Construction equipment manufacturers face several concerns. Customers and legislators are calling for improved efficiency and productivity, along with reduced costs of ownership. As in other market sectors, the main drivers to achieve these objectives are connectivity, automation and digitisation. Manufacturers are constantly finding ways to meet challenges through innovative engineering, but fuels and lubricants also have a part to play.
Equipment manufacturers across Europe faced legislative changes in 2019 with the adoption of Stage V standards, resulting in cuts in harmful exhaust emissions. The standards applied to engines below 56kW and above 130kW, with engines in the popular 56-130kW band conforming to the standard in 2020.
Stage V included a much wider group of engines and fuel types than previous regulations, and it covered many stationary applications, such as generators and crushing equipment, too.
How engineering kept pace
In anticipation of the EU Stage V regulations, many engine providers had already adopted diesel particulate filters (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) with a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) additive such as AdBlue, plus cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). These solutions often call for specific oils and lubricants, along with low sulphur fuels, to work with ultra-high-pressure fuel injection systems.
In addition, many construction machines operate with minimal physical air movement. As a result, there has been a growth in both exhaust systems and machine cooling packs to meet the need for extensive exhaust after-treatment.
Using lubricants to meet regulatory demands
Just as innovation in engineering has boomed, so has innovation in lubricants and coolants. High-quality and high-performance lubricants such as Texaco Delo, for example, enable manufacturers to extend service intervals. Most operated equipment using the product can work for at least 500 hours between engine oil changes. Hydraulic filtration and improvements in oils has also led to oil change intervals of up to 5,000 hours, with filter changes now often over 2,000 hours.
Even regular daily and weekly checks are being extended through the high-quality oils, and impregnated bushes are taking greasing times out to as far as 500 hours. This is particularly important for the rental industry, where operators can be less rigorous when observing regular maintenance schedules.
The future for construction machinery
As construction machinery becomes increasingly sophisticated, reliance on repair and maintenance (R&M) contracts is becoming more common. Many contracts now include regular sampling of engine, hydraulic, axle and transmission oils for analysis, as well as frequent assessment of wear within the component or assembly.
Such predictive maintenance allows dealers and machinery owners to access a wealth of information. Armed with this data, they can better protect their vehicles using suitable engine oils, plan optimum service intervals and avoid costly failures. For more information on using our Texaco Delo range or other lubricants suitable for your machinery, speak to our team.