It’s a hot topic that is hard to ignore in the construction and demolition industry.
As part of the Government’s long-term plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to encourage the industry towards using alternative power sources, from Friday 1st April, companies operating construction machinery and equipment, will no longer be allowed to use rebated red diesel or rebated biofuels. Instead, they will switch to white diesel.
A letter signed by 15 industry bodies and delivered to the Government to delay the change states that “white diesel will be 190 per cent more expensive for the industry than red diesel was before the onset of the pandemic”.
This will put many businesses in jeopardy and unable to survive the rising costs, especially smaller companies. To survive, companies need to be looking at how they can achieve fuel savings on their projects.
As well as considering other alternative fuels such as HVO (hydro-treated vegetable oil), companies can work smarter on site to save fuel costs.
Many hydraulic attachments can save time, money and ultimately the environment.
“Only one machine and one operator is carrying out the job, resulting in big money-savings. There is no need to move the material, our transport costs have been eliminated.” says one owner of an MB Crushing Bucket.
Processing materials with one engine with the bucket means no loading shovel, no tipper truck, no static crusher. The materials can be recycled there and then and immediately re-used.
The benefits of crushing buckets over static crushers or buying in materials are clear, and especially beneficial for the smaller contractors on whom the rise in fuel costs will have a bigger impact.
Looking at more fuel-efficient attachments will also become important. Often the cheaper version is not the best option. Louis Broekhuizen, Commercial Director at Rotar recently stated that their Shears may not be the cheapest models on the market, but they will last a long time and new technology used means the Shear’s diesel consumption has been significantly decreased.
A recent report showed that with a daily operating time of 10 hours on a Hitachi/Rotar combination will save about £2,300 in diesel costs a month – which is a 20% saving.
It’s crucial that your machines operate at an optimal level, while also cutting fuel consumption.
Another consideration particularly in the demolition sector is the introduction of a fully automatic Quick coupler to allow the operator to use one machine and change over to the right tool for the right job. This means the tool is being used more efficiently and only one machine is needed rather than two or three.
It’s clear that with the changes coming in, companies need to re-think the way they work to avoid the rising costs.
Sean Heron, MD of Worsley Plant added: “Thinking smarter is key. Many of the suppliers we work with have a focus on saving time and money. We have been promoting the importance of one machine, one attachment recycling on site and eliminating transport costs for many years through our MB and Remu product ranges.
We’re not saying we can help with all the issues that companies will face with the change to white diesel, but we can certainly go a long way to helping our customers make smart choices.”