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Volvo Penta: Why Total Cost of Ownership Is so Important - Part 1

Understanding total cost of ownership (TCO) of an industrial diesel engine will help you make better investments and purchase more reliable engines, but there are multiple factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Generally speaking, total cost of ownership includes:

  • Fuel consumption: This is obviously a very important parameter and can tell you a lot. For some applications and industries fuel can make up more than 90% of the lifetime cost of an engine.
  • Service costs: Knowing the service intervals for different engines can not only let you plan services better, but also compare them to each other. Apart from the direct cost of servicing, spare parts, maintenance and repairs, there is also the transportation and distance to the dealer warehouse and service point.
  • Uptime and productivity: Breakdowns and downtime are costly for any business so sometimes paying more for a durable and reliable engine will save you a lot more in the long run. Splurging on genuine parts can often be more cost-effective long term.
  • Initial purchase price and resale value: The difference between the two has a huge impact on your TCO. A premium product might not necessarily cost more if it can also be sold for more on the used engine market.

But there are hidden costs of the fuel, explain the Volvo Penta experts. If you operate in remote locations refuelling cost might be an issue. In some instances, it could be worth investing in a larger fuel tank if it means refilling less often. Conversely, if refilling logistics are not significant expenses, lower fuel consumption could open up the possibility of using a smaller tank. This in turn could increase the payload of the vehicle in many industries, such as mining.

Looking after your machine’s diesel engine will help improve uptime and lower your total cost of ownership (TCO), Volvo Penta says. One of the most important steps is to keep the engine and its surrounding area clean, ensuring no build-up of dust or debris. Aftertreatment systems can also be the cause of issues if not properly maintained and kept clean.

It can also be worth investing in operator training so that they know how to best use the machine, say the Volvo Penta experts. If the engine is pushed too hard, this will not only increase wear and tear on the engine’s components, but will also increase fuel consumption.

To be continued.


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