Do You Know How Much Your Trucks are Idling and Wasting Fuel?

2 Jun 2022

With rising costs of fuel and disruptions in the supply chain continuing across the country and the world, many businesses have been forced to reevaluate and adapt. Businesses and organizations that rely on transportation have become especially affected by the supply chain disruptions and the surge of fuel costs. In response to this, many operations have looked to new ways to save money and cut costs in general, and an easy way to do this for any truck fleet is by cutting down on fuel consumption and becoming more fuel-efficient.

An effective way to cut down on fuel consumption and maintenance costs is to reduce the amount of time your trucks spend idling.

How Truck Idling Wastes Fuel and Contributes to Wear and Tear

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), fuel costs contribute about 60% of total operating costs, making it the second-largest expense for truck fleets. The North American Council on Freight Efficiency (NACFE) concluded that a Class 8 tractor idling 5 to 8 hours a day for 300 days uses 1,200 gallons of diesel. In addition, the ATA has found that idling doubles the wear and tear on the engine compared to a moving vehicle, increasing maintenance costs by at least $2,000 each year and reducing the engine life by 20%.

Therefore, it’s clear that cutting down on idling can significantly reduce the amount of fuel consumption in your fleet while also reducing your trucks’ maintenance costs and extending the life of their engines.

Why fleet drivers are idling their trucks

 Here are some reasons your drivers may idling their trucks:

  • To warm up the vehicle on cold days.
  • To stop at a rest stop to eat or sleep.
  • To use their phone.
  • To get ready to load or unload inventory.
  • They are stuck in traffic or at a toll booth.
  • To process documentation.
  • They think idling is better than restarting the engine.

Most of these reasons can easily be remedied. For example, if it is a cold day and your driver doesn’t want to get into a cold truck, train drivers to warm up the engine by driving at a slow speed instead of idling.

Also, make sure that your drivers know that the idea that idling is better than restarting the engine is a myth according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Let them know that if they are stopped, especially off the road, they should turn the engine off no matter what. Idling is a huge waste of fuel and damages the engine, so it is almost always better to turn off the engine and turn it back on when you’re ready to go.

 How GPS fleet tracking can help reduce idling

 Besides training your drivers about how to reduce idling, there is an effective technology to reduce idling, and it is GPS fleet tracking. GPS tracking not only helps you plan optimized routes and can update you on incoming traffic or faster routes while on the road, but it can also provide you with alerts for speeding, harsh braking, and even idling. This will help your drivers to avoid heavy traffic so they won’t be stuck idling in a gridlocked area.

If you want to save on fuel costs and suspect your drivers are idling their trucks more than they should, look into the GPS fleet tracking solutions available here at LiveViewGPS to know for sure.


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