FUEL EFFICIENCY TIPS
Get the most out of each litre
Submitted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Fuel is one of the greatest operating costs for any con-tractor
who owns heavy equipment and/or trucks.
Working in a way that can save fuel can end up saving
a lot of money.
“To reduce fuel use, you have to know how and when fuel
is being wasted,” said William “Bernie” Bernhard, technical
and safety services manager for the Association of Equipment
Start by examining top fuel usage influencers in off-high-way
“Machines equipped with telematics can provide action-able
data by tracking dozens of data points so that workers
can gain valuable insights to help save fuel,” said Bernhard.
Idle time – A key factor
Idle time is often the largest contributor to fuel inefficiency
and a good start to manage fuel consumption.
To decrease idle times, operators can take advantage of
fuel-saving technology, such as auto-idle. Also popular is
auto-shutdown where a machine can idle for a preset period
Examine the patterns in your machine’s idle times. If a
machine idles for short periods of time (a few seconds to a
few minutes) frequently throughout the day, that may mean
the machine is at a bottleneck in the workflow.
An example is an operator having to wait for another
operator to complete a task before continuing work. In this
case, either machine selection, material location or some
other jobsite factor needs to change to reduce idle time.
However, if a machine idles for several minutes at a time
or more, infrequently throughout the day, that probably
means the operator is not shutting down the machine when
on break or on the phone, when exiting the machine, or
when having their work interrupted for a longer period
In these cases, a discussion is needed with the operator
regarding company expectations, to take the necessary steps
to decrease idle time.
How an operator uses a machine can influence fuel effi-ciency.
Small changes in behaviour can have large effects on
One easy way that operators can save fuel is by using the
appropriate work mode, which makes it easier for operators
to match the power needed to the application at hand.
In order to set up a jobsite to optimize fuel use, a company
needs to examine data related to jobsite workflow, including
equipment capacities, the number of each machine on site,
equipment and material locations, terrain and more.
Maintenance is also an issue, for example, checking fuel
filters on the machines, from your suppliers, the storage
tanks at your jobsites and your base fuel storage facilities,
according to Bernhard.
“By tracking how much fuel is used in applications, the
amount and type of idle time, and analyzing other machine
data, you can get a good picture of when fuel is wasted,” he
said. “Combine this with fully understanding and using the
fuel-saving features of your machines, and you will be able
to get the most out of each gallon.” n
Visit aem.org for fuel-related best-practices.
B E S T P R A C T I C E S