July 17, 2018
To get an idea of the importance given to idling reduction, consider that the Federal Highway Administration has a program (CMAQ) on mitigating congestion and improving air quality which supports projects to reduce vehicle emissions in areas with high pollution levels.
Estimates are that a long-haul truck averages nearly 1,900 hours of idling during the year, and between them, these trucks burn up over 800 million gallons of diesel per annum during idling. A medium-duty truck burns about half a gallon of fuel in an hour of idling, and not just wastes that fuel, it adds to maintenance costs, impacts the environment, and attracts fines.
Driver education can help as there are still some who believe that idling is better than switching off and restarting an engine multiple times. This is a misplaced belief because of modern engine design and high-efficiency starters.
Research on the subject tells us that every hour of idling has the equivalent effect in terms of wear and tear as about 75 miles of driving on the road. It’s not just wear and tear—unnecessary idling can cause a buildup in a truck’s engine. And also in that hour, about 22 pounds of carbon dioxide is released into the environment. A reduction of even one hour of idling in a week could save about a thousand pounds of CO2 per year per truck. Reduction in idling brings down the number of oil changes needed and also a decrease in maintenance expenditure.
“When an engine is idling, it’s not operating at its optimal temperature. In fact, the fuel is only partially burning which leads to a buildup of residue that damages engine components, which means idling is costly in terms of vehicle maintenance as well,” says Azuga CEO and Co-founder Ananth Rani.
As a pioneer in performance-based Driver Rewards, Azuga advises fleet managers on strategies to utilize idling reduction programs to recognize and retain drivers. Idling reports can be used to identify drivers with the least amount of idling minutes in a month to give them a coupon or a cash reward.
Azuga’s Fleet Management Solution is helping customers to save thousands of dollars by reducing unnecessary idling in a workday. The system can tell between idling during a work process and wasteful idling. By saving even $1 per vehicle per day through less fuel wasted in idling, in a fleet of 30, that’s a saving of about $9,000 during a year. Surely worth turning the engine off in time!