Poor driving techniques cost global port operators millions
Konecranes award winning computerised system saves £thousands...
Keeping an unobtrusive eye on container handling reach stacker drivers can save some port operators hundreds of thousands of pounds every year in lower fuel costs alone, thanks to a remarkable on-board computerised system, Eco-Drive, developed by Konecranes.
In Britain, Cooper Specialised Handling, Konecranes’ exclusive distributor, claims port operators will save £11,000 on fuel costs alone, based on 12,000 operating hours, by helping them to monitor driver behaviour. Eco-Drive provides real time information on the individual performance of the operator by recording driving time, use of hydraulics, number of lifts, idling time and fuel used to give an overall picture of performance. It could also highlight the more productive drivers and so reward them accordingly while scrutinising the less productive drivers to see if they need more training for technique upgrading.
David Cooper, MD of Cooper SH, says that “Operators believe that throttling the engine to maximum speed will gain optimal hydraulic performance. This practice actually sees slower working machines burning more fuel than necessary which only amounts to larger fuel bills. By monitoring driver behaviour, managers can get the most fuel efficiency out of their handling equipment,” continues David. “We have noticed an 8% improvement in fuel consumption simply by introducing Eco-Drive, a total saving of £11,000. This is 58 tonnes of reduced Co2 over the lifetime of one machine.”
The port of Bristol has four Konecranes’ reach stacker trucks fitted with Eco-Drive and expects to save £90,000 a year. Not all of that saving, however, will derive from Eco-Drive. Bristol Port expects to save £16,000 a year, per truck, on maintenance, based on 12,000 operating hours, an expectation which stresses the crucial importance of truck quality in any purchase decision. Cooper SH, for example, prefers Scania engines because, unlike their competitors, their load sensing piston pumps give hydraulic flow only on demand and so cuts fuel consumption by between 15% and 30%, while extending component life.
Another cost cutter is the Auto Transit function which governs container positioning. This cuts maintenance costs because if a load is too far back it causes excessive steer axle load and greater tyre wear. If too far forward it nods.
In recognition of the value of Eco-Drive, The Rail Freight Group has awarded Cooper SH its environmental innovation award for 2010, which celebrates the best achievements in the rail freight sector over the past year.