The construction industry has taken safety seriously for many years and the result has been a significant drop in accidents and deaths. The big trend now is taking positive steps to reduce the environmental impact. Leading equipment manufacturers and responsible aftermarket suppliers are working hard to improve and adapt their products to make them more environmentally friendly. There are 5 top trends in the “greening” of heavy construction equipment*.
- Reusing and recycling
“Most manufacturers have set up rebuilding operations for components or sometimes for whole machines. Under certain programmes, a dealer can take back a used machine, replace its old components, repaint it and sell it with a serial number that designates it as remanufactured. That’s one way of recycling.”
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- Reducing waste
“On-board computers that measure engine usage are becoming increasingly common. When an operator has a pause in his work and is just sitting there idling, the on-board computer automatically reduces the engine speed to idle. This saves fuel, emissions and money.”
- Cleaning up Diesel fuels
“The new regulations for diesel emissions in Europe and in the USA mean that engine manufacturers have dramatically reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide and soot. The downside is that the machines with the new filters and other redesigns may cost 25% more.
- Using more renewables
“Particularly in Europe, there has been a shift toward using hydraulic fluids made from renewable sources such as soybean and rapeseed oils. Most manufacturers have come out with non-petroleum oils that still meet all requirements for wear and tear.”
- Lowering CO² emissions
“Manufacturers are introducing hybrid machines that use batteries to save the engine from powering parts of the operating cycle. Also, some manufacturers are experimenting with smaller-than-normal engines that power a generator. The result is significant reduction of fuel consumption, resulting in a lot less carbon emissions.”
*Described here above by Frank Manfredi, publisher of Machinery Outlook.