3 More Cool Tools For Fuel Economy
Fuel Economy a Factor of Two Variables: Fuel Combustion Inefficiency and Operator Error
Fuel efficiency is the single most important economic component of heavy equipment construction development. Over the life of a quality machine, more money will be spent on fuel than the purchase and maintenance of the machine combined.
With respect to the environment, fuel combustion is the single most detrimental activity we engage in.
To operate more efficient companies — as well as minimize the effect we have on our environment during construction and development — maximizing fuel economy is the highest priority.
Fuel Combustion Efficiency
Failures in technology lead to fuel combustion inefficiency. In order to combat the fuel waste associated with fuel combustion efficiency, construction, and development companies can reduce costs with technologies that maximize the power produced per unit of fuel.
The Rentar Fuel Catalyst, for example, can increase the fuel combustion efficiency of over-the-road-trucks and off-road machinery by more than 8%; of generators by nearly 20%; and of boilers and furnaces by more than 30%.
Reducing the fuel use inefficiency associated with operator error — idle time fuel waste primarily — requires a different kind of technology.
Fuel Use Efficiency, Idle Time, and Telematics
Telematics is a blanket term used to describe the use of a GPS in association with a “telematics box.” Upon receiving a signal from the GPS, a telematics box can track data variables like machine location, speed, engine RPM, pressure and temperature, and fuel consumption.
Telematics systems can also be used to operate a machine remotely. And automated telematics systems that operate a machine are already proving to reduce fuel loss associated with operator error.
But even with the tracking capacity of telematics systems, idle time still remains a costly waste factor on a job site.
In fact, “According to different research studies and based on industry data, construction productivity has had a track record of prolonged decline” (Allen, 1985; Triplett & Bosworth, 2004).
Fuel Consumption Patterns on Job sites
According to Reza Akhavian and Amir H. Behzadan of the University of Central Florida, Orlando, lack of proper job site planning is the principal reason for idle time fuel inefficiency. “A systematic approach to idle time reduction can significantly boost the efficiency of construction equipment during their lifetime, result in higher overall productivity, and ultimately protect public health and the environment,” explain the authors in a paper titled Simulation-Based Evaluation of Fuel Consumption in Heavy Construction Projects by Monitoring Equipment Idle Times.
Monitoring Machine Movement, or Lack There Of
Akhavian and Behzadan stress the importance of building and utilizing telematics system frameworks for estimating heavy equipment idle times. In a related paper titled Productivity Analysis of Construction Worker Activities Using Smartphone Sensors, the pair discusses the increase in operator production using a simple smartphone application that tracks machine movement.
Methods for optimal driving patterns of on-road construction equipment for emissions reduction, alongside practical methods for assessing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of mass haulers, may be the ultimate solution for reducing idle time fuel waste. But Akhavian and Behzadan argue that “Considering the cost factors associated with complex telematics systems, a data collection scheme that is cost effective, non-intrusive, low maintenance, and feasible in terms of calibration, data storage, and data transfer is desirable.”
Simple and Guaranteed is the Solution
Not every company can afford to purchase and learn to maximize the potential of the latest telematics technologies. But by maximizing fuel combustion efficiency and minimizing idle time with simple Telematics systems — smartphone apps for example, — a company can greatly reduce its fuel costs and its impact on the environment.
The Rentar Fuel Catalyst is guaranteed to pay for itself within one year. In fact, Rentar is one of the few companies in construction and development that can truly guarantee a return on investment.