How a diesel industrial engine is used has a significant impact on its longevity and uptime, so it is important that operators are well-trained.
If an engine is being pushed too hard and operating at higher loads and RPMs than aimed for, you will not only increase wear on the engine’s components, but you will also consume more fuel. A well-trained operator on the other hand, will help prolong the engine’s components and avoid unnecessary downtime.
For more tips and suggestions on how you can improve uptime, download our Maximise Uptime guide.
The best training will be adapted specifically to suit your business, since RPMs and engine loads will differ from application to application. Even companies with highly experienced and qualified operators can benefit from additional training, and the cost savings will often quickly repay the investment.
Loading a reach stacker with 30 tonnes when it is only built to handle 20 tonnes can have a severe effect on the number of failures over an engine’s lifetime. Conversely, running an engine at only 20 per cent of its capacity for an extended period of time can bring several disadvantages since the engine is built to run at a higher temperature. It comes down to continuously treating the engine well, and not just giving it an overhaul a few times over its lifetime.
Load acceptance often goes hand in hand with fuel efficiency, as the machine is most efficient within the load acceptance range. By keeping engines running within certain RPM intervals, and driving as efficiently as possible, not only do you maintain the engine better but it can also have a direct effect on the end customer’s economy. Volvo Penta’s sister company, Volvo Trucks, has seen operators decrease fuel consumption by ten per cent, just by applying the manufacturer’s tips on maximising fuel efficiency. Operators who have acquired this knowledge and know the advantages of sticking to it can also plan their work more efficiently in a way that suits the engine.
Train operators to make simpler interventions
Another, perhaps more advanced part of operator training can be to give them the skills to perform basic maintenance and repairs. The timely change of genuine oil, filters and engine belts are examples of simple actions that do not always require sending the engine to a dealer.
The complete list of what operators can be expected to fix themselves will vary depending on the engine, the skills acquired by the operator and the application.
Teaching operators how to read the engine’s most common diagnostics codes can also be an important step in allowing them to quickly identify looming problems or provide valuable information to more skilled dealers if more complex repairs are required.