Owning a heavy equipment like motor grader is definitely expensive. Why? Well, there are number of costs like fuel, repair, maintenance and transport that usually add up to the purchasing cost. Particularly, fuel cost is one of the major costs that impact the equipment owners profoundly. However, selection of the right equipment, smart equipment use, regular maintenance etc., are some ways through which fuel consumption and cost can be reduced drastically. These ways can further help in extending the runtime of the machine leading to greater productivity and reduced operating costs.

Importance of fuel-efficient motor graders

Fuel costs of heavy equipment like motor graders can be as high as 50 per cent of the operating cost. Hence, it has a major impact on the profitability. Thus, for a motor grader to be best-in-class, fuel efficiency is the primary requirement. Further, fuel-efficient motor graders often emit far lesser amount of smoke, reduce the waste of energy and thus, save the environment from pollution. Fuel-efficient equipment are not only beneficial for the eco-system, but also for the construction companies as they can reduce the overall cost of maintenance of the equipment.

Ways to reduce motor grader’s fuel consumption and cost

Here is a list of simple ways and tips to reduce fuel consumption and cost of motor graders and increase the profit margin...

1. Selecting fuel-efficient equipment: These days, there are many manufacturers which offer highly fuel-efficient motor graders. One among them is Mahindra Construction Equipment (MCE). Its RoadMaster G75 is equipped with Mahindra DITEC engine which brings fuel efficiency down to an incredible 4.5 litres per hour and results in more savings. Hence, the motor grader is highly fuel-efficient and leads to increased productivity and profitability for the owners. Offering lowest maintenance in class as with technology and design enhancements, RoadMaster G75 lowers lubricant refilling requirement with extended service intervals, thus, reducing the overall maintenance cost.

2. Preventive maintenance: Regular check-ups are a must to ensure that the motor grader is properly maintained as poorly maintained equipment often consume more fuel for the same amount of work that a maintained machine completes for considerable lesser fuel. Thus, preventive maintenance saves on both fuel costs and major repairs in the long term making the machines more productive and ensuring their longer life.

3. Regular maintenance measures: In order to keep a tap on the maintenance requirement of the equipment, maintenance schedule which would have notations on how often each part of the machinery should be inspected for problems, repairs and general maintenance should be created and followed. It goes without saying that basic maintenance practices like proper tire inflation, using the recommended motor oil and regular engine tune-ups can improve the fuel economy of the motor graders to a very large extent. In fact, you should always make it a point to check the tires for the right pressure and replace badly worn tires to reduce slippage and resistance caused by bald or under-inflated tires that result in an inefficient use of the machine’s power. Also, all moving parts of the equipment should be properly greased in order to save them from failing to work and creating excess friction leading to severe wear and tear of the machinery, frequent breakdowns and shorter life span. It should be noted that properly greasing of the machine will result in less sloppy movements, helping the operator achieve the precision. Further, too little as well as too much lubrication can be harmful for the machine. Hence, you need to lubricate the equipment wisely with the recommended grade of grease. Also, the air filter needs to be regularly checked and cleaned for optimal functioning and fuel efficiency.

4. Fuelling the equipment rightly: It is very important to choose the right mix of oils and fuels in the motor grader if you want the equipment to work for long. This step can improve the performance of the machine drastically. Make it a point to use the fuel most suited to the engine type for optimal performance at lower fuel consumption rates. Usually, it is a good choice to refer to the OEM’s recommendations for the same.

5. Machine control: These days, advanced machine control systems equipped in motors graders also help in reducing fuel consumption and costs as they eliminate the need of rework by getting the job done right in the first attempt, thereby saving fuel and time.

6. Equipment monitoring: These days, motor graders come with monitoring facilities to keep a track of everything that is going on with the machine. Analysing the data with a close eye can help reduce fuel consumption and costs. For example, MCE’s RoadMaster G75 comes with GPRS-based remote monitoring system DigiSense that keeps a track of your machine with the touch of a finger. Through this, be it business information like daily work reports, fuel level or warnings like low fuel, filter clogging and low engine oil, you can get constant updates on your equipment.

7. Maintaining minimal idling of the machine: Machine idling always result in absolute wastage of fuel. Thus, the GPS systems and telematics can be used to provide real-time information and reduce machine idling. Even auxiliary power systems can help to reduce idle time by powering the vehicle without having to run the engine. However, if still the machine is kept idle, the engine should always be cut off to prevent unnecessary wastage of fuel.

8. Trained operators: Last but not the least, trained operators are a must as they can operate the machine at its optimal level, thus, leading to motor graders performing any task efficiently in less time, thereby, saving the fuel consumption and cost. Such operators very well know that the equipment should be started off at low RPMs and then gradually increased to ensure both smooth functioning and low fuel consumption. Untrained operators can not only increase the fuel consumption of the machine but also damage the machine.

These are just few of the important ways which can help in reducing fuel consumption and cost of the motor graders. Above all, education and awareness is necessary on part of the equipment owners so that they can easily cut down on their growing fuel costs.