In 2011, MPCA awarded Lunda Construction with a Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant to replace engines on five of its 100-ton cranes from the 1980s, which were being used in the Twin Cities Metro area on bridge repair and construction projects.
Most off-road equipment is so expensive to purchase new that the most efficient way to upgrade is to replace, or repower, the old engine with a new engine.
The 1980s Lunda crane engines had no emission controls. When they were replaced with new, vastly cleaner engines that meet Tier-3 emission standards, the result was tremendous reductions in pollution. Harmful PM2.5 emissions (a trigger for both asthma and heart attacks) were reduced by 2.7 tons per year. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, an ozone-forming pollutant, were cut by 20 tons per year.
Side benefits include reduced emissions exposure for crane operators and other crew at job sites, and for the communities where the cranes were operated. Crane operators reported that the new engines were more efficient, but also far smoother and quieter. So much so, they had to re-adjust their ears for operating them because they had more power with less noise.
The engine replacements (or repowers) had to be completed during the busy summer construction season to meet the grant’s September 30 deadline. In order to keep down time to a minimum, Lunda worked with its installer to schedule and coordinate one repower at a time on a two-week rotation.