Development and Use of Emissions Inventories for Construction Vehicles Academic Article uri icon


  • Real-world data are insufficient to estimate actual emissions from construction vehicles and to develop effective decisions aimed at reducing emissions. A methodology is developed here for inventorying construction fleet emissions on the basis of representative real-world measurements of construction vehicles by means of a portable emissions measurement system (PEMS). The PEMS enables measurements of actual duty cycles and their corresponding fuel use and emissions. The methodology is demonstrated via application to a fleet of publicly owned construction vehicles used primarily for highway maintenance. Selected backhoes, front-end loaders, and motor graders, representing various model years and engine emissions standards, were measured with PEMS during use. Tests were performed for B20 biodiesel and petroleum diesel (PD) fuels. Emission factors from the PEMS data, combined with owner records of annual fuel consumption for over 1,000 vehicles, were used to estimate annual inventories of tailpipe emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. The emissions inventory was stratified by pollutant, vehicle type, fuel type, and engine tier and was used to assess fleet management strategies aimed at reducing emissions. Case study results illustrate that total fleet emissions would be reduced by 3% to 24% when B20 fuel was being used exclusively instead of PD exclusively, 11% to 50% when all Tier 0 and Tier 1 engines were replaced with Tier 2 engines, and 31% to 72% when B20 fuel was used exclusively in the highest engine tier available. Recommendations are made about development and practical applications of emissions inventories for construction fleet management.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Lewis, P., Frey, H. C., & Rasdorf, W.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Lewis, Phil||Frey, H Christopher||Rasdorf, William

publication date

  • January 2009