Rising to the Occasion
Vulcan Materials is the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates, and a major producer of asphalt and ready-mixed concrete. Vulcan’s eastern division manages a fleet of 14 tugs that operate throughout the Mid-Atlantic states.
The cost-effective and reliable operation of these vessels is the responsibility of Gravely and Dixon. An increase in repair frequency and diminishing fuel efficiency led to a decision to repower the Norfolk based Capt. Ted. Recognizing that today’s diesel engines have become more complex and more costly in order to meet EPA requirements, Gravely and Dixon diligently scrutinized the market to identify the engine that would give them the best blend of lower up-front cost, long term reliability and reduced operational expense.
The Choice Becomes Clear
Mitsubishi emerged on paper as their engine of choice. To prove out their research, the pair visited and sea-trialed Mitsubishi powered vessels in Iowa, Louisiana and Texas, arranged with the assistance of Mack Boring & Parts Co, their Mitsubishi distributor. Their sea trials and interviews with the vessel owners verified to them that Mitsubishi was indeed a leader in heavy displacement engines and, for the Capt. Ted, superior to all other choices in the market.
Specific results of their research led them to choose Mitsubishi. Maintenance costs for Mitsubishi engines offer significant savings over competitive engines. Fuel consumption benefits with Mitsubishi would result in dramatic annual savings. Mechanical, non-electronic design met tier requirements while promising better reliability and more simple service. Vessel response to the Mitsubishi engines in sea trials was far superior to the other engine choices. Support provided by the Mitsubishi distributor, Mack Boring & Parts Co., is top notch.
Reaping the Rewards
After four months of time on their new Mitsubishi S12A engines, Dixon reports, “We’re extremely happy with the engines’ performance and fuel savings. We’ve improved fuel economy by at least 10 gph, probably more.” Dixon estimates the Capt. Ted runs 6,000 hours on an annual basis. With today’s fuel prices, their decision has improved bottom line numbers by a minimum of $225,000!