While fleet idling can to a large extent be avoided, it can never be completely eliminated.
If not kept in check, however, it can spiral out of control. Below we will examine how idling can cost your business a lot of money and what you can do to reduce idling time to a minimum.
What Exactly Does The Term “Fleet Idling” refer to?
Fleet idling takes place when the vehicle’s driver allows the engine to keep running while it is in a stationary position. If they have to stop at a red light, or are stuck in heavy traffic, it might be virtually impossible to avoid. There is, however, often a lot of idling going on that has nothing to do with traffic congestion or red lights. Examples include leaving the engine running while:
– The driver is busy with a phone call
– The truck is being unloaded or loaded
– The driver is busy cooling or heating the vehicle because of very hot or cold weather
– The driver is taking a break to rest or eat
Why Unnecessary Fleet Idling Is A Bad Idea
Statistics show that a gallon (or even more) of fuel can be wasted every hour the vehicle is left idling unnecessarily. This will obviously have a detrimental impact on your firm’s profits. Apart from that, it also has a large negative impact on the environment. Running any vehicle for longer than is absolutely necessary comes with the added cost of shortening the engine’s lifespan and causing wear and tear on other parts.
Ways To Diminish Fleet Idling
Luckily, there are quite a few ways to reduce unnecessary fleet idling. Below we look at a few of them.
Ask Drivers Not To Leave Engines Running Unnecessarily For More Than 15 Seconds
Restarting a vehicle uses more or less a similar amount of fuel as letting it idle for 15 seconds. It’s not likely that you will be able to convince your drivers to switch off the engine when a traffic light, for example, stays red for an extended time, There is, however, very little reason for him or her to keep the engine running in the parking lot while they stop to buy a snack or run an errand
Make Sure Drivers Know That Driving Warms Up An Engine Better Than Idling
Many drivers are not aware that idling is not the best way to warm up an engine. The best way to do so is to ease into the drive while avoiding unnecessary engine revving. This way the vehicle will be ready to drive at normal speed within a very short time (much more quickly than if the engine was left idling). This also happens to be the most efficient way to get the vehicle’s cooling and heating systems to start delivering cold or hot air.
Start Using Telematics Technology
To get accurate idling data, you will have to start using one of the better telematics solutions out there, for example, LocoNav. These technologies help to keep track of idling time and the reports they produce will make it much easier to determine which drivers are most guilty of letting their vehicles idle unnecessarily. Once you know where the problem is, you can take the necessary steps to correct it by e.g. implementing a driver training program.
Introduce GPS Tracking
This will show you exactly where the vehicles in your fleet have traveled and how long every vehicle spent at each place. It also makes it possible to find out whether a driver made one or more unauthorized trips or not.
Fleet management software like this also has a few other benefits, including the following:
– Management will be able to set alerts and react in real time to whatever issue arises
– The data that is generated can be used to improve the efficiency of your drivers
– It will help the firm to adopt a long-term view when it comes to issues such as idling time and fuel consumption
– The information gathered by the system can be analyzed on a fleetwide basis or per vehicle.
Introduce Incentives For Reduced Vehicle Idling Time
Once you have proper data to work on, your fleet manager can proceed to incorporate that information into a fleet idling reduction plan. Start by providing training to those drivers who struggle to reduce idling time and publicly reward drivers who are able to significantly reduce this.
Let Efficiency Enterprises help keep your fleet running smoothly & efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our fleet management partnerships.