This week Caterpillar unveiled a new fuel guarantee initiative that will give participating contractors $1 back for every gallon of diesel their newly acquired machines burn above the benchmarked rates established by the company.
The Fuel Consumption Guarantee program will run between May 1 and December 31 this year. Contractors who buy an eligible Cat machine can sign up at the company’s website.
More than 100 Caterpillar machines are covered by the program. Once you’ve signed up, Cat’s Product Link telematics program will monitor your participating machines’ average fuel consumption rate. If you burn more fuel per hour than the benchmark you will receive a $1 per gallon credit on a Cat Commercial Account Card. Customers can earn credits on enrolled machines for a period of three years or 5,000 hours whichever comes first.
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According to Jason Hurdis, Senior Market Professional, the company has been benchmarking fuel utilization rates around the world for some time now and has developed specific and objective rates for each machine by region. And, says Hurdis, the company has set aside a considerable amount of money for payouts.
For one, the bragging rights are good. With 100 machines in the program, it is the largest fuel guarantee program in the world. Second, the program will get contractors more involved with the company’s Product Link offerings by giving them a monthly EMSolutions Fleet Report that compiles data from the customers’ machines and shows them in a snapshot form how they are doing on fuel consumption and a host of other performance and maintenance issues.
Finally, the program will give Cat dealers an opportunity to execute the company’s new technology strategy in which the dealer takes on a role akin to becoming the contractor’s productivity and technology advisor. According to Paolo Fellin, vice president global construction and infrastructure, the dealers are ramping up to bring customers a whole suite of technology tools to help them manage their costs and productivity.
There will be different tools for different customers and applications, with the dealers helping contractors figure out the appropriate and optimum solution. (We’ll write more on this new technology emphasis next week).
On the fuel side of this strategy, Cat is emphasizing what it calls the five pillars of fuel efficiency: idle time, operator skill level, equipment selection, technology and jobsite conditions.
Cat’s research shows you where you can get your biggest bang for your buck when it comes to fuel saving technology, whether that be cutting idle time, upgrading your operators’ skills or rightsizing your machines. Contractors can likely improve all of these parameters in consultation with their dealers says Hurdis.
Later this summer Cat will unveil a new app that lets any contractor with a Cat machine, whether they are in the fuel guarantee program or not, see how their fuel burn rates compare to other contractors in the same region with the same machine. The app does not require telematics and will be available for mobile devices and computers and requires only minimum data input, says Hurdis.