PLANT hirers have rejected claims that diesel particulate filters will become compulsory for machines on British sites, as emissions requirements gets stricter.
The Construction Plant-hire Association, which has fought hard to prevent DPFs being made a requirement in London reacted angrily to claims that the filters will become obligatory.
CPA technical officer John Varcoe said many hirers had already been frightened off by the cost and complications of fitting DPFs and he promised the association would carry on fighting attempts to impose their use.
He added that equipment groups would resist any move to impose local regulations, particularly since a programme for cutting exhaust emissions has long been agreed both in Europe and the USA.
He said: 'Rest assured that the CPA and its members are very keen to see engine emissions cleaned up. But common sense must prevail and piecemeal changes like those proposed by London raise all kinds of problems. The cost of implementation must be weighed against any benefits gained. They should drop the requirements to fit DPFs and we have given many practical and commercial reasons why.' Hirers continue to argue that the £1,500-£6,500 price of a DPF system and £500 average installation cost would have to be passed on.
Mr Varcoe said: 'It is totally unacceptable to expect our members to shoulder these costs. Short-term hires will not be economically feasible.'
Besides the cost, hirers are also concerned at the logistical nightmare of adapting equipment to take the filters. Among problems expected are delays of up to a day on hires while filters are installed and removed.
Mr Varcoe said: 'Even the larger companies are questioning whether it is worth their while.' CPA chief executive Colin Wood warned that such problems would inevitably delay work. He said: 'This will provide unnecessary obstacles on Olympic sites.