg up on competitors. Companies can significantly improve their savings and the success of operations by maintaining and investing in efficient machines. Businesses may also enhance their employment rates by developing healthy working conditions and minimizing indoor emissions.

 emissions
 energy efficiency
 supply chain

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