3 easy ways to reduce excavator total cost of ownership
8 November 2019
The cost of owning an excavator includes so much more than the initial purchase price. Fuel consumption, maintenance and depreciation all play an important role. By understanding these factors and choosing a machine that is equipped to control them, owners will get more from their excavator for less.
1. Vary work modes and use the auto-idling feature
Fuel is often the biggest cost when operating a piece of construction equipment. In some markets it can be far greater than labour, maintenance and insurance. This makes lowering fuel consumption a quick win for dramatically reducing total cost of ownership.
When operating a Volvo excavator, for example, operators can choose from nine different settings within four work modes – Idle (I), Fine (F), General (G) and Heavy (H) – to allow them to match the power of the machine and, therefore, the fuel consumed according to the needs of the job.
Volvo excavators also include an auto-idling feature that allows the operator to set the machine to automatically switch to idle when the machine has been inactive for a certain amount of time. This can be anywhere between three and 20 seconds.
By taking advantage of both these features, operators can achieve industry-leading fuel efficiency – helping to protect both their profits and the environment.
2. Carefully manage idling time
Even from Volvo CE’s internal studies it’s not uncommon to see excavators running idle around 50% of the time – unnecessarily burning fuel, wearing components and adding hours on the clock.
By connecting machines with Volvo CE’s telematics system CareTrack and requesting an Insight Report, owners can see just how much time their excavators are spending idle and take action to reduce this figure. A realistic goal would be around 25%.
Owners can target idling time through operator training or a discussion with Volvo CE about how to better match the number and capacity of machines on site to the required tonnes per hour or cost per tonnes.
By taking control of idling time, owners can reduce fuel costs (and environmental impact), maintenance costs and depreciation.
3. Adopt a proactive maintenance approach
Connecting machines can also reduce maintenance costs. Instead of waiting for an excavator to break down before carrying out maintenance and repairs, customers can – with the help of their dealer – proactively monitor the machine’s health. This allows customers to spot any potential issues and remedy them before they even have the chance to turn into big and expensive problems.
Volvo CE’s new Active Care service, offered through selected dealers, allows Volvo to proactively take on the burden of monitoring and reporting machine health, leaving machine owners more time to focus on their operations. This intelligent telematics service bundles together health monitoring, weekly reports, alerts and service scheduling. This all amounts to increased uptime and reduced cost for the customer.
Source: Volvo Construction Equipment; SE10