QUICK TIPS TO BOOST FUEL EFFICIENCY

Fuel is one of your biggest business expenses, so anything you can do to control fuel costs protects your margin and builds your bottom line.

The key is to leverage every litre of fuel you use. That means ramping up efficiency across your operation and finding new ways to do more work in less time with the least amount of fuel. Here are a few things you can do to start saving now:

Cut idle time. Depending on your application, idling can amount to as much as 40 to 50% of total running time.

  • Remind operators to minimise idling at start-up and shutdown. Start-up should run from 3 to 5 minutes. At shutdown, older engines require 2 minutes, newer engines almost none.
  • Turn off trucks that are waiting more than 5 minutes to load or unload. Optimise cycle times so that loading tools aren’t waiting on trucks for long periods of time.
  • Turn off equipment during breaks and lunch time.

Train operators. Make sure all operators have the knowledge and skills to work productively while conserving fuel. They should optimise the relationship between ground speed and engine rpm. Studies have shown 5-15% fuel efficiency at 75% power and 15-30% efficiency at 50% power.

Size machine for job. Too much or too little horsepower can drastically affect fuel efficiency. If you need help, ask your dealer to recommend a machine for the job you’re doing.

Set up site efficiently. Plan workflow and travel patterns to reduce cycle time, shorten haul distances, minimise turns and cut idle time.

Use technology to measure and improve. Onboard technologies that monitor fuel consumption, idle time and other operating parameters give you the hard data you need to make improvements.

Keep machines in top condition. Diligent maintenance not only saves fuel, but reduces repairs, improves reliability and minimises emissions. Blocked air filters can increase fuel consumption by 20%. One stuck valve lifter can increase fuel usage by 10-15%. Improperly working thermostats have been known to increase fuel consumption by 25%.

Check for faulty fuel caps. Damaged or loose fuel caps cause fuel evaporation.

Maintain proper tyre inflation. Under-inflation by just 41 kPa can increase fuel consumption by 3%.

Use recommended fuel grade. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for fuel grade depending on ambient temperature and weather conditions.

Protect fuel storage. Minimise evaporation. If possible, keep storage tanks well-shaded. Less evaporation occurs with white or aluminium painted storage tanks versus red.

Upgrade to newer fuel-efficient models. Learn how fuel-saving features built into newer equipment can protect your bottom line.

 


 

FUNDAMENTALS OF FUEL

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