Fuel-Efficient Heavy Machinery Can Save You Money

By Jane Marsh

The construction industry may have taken a hit during the pandemic, but with a growing population and things beginning to return to normal, it is bouncing back with a vengeance. The increasing demand for new homes and businesses has the potential to create additional challenges for the construction industry — especially if material shortages begin cropping up and costs start climbing again. Now is the perfect time for business owners to figure out the best ways to save money if things start taking a turn for the worse again.

Why should you consider investing in fuel-efficient heavy machinery, and how can it save you money in the long run?

Changing Fuel Options

Fuel efficiency may be the last thing on your mind when you’re shopping for heavy construction equipment, especially when there are other features to be considered. In spite of this, there are a number of different fuel-efficient options making their way into the market for the savvy business owner to choose from.

In addition to diesel engines that burn more efficiently than previous options, hybrid, electric, and even hydrogen-powered equipment is beginning to change the way business owners look at construction equipment. Adapting to these new fuel options will take some time and require a significant initial investment, but these devices have the potential to pay for themselves.

Reducing Fuel Costs

Fuel costs rise and fall throughout the year based on a variety of different variables that most construction companies can’t control. What we can control is the amount of fuel each piece of equipment consumes throughout its life, through a number of different means. Comprehensive preventive maintenance schedules work to keep equipment running as efficiently as possible, which can help increase fuel economy and, in the long run, reduce fuel costs and save the company money.

Using fleet telematics to detect idle time can also help to reduce fuel costs and consumption. On average, a piece of equipment uses around one gallon of fuel per hour during idling. Spending a lot of time idling can add up fast, increasing fuel costs and causing a lot of unnecessary strain on the equipment.

Focusing on Sustainability

Sustainability is making its way through every industry, but in construction — a sector that generates nearly 40% of the planet’s annual CO2 emissions between building operations and material creation — there is a lot of opportunity for improvement. Fuel efficiency doesn’t just reduce fuel costs and consumption — it can also reduce the project’s carbon footprint, reducing the negative impact it has on the planet.

While there are no monetary penalties for emissions right now, that could change in the future as the human race strives for the zero-net-carbon future that will be necessary to avert the looming climate disaster that is fast approaching.

Preventing Supply Issues

The United States hasn’t experienced what would be called a fuel shortage since the late 1970s, but it’s a delicate balance. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack that shut down their systems for a few days led to panic buying that emptied fuel stations up and down the east coast. There wasn’t any actual shortage, and the pipeline’s operations were restored in short order, but the potential for a shortage caused people to buy as much fuel as they could get their hands on — even if that meant trying to haul it home in plastic grocery bags.

The last two years have been a master class in what people will do when things go wrong, and other variables — such as a shrinking number of truck drivers working in the logistics industry — mean it wouldn’t take much to knock over those dominoes and cause a supply issue that could drive up the cost of fuel. Being prepared, with tanks of fuel or alternative fuel sources, can help save money in the long run by keeping you from paying artificially inflated prices for the basic supplies that are necessary to complete your projects.

Saving Money Moving Forward

While there are some green energy options available for construction equipment, for the most part, these machines are still heavily reliant on diesel fuel. Fuel costs don’t need to consume your entire budget, but they can easily do so if you’re not careful. Take a few steps to make your equipment more fuel-efficient to help you save money moving forward.

Author Bio: Jane Marsh is the editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers green technology, sustainable building and environmental news.

Tags: ,