Are idle machines and fuel burn hurting your bottom line?

Idle machines and wasteful fuel burn can have a significant impact on the profitability of a project. Here we look at ways you can optimise productivity, lower fuel costs, and increase profitability while reducing your environmental footprint.

Optimising productivity and minimising costs are essential for success in today’s competitive construction industry. Factors such as idle machines, fuel burn and labour costs can significantly impact your bottom line on a project. Cat® technology and WesTrac services can be leveraged to maximise your business outcomes.

Idle machines consume resources without contributing work outcomes and can be a significant factor in the reduced profitability of a project. It can result in wasted fuel, increased maintenance requirements, and decreased productivity. Having a tool to monitor your machine run time vs idle time is crucial in understanding if you are fully utilising your fleet in the most efficient manner.

Here are a few simple tips to help reduce idle time across your fleet:

  • Limit idle at shutoff
  • Turn off machinery waiting more than five minutes to load or unload
  • Restrict morning warmups to three to five minutes
  • Turn off equipment during lunch and breaks
  • Use automatic shutdown when available

Limiting fuel burn

Limiting machine idling can help reduce fuel burn, which is another critical cost factor that can drive up costs significantly on your projects.

If your fuel costs go up, your profit margins go down, so anything you can do to lower fuel costs and reduce fuel burn typically results in improved margin.

In addition to reducing machine idling through the methods listed above, another step you can take to reduce fuel burn is to ensure your operators are properly trained. Research shows a skilled operator can use 10-12% less fuel every day than an unskilled one.

WesTrac can help ensure your operators are up to speed with their skills through a variety of training courses via the WesTrac Institute, in both Guildford WA and Tomago NSW.

These are some simple ways to reduce fuel burn and machine idling, but there are other powerful tools to help keep you on top of these issues and ahead of the competition. Our resident Team Next Gen expert Roberto has more below: 

Vision over your fleet

VisionLink® offers a comprehensive telematics solution that allows you to monitor and analyse machine performance data from any device, enabling you to make proactive decisions based on real-time information rather than relying on guesswork or assumptions.

NSW PS Vision Link Body

VisionLink provides detailed insights into idle time, fuel consumption and machine utilisation, enabling you to identify trends and make informed decisions. By leveraging this data, you can implement targeted strategies to reduce machine idling and optimise fuel efficiency across your fleet.

You can even use this data to implement preventive maintenance practices, such as scheduling maintenance during idle periods, to ensure machines are operational when you need them.

VisionLink also gives you the power to analyse fuel burn rates across different machines and projects, helping identify outliers and implement measures to optimise fuel efficiency.

This may include identifying machines consuming excessive fuel and addressing maintenance issues, optimising equipment usage and providing operator training programs to promote fuel-efficient practices.

The good news is, your new Cat machinery is already equipped to gather this data, which is then made available through VisionLink.

For older equipment and even non-Cat machines, a WesTrac expert can talk to you about options, such as Cat Product Link™, to get your equipment connected to VisionLink and give you full oversight of your fleet.

Cat® Product Link™

We’re here to help

Your partnership with WesTrac doesn’t stop with the sale of the machine. We are here to help make sure your business succeeds. We can help you understand how to get the most out VisionLink and the data your machinery collects to give you the competitive edge over the competition.

Innovation has always been our competitive advantage, ensuring our customers experience higher productivity, reduced downtime, and improved overall project outcomes.

By harnessing the power of Cat technology and our expertise, you can make data-driven decisions, effectively manage machine idling, and optimise fuel burn. This not only improves your project profitability but also contributes to your sustainability goals by reducing your environmental footprint.

Embracing these innovative solutions ensures that your business maximises efficiency, profitability, and sustainability in today's competitive construction industry.

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