The Green-Friendly Future of the Heavy Equipment Industryrent1
When thinking about eco-friendly construction practices, most people focus on building engineering and the types of building materials and internal systems that will be installed on residential and commercial properties to provide more sustainable green buildings. However, environmentally-conscious initiatives can also focus on the heavy equipment used during the construction process.
Environmentally-friendly trends are everywhere in the heavy equipment and construction industry. From emission regulations and waste reduction to cutting fossil fuels by switching over to electric power, heavy equipment manufacturers, contractors and equipment operators are investing in these environmentally responsible construction practices for all types of applications, especially for city projects such as parks and green spaces where improving air quality and natural resources can help the well-being of residents.
Green Construction Vehicles
Heavy equipment manufacturers are evaluating their machines to determine the best types of technologies and improvements that can be made to make construction vehicles more green while enhancing the machine’s functionality and productivity. One of the most positive impacts is creating machines that are electric power.
The push in renewable energy by offering electric power heavy equipment while still providing the torque and day-long functionality has been an ongoing endeavor for construction companies over the past decade. This trend is starting to catch on with contractors in the construction industry due to the cost savings they can see in budgets — meaning the benefit of green energy is not all about energy conservation. Electric powered-machines help to eliminate air pollutants generated from engines while at the same time lowering the continuing dependence on diesel fuels.
At the moment, contractors have to consider the initial costs of purchasing the machines and providing a means to recharge the engine’s battery cells while in storage or at the construction site. One solution available is to rent the heavy equipment, eliminating the equipment’s storage needs.
Using Site Emission Regulations
Understanding Canada’s emission regulations ensures that contractors can lower the amount of greenhouse gasses and pollution that enters the environment from their construction sites. Contractors should familiarize themselves with the 2011 Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine amendments and the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Emission regulations to control and lower site emissions. In addition, Environment Canada is also proposing new Off-Road Compression-Ignition Engine and Large Spark-Ignition Engine Emissions regulations that will cover a range of industrial equipment, such as forklifts, that are currently unregulated. So contractors should continue to research and keep abreast to any changing regulations that can impact the construction industry.
Reducing Environmental Impacts at the Worksite
Even if you do not have electric machines, you can still reduce any negative impact that diesel machines may do to the environment. Look for machines with production management technologies that provides real-time payload information to operators. This technology can inform the operator regarding the machine’s health, cycle segmentation, productivity and fuel consumption so they can lower fuel consumption costs.
Other ways to lower both fuel waste and emissions involve using economy mode and not letting engines idle. Economy mode, or on-demand throttle, provides the right amount of engine power only when it is necessary. It doesn’t require any operator assistance, as the technology automatically provides the engine power.
When it comes to engine idle, it is a prevalent problem in all industries. Informing drivers and equipment operators about this issue and having them refrain from letting the machine idle for long periods of time in the summer when the equipment is not in use can lower the machine’s environmental impact.