This past year we have seen that the fuel prices have continued to increase worrying everyone in the construction industry. In June, the cost of diesel fuel reached the all time high of 5.57 dollars and while it began to drop a bit later on it is still nowhere near where it was before. With the new year incoming there is no guarantee of what the fuel prices will be. However, it would not do anyone any good to focus on the increasing fuel prices, instead, it would be better if contractors focused on reducing their equipment and vehicle fuel consumption.
One way to save unnecessary fuel consumption is by reducing equipment idle time on your work sites. There are a lot of different studies conducted on various sites that indicate how much equipment idle time increases fuel consumption. According to several studies most heavy duty machinery burns around a gallon of fuel per hour when it is idling. With this information, it should be easy enough for you to calculate how much fuel your equipment is burning while it is idling on job sites. The good news is that it is quite easy to reduce your equipment’s idle time and save fuel costs. All you have to do is follow these simple steps.
Limit your Equipment Warm up Time
It is enough to warm up your equipment for three to five minutes at the start of every shift. You will just be wasting fuel if you do it for any longer than that as per the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The 5 Minute Rule
You should follow the five-minute rule and shut down your equipment if it has been idling for over 5 minutes. This way your equipment would consume less fuel even if it has to be restarted then it would if it were left running. You should also think about implementing shut down timers so your equipment automatically turns off after 5 minutes in case you forget.
Do not leave your equipment on idle during breaks
Operators often leave their equipment idling during breaks or over lunch so the cab is always at an ideal temperature. While operator comfort is important you can achieve it without wasting fuel. By installing engine off cab heaters and coolers you can reduce the need for the equipment to be left idling over lunch and breaks.