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Construction Equipment Assistance Technology: Who Needs What and Why?

The design purpose of construction equipment assistance technology is saving fuel, the one and only purpose of AT. Manufacturers that produce construction equipment assistance technologies (AT) offer both specific technologies for a limited number of machine types as well as general technologies that can be implemented on a variety of equipment.

But, the purpose of equipment assistance technologies is saving fuel. All ATs are designed with the same objective: reduce costs by improving fuel efficiency. That is achieved in different manners. Some AT is purposed to consistent blade angle as a machine moves material. Other technologies keep a machine moving in a straight line. There is AT that maintains bucket elevation at a specific grade. With AT, supervisors can track and monitor an operator’s movements and idle time. But, at their core, the purpose of all construction equipment assistance technology is to save fuel.

With respect to construction and development, the term production efficiency is, by definition, the reduction of costs via the minimization of fuel expenditure. Production efficiency, in the world of construction equipment, is the maximizing of the weight-moved-to-joule ratio of each trip, pass, or load.

Simply, the purpose of construction equipment assistance technologies is to get the most production out of the least amount of energy.

Fuel Use only Reducible Cost in Heavy Equipment Construction and Development.

Salaries and wages in construction and development are determined by what the market will bear. Whether an equipment owner wants a green, average, or experienced/expert operator, the owner will be forced to pay the industry standard for that particular level of skill and expertise.

Parts and repairs for construction equipment are fixed as well. At times, it is possible to find deals on parts, but generally not on a large scale over the long term. Typically, one operator pays about as much as the next for parts and repairs.

The only aspect of operating equipment that can be, diesel fuel expenses can be manipulated long term and on a large scale. And, that is exactly what construction equipment assistance technology allows equipment owners to do.

Choosing the Best Construction Equipment AT to Save the Most Money on Construction and Development

According to ConstructionWorld.com, wages and fuel account for more than 75% of total heavy equipment operating costs. There are two traditional means of reducing equipment operating costs with respect to heavy equipment fuel consumption: increase operator efficiency or increase construction equipment fuel efficiency. The purpose of equipment assistance technologies is to do both by making an operator and the machine synonymous.

Referring to assistance technology options for bulldozers and graders that maintain a constant blade angle — even as the machine passes over uneven ground, — ForConstructionPros.com’s Scott Hagemann explains, “The result is faster, more efficient grading with less fatigue, rework and fuel.” While Hagemann’s explanation provides the details as to why, he could more simply have said, AT on dozers and graders equate to cost savings.

Purpose of Purchasing Heavy Equipment Assistance Technologies: Cost Reduction

While it is tempting to fall into the trap of becoming enthralled by ease-of-use marketing campaigns, only equipment assistance technology that generates measurable reductions in fuel costs have monetary value and are, arguably, the only ITs worth the investment. While there is something to be said for operator comfort and greater room for error, at the end of the day, the bottom line is money.

Fuel Costs of Operating Heavy Equipment

MccLung-Logan Equipment Company, Inc. took statistics provided by a number of sources — including EquipmentWorld.com’s Owning and Operating Costs webpage and Owning & Operating’s (O&O) Baseline Cost Estimate Solutions document — to develop a Construction Equipment Fuel Efficiency Guide.

According to the guide, the average diesel usage for heavy equipment machinery on worksites are roughly:

•Excavator – Four (4) gallons per hour.

•Front-End Loader – five (5) gallons/hour.

•Articulated Truck – 8.5 gallons.

•Scrapers – 16 gallons an hour.

With a low of $2.49 per gallon of diesel between April and September of 2017 and a high of $2.78, this year diesel fuel costs equipment owners anywhere from between $9.96 and $11.12 an hour to operate an excavator; between $12.45 and $13.90 an hour to operate a loader; from $21.17 up to $23.63 to operate an articulated truck; and anywhere from $39.43 per hour to $44.48 to operate a scraper.

According to PayScale.com, equipment operators generally earn from between $13.42 an hour and $29.53. That means that while salary and/or wages constitute the highest operating cost, it is just slightly more expensive than fuel.

Best Fuel Saving Technologies for Heavy Equipment and Diesel Engines

The biggest variable in the fuel cost reductions generated by equipment assistance technologies is the operator. The biggest gains produced by equipment assistance technologies, with respect to fuel savings, occur with novice and average operators. The diesel fuel savings that occur with expert operators are not as significant because, typically, the best operators are those who are the most efficient with their time and put the least amount of stress on a diesel engine.

It is those equipment assistance technologies that help even the best operators save significant amounts of fuel that are of the most value.

Rentar Fuel Catalyst

The Rentar Fuel Catalyst is unique with respect to fuel-saving technologies. The Rentar reduces fuel consumption across the board, regardless of an operator’s skill. By breaking apart and homogenizing the naturally occurring coagulants in diesel fuel, the Rentar Fuel Catalyst increases fuel efficiency from between 3% to 15% on heavy equipment; diesel fueled marine engines and over-the-road vehicles.

The Rentar is guaranteed to pay for itself within 12 months and has a 10-year warranty.

Telematics

What has become an entire industry in and of its self, Telematics systems are now available from almost every major heavy equipment manufacturer including Cat, John Deere, and Volvo. There are also a large number of aftermarket telematics manufacturers. Telematics uses G.P.S. to track machine movement; telematics record idle time and RPM levels; telematics log machine speed; telematics record fuel levels, oil, and fluids; telematics even record the weight of individual loads.

Telematics are quickly becoming an industry standard.

GPS Blade and Bucket Control Technologies

The biggest issue neophytes have when learning to operate heavy equipment — particularly machines with a bucket(s), blade, or ripper is keeping the implement at the correct elevation or angle. Fuel wasted making extra trips; fuel spent making extra passes, and fuel lost moving material inefficiently is no better than wasting fuel during idle times.

Using preset parameters, GPS blade and bucket control technologies reduce the amount of fuel wasted by operator inefficiency.

 

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