Public and private fleets of vehicles can have a direct and positive impact in the communities they serve. Construction vehicles, dump trucks, waste haulers - in fact all heavy duty diesel vehicles - are the life blood of our economy.
However, the emissions from older diesel vehicles can make workers sick and less productive. Diesel health impacts have been well documented over the last 20 to 30 years.
In addition to the potential impacts to workers and operators, diesel pollution can cause asthma attacks, painful breathing, burning eyes, and coughing to those in the community that are exposed to it. The monetized value of health impacts in Ohio is estimated to be about $3.6 billion.
Solutions to diesel pollution are many and it is up to those who run fleets to stay competitive and do the right thing. There are some institutions (government, university, hospitals) that require diesel equipment to meet certain emission levels in order to work on a project. So, cleaning up the fleet gives it a competitive advantage.
Diesel Clean Up Solutions
The OEC has worked with dozens of fleets to customize a cleanup strategy. The OEC’s brochure A Guide to Clean Construction for Fleets helps fleets understand why it is important to reduce emissions as well as how to implement change.
The OEC worked with the city of Columbus to secure funds to retrofit a wheelloader with an active diesel particulate filter. As a result, more than 700 pounds of pollution has been reduced. See how we worked together to turn an old construction vehicle into a green machine.
Fleets can visit the Clean Diesel Clearinghouse website to determine the best available emission reduction technology for their vehicles.
Read the many OEC fact sheets about diesel emissions and clean air solutions for fleets.
The 6 R’s of Diesel Clean Up:
The solutions are as easy as learning the 6R’s of Diesel Cleanup (printable PDF):
- Retrofit. Pre-2007 highway diesel engines can be retrofitted with an emission control device that can reduce pollution by as much as 90%.
- Refuel. Switching to cleaner fuels such as alternative diesel fuels or ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel can achieve modest reductions in pollutants.
- Repower. Installing a new low-emission engine in an older chassis can allow the machine to run for many more years.
- Replace. Replacing a vehicle with a new lower-emission model ahead of schedule can result in substantial emission reductions.
- Rebuild or repair. Performing routine maintenance and periodic engine rebuilds can keep emission rates at or near original levels.
- Reduce idling. Idling equipment is not only polluting but also a waste of fuel. Limiting idle time can save money by reducing fuel usage and wear and tear on the engine.
To read about some federal regulations that have resulted in the clean-up of new vehicles, click here.
There are state and federal grant programs that can help fleets offset the cost of purchasing emission controls, repowers, rebuilds, anti-idling technologies, and alternative fuels vehicles.