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Page 4 Contractors World Vol 2 No 9

Editorial Comment

Have Regulations Opened Up a Pandora’s Box?

Thi s i ssue features new products f rom Caterpillar, John Deere, New Holland, Bobcat, Kobel co, Doosan and others or are we approaching the ‘buying season’? I believe that most of the new introductions are not by design (al though the companies say otherwise) but by having to comply with stringent engine emission standards coming into force . . .and here there is a big queston mark over the regulators. Have the regulators thought this through or have they created a nightmare scenario for the industry? No one disagrees with the emphasis on ‘greener, more environmentally friendly machines’ but while it may be enforceable is it practcal?

The engines that comply with the new regulatons require a very high quality, low-sulphur, diesel fuel. This is not a problem in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan but it is not always available in most parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia - including China and India, and South America.

What does this mean for the big internatonal crane hire companies? These companies invest millions of dollars in heavy-duty cranes which are hired all over the world. If the wrong fuel is used in these expensive machines then damage is done to the engine and the warranty is void. If a crane is used overseas with the wrong fuel, and it is returned to a regulated country, then technically, the engine and exhaust systems have to be replaced as they will be contaminated. What will this cost?

And it is not only internatonal hirers that have an issue; so do local plant hirers. Are we to believe that every constructon site will have diferent fuel bowsers reflling the machines with the appropriate fuel? (There will ofen be some older machines or equipment that do not have to meet the regulaton or the much more cost high-quality fuel.)

I know from talking to plant hire companies that this is a concern as they have no control over what fuel is being put into a machine. The only soluton would be to do a fuel analysis on return of hire plant and then try to get the ofender to pay for the repair: not a very practcal soluton.

Surely, with the advances in technology, and we are repeatedly told how intelligent machines are today, it is possible to have fuel sensors which will immediately close down the fuel line if an inappropriate fuel is diagnosed? If someone can come up with such a device there is a big market waitng for them.

Published by VVV Limited Publisher: Roger Lindley Editor Roger Lindley Editorial Assistant: Colleen Lindley

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