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November 16, 2021   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

It’s Official: Get Your Shovels and Construction Machines Ready

Whatever the project, there is an efficient, near-zero emission construction machine and skilled crew of contractors and operators ready to meet the challenge.

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Today’s connected, smart and near zero emissions technology results in faster project completion at lower cost, much lower greenhouse gases and other emissions, and is more productive.



President Biden signed the infrastructure legislation into law yesterday, delivering investments that will restore, repair and renew the nation’s core infrastructure. It directs about $1.2 trillion in new spending toward roads, bridges, water pipelines, broadband and other major projects including railways, ports and electric power infrastructure. This action will unleash a wide range of projects from coast to coast, most of which will rely on a diverse array of diesel power to get the job done.

Improving the nations over 48,000 miles of interstate highway system built in the 1960’s is top of mind. This work includes resurfacing, adding safety, lane and other improvements to existing roadways, eliminating bottlenecks and congestion across the network of national and local roadways. (Equipment includes motor graders, bulldozers, wheel loaders, articulated trucks, trenchers, compactors, generators, rollers, excavators, skid steer loaders, asphalt pavers and more.

Since the 1960’s, construction equipment has undergone a fundamental transformation to high-tech machines guided by computers, GPS and digital fingertip joystick controls rather than eyesight, hand survey flags and stakes, and pedals and levers in open cabs. New technology diesel power achieves near zero emissions and built on that foundation is an assortment of new technology and work practices that together bring a new level of productivity and efficiency to construction of all types. Here is a sneak peek:

Autonomous vehicles, connected machines and unmanned aerial vehicles are a suite of technology and machines guided by GPS and site software that automate and improve conventional practices. When the interstate highway system was built, it relied on hand surveying, staking and multiple-pass grading. Today’s connected, smart and near zero emissions technology results in faster project completion at lower cost, much lower greenhouse gases and other emissions, and is more productive.

Hybrid construction machines deliver double-digit fuel savings over conventional technology. Practices learned and refined in the mining sector now translate into big gains in efficiency and productivity in conventional site preparation and roadbuilding projects.

More than 230,000 bridges in the U.S. are in need of repair, including 46,000 that are structurally deficient and should be replaced, according to the association of road, bridge, tunnel and turnpike authorities. (Equipment includes telescoping material handlers, drills, compressors, cranes, generators, marine vessels, barges, pumps, trenchers and all road building equipment.)

Water pipeline replacement relies heavily on earthmoving and trenching equipment, including backhoes, excavators, skid steer loaders, track-type tractors, compactors and more. In addition to that equipment, boosting the nation’s broadband technology involves a variety of machines including mobile lifts, generators, drills and more.

Whatever the project, there is an efficient, near-zero emission construction machine and skilled crew of contractors and operators ready to meet the challenge.



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Key Contact

Allen Schaeffer
Executive Director
aschaeffer@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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