of Idle Time
Fuel = $3.80 / gal
Idle Fuel burn = 1.0 gph
As shown in Chart 1, idle time and fuel used at idle can increase operational costs. The above Chart does not include secondary idle time costs such as; engine wear, fuel system wear, lower trade values, shortened oil change durations, reduction in equipment warranty hours and increased repair costs.
It is obvious idle time has a direct impact on fuel consumption. In fact, when idle time is reduced, hourly fuel consumption is actually increased. This relationship is often confusing to users as the general thought is if the equipment is idling less, than the hourly fuel consumption should decrease, not increase. This phenomenon is best explained by understanding the relationship between idle time, working time, productivity, fuel consumption and fuel efficiency.
Chart 2 shows the relationship between idle time reduction, hourly fuel consumption, production and fuel efficiency. A 10 ton payload wheel loader was used as the test case. In this test case, as the idle percentage is reduced, the working percentage, productivity (tons/hour) and hourly fuel consumption (liter/hour) increase. As a result, the equipment is moving more material for every hour and liter consumed directly improving fuel efficiency.
Further study of Chart 2, finds a 10% reduction in idle percentage from 50% idling improves fuel efficiency by 4%, a 20% reduction in idle results in an 8% fuel efficiency improvement and a reduction of 40% increases fuel efficiency by 13%.
While some equipment idle time is unavoidable, it can still be controlled or minimized in construction equipment applications. The following are effective methods to reduce idle time.
Technology on Cat machines encompasses both telematics and equipment technologies. Each is equally important to construction equipment fuel efficiency, and as such, neither should be overlooked.
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