According to a new Pulse Survey by Komatsu America Corp., 76.9 percent of construction equipment owners surveyed said that fuel efficiency has become a greater priority at their firms during the past 12 months. As a result, many respondents now employ a variety of fuel conservation methods including:
• 53 percent have reduced idle time
• 43.9 percent are considering purchasing more fuel efficient machines
• 42.4 percent are running machines in “fuel efficient” mode
• 24.2 percent are utilizing their fleet management systems to better track fuel consumption
• 19.7 percent are using biodiesel
• 9.1 percent are integrating automatic shut-down technology
“In this climate of high fuel costs and growing concern about environmental impact, Komatsu remains committed to providing compelling value to our customers through innovative technology and customer support,” said Erik Wilde, vice president, product marketing, Komatsu America Corp. “Through our fleet management system, KOMTRAX, all machine owners can more accurately monitor idle time — a key to greater fuel efficiency — helping Komatsu customers match the correct machine for idle time. Additionally, our products are equipped with fuel efficient modes which help customers operate efficiently, while reducing their carbon footprint.”
Higher fuel costs mean fuel expenses have become a larger portion of construction firms’ operating budgets in the past year. According to the Pulse Survey, 43.9 percent of the respondents said that between 30 to 50 percent of their operational budgets would be allocated to fuel costs this year, compared to just 13.6 percent of respondents who indicated that fuel costs were such a large portion of their operating budget in 2007. Additionally, 12.1 percent of survey respondents said fuel expenses would be more than half of their operating budget this year, compared to 9.1 percent for 2007.
Komatsu America Corp’s Pulse Surveys are designed to “take the pulse” of construction professionals on topics of significant interest to the construction industry. The Pulse Surveys are conducted 4 to 6 times a year. This online survey about fuel efficiency was conducted from June 4 to July 11, 2008.
Based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second-largest manufacturer and supplier of construction, mining and compact construction equipment.