In construction bids, nobody likes to leave money on the table. Yet the biggest controllable expense—fuel cost—is rarely scrutinized for savings.
That’s unfortunate, given that the average idle time for heavy equipment is 40 percent, says Komatsu’s Ken Calvert.Komatsu started putting telematics on its machines in 2006. When they looked at the aggregate data two years later they were shocked to see how often machines idled.
And that 40 percent doesn’t just mean wasted fuel, Calvert says. It also adds non-productive hours to the machine, lowers the resale value, shortens your warranty coverage, accelerates engine wear and causes you to schedule PMs when you really don’t need them.
Additionally, in many Tier 4 Interim and Tier 4 Final engines, excess idle also causes soot to build up faster in the diesel particulate filter, requiring more frequent regenerations and service.“That’s pretty expensive behavior,” Calvert says. “If you can limit the unnecessary part of the idle time, you’re going to save some money.”