Plantforce Rentals a company that’s always been at the cutting edge of innovations and advancements in technology driven plant machinery for the UK’s major projects, has teamed up with Weston College to introduce a state of the art, simulation based and practical technology focused, fuel efficiency training program to help plant operators and sites become more eco savvy!
Fuel efficiency has always been a hot topic in construction, with many new innovations being launched all the time including hybrid excavators to now even more advanced battery operated mini diggers, which all go hand in hand to help reduce a projects fuel consumption and reduce the impact on the environment. With major projects using thousands and thousands of litres of fuel each day the cost implications attached are massive, although all the innovative solutions are great and making a positive impact, nobody is really focusing on the operators or site personnel, the individuals who can be the key to the whole project, no matter what kit you put on site if the operators aren’t willing to be fuel efficient then all the hard work is undone, drop into the mix a poorly planned construction site, with badly maintained machines, haul roads and ineffective servicing shedules or re fuelling practices, it all adds up for a very expensive construction project.
Plantforce Rentals have again joined forces with Ofsted Outstanding Weston College to help create an in-depth fuel efficiency training program, aimed at the plant operators. The incentive driven course is focused on changing behaviours of the operator, helping them on how to best plan their day and to be more productive and efficient in their works, working very closely with simulation company Tenstar in creating an advanced program to help identify operator trends and associated machine fuel burn, this combined with practical training we are confident that once an operator has sat this course we can offer an up-to 15% fuel saving.
The key focuses on this classroom based training program is teaching operators best fuel efficent practices on operating machinery, although some of our operators are the best in the game it has come to light that many are not up to date with the basics like work modes on the machines and as machines are constantly changing who can blame them, this combined with the usual bad habits accumulated over a career of operating plant can be a recipe for low fuel economy.
Understanding what each mode does to the characteristics to the machine, i.e. H mode for maximum digging or how the pump stroke is changed with each mode, so although the engine is revving high it might not be driving the pump hard enough, or changing the flow to the dipper arm making fine grading much harder, causing an operator to have to possibly rework. By teaching the operator what each mode does and when best to use this mode is proving to be massively effective in reducing fuel consumption, this combined with basic education on how to move the machine around site, best practices for setting up on the dig, how to load trucks and up productivity and lower fuel burn, even down to the little things like parking the machine at night, along with new refuelling and startup procedures is also showing massive fuel savings, savings which can help a major project reduce cost, and in turn help reduce environmental impact.
For the dumpers on site the training works the same with a bespoke echo drive program pretty similar to what you see in the haulage industry, proving to the operator little things like acceleration techniques introduced to actually make the machine more productive, along with tips and tricks to help them through the day and reach productivity targets set out by site teams. We also understand that the construction contractors also have to play their part in this program also, working with our team to facilitate the program. This Training has been 12 months in the planning, the new ECO card standard can now be used to identify and recognise advanced operators, capable of operating to consistently high standards of efficiency. The development of our new accreditation standard works hand in hand with Plantforce’s already established and accredited site ready programme. Providing an advanced digital bench mark on operator’s capabilities and competency. This additional training presents a key milestone in the delivery of the new simulation training schemes on offer, which helps to recognise and professionalise a key part of the workforce, focusing on the individuals who can have a major impact on reducing the cost of construction.
By delivering the scheme in partnership with Weston College, which has been operating its plant training division with Ofsted outstanding accreditation for several years, we will be able to deliver a much higher level of training and advice to operators. Each individual will be trained and assessed on the machines they operate within their specific working environments to allow all mentoring and advice to be tailored to their needs, no matter what product they use.
• Basic introduction.
•Fuel efficiency awareness, issues and solutions.
• Initial efficiency simulation assessment.
• How to conform to manufacturers requirements as per the operator’s handbook/manual, other types of information source and relevant regulations and legislation.
• Introduction into ECO Drive.
• To name and explain the purpose of principal work modes, the basic construction, controls and terminology, sizes and types of machines
• To undertake all pre-start, running checks and shut down procedures, according to manufacturer’s handbook/manual.
•.How to recognise and prevent premature tyre and undercarriage wear.
• Practical ECO drive simulation with live monitoring.
• Best machinery movement proceedures.
• To be familiar with safety devices and applicable legislation.
• To prepare and operate machinery utilising all available eco mode devices and completing set tasks in the most productive manner.
• Awareness of on-site hazards including personnel, confined spaces including other plant machinery.
• To set and position the specified machine to transport loads. Ensure load integrity and security.
• To place the machine in an out of service condition.