What is Vehicle Idling?

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What is vehicle idling and why is it so important for fleet managers to keep track of it? When your driver decides to take the wrong route and gets stuck in traffic, they are forced to put the vehicle in idling mode. That means the engine is running, but the vehicle is not moving. While there is nothing you can do when you are stuck in traffic other than idling the vehicle, it does not mean that it is not causing any harm.

In addition to the impact of vehicle idling on your fleet maintenance, it can also take a toll on the productivity and financial health of your business in general. 

Idling also contributes to pollution. Vehicle idling is prohibited in most countries because of the harm it causes to the environment. Idling in vehicles results in over 6 billion gallons of fuel going to waste every year. In Australia, vehicle idling contributes to over 20% of the total greenhouse gas emissions annually. 

How Long Can You Leave Your Vehicle Idling?

The question most drivers ask is how long they can leave their vehicles idling when parked. The answer depends on the condition of your car—specifically whether it has some broken components or not. Some factors that might impact how long your vehicle can idle include:

  • Vehicle condition: Your vehicle stops idling as soon as something breaks in the system. Leaving your vehicle idling for long periods of time exerts stress on the vehicle components, especially the thermostat and fan belt. If the car system is not well maintained and some replacement parts used on the vehicle are defective, your car won't idle for long before stopping. 
  •  Amount of gas: If the vehicle runs out of gas, it must stop idling immediately to cool down and maintain the optimal temperature. Idling can cause heating in the car engine and damage your vehicle in the long run. 
  • Battery charge: When you leave your vehicle idling for a long time, the battery is drained, and you have to recharge it again to start the engine. It is advisable to disconnect the battery if you want to leave your car in an idling state for a while.

When you are stuck in a jam, or you are waiting for traffic lights, you are allowed to idle the car for up to a minute. Sometimes the jam looks crazy, and you may have to stop your engine. It's actually dangerous to leave your vehicle idling in traffic or parking for a long time. 

What Happens When You Leave Your Vehicle Idling for Too Long?

There are many issues associated with vehicle idling that go beyond environmental pollution. Here are some problems that vehicle idling might cause that you should be aware of:

1. Increases Fuel Costs 

Every business with a large fleet is always looking for ways to cut the cost of fueling their cars. However, when drivers leave their vehicles idling on the road and parked for long periods of time, it can significantly increase fuel costs.

Your vehicle consumes fuel even when it's not moving. With the increasing fuel prices, you cannot afford to waste gas by leaving your vehicle idling. If you depend on your fleet of vehicles to move raw materials and deliver finished goods to clients, you should focus more on reducing vehicle idling.  

You can track your drivers' behavior by installing fleet tracking applications on your vehicles. Azuga offers the best fleet management system, which you can use to limit vehicle idling and other driving misconduct.

2. Pollutes the Air 

When you avoid excessive vehicle idling, you are everyone around you a big favor. Why? When you leave your car idling for too long, it releases fossil fuel emissions into the air. These emissions make it unbearable to breathe and can cause respiratory infections like asthma, lung disease, and heart conditions.

Air pollution from vehicle idling contributes a lot to premature deaths in developed countries. Naturally, you wouldn’t want your business to contribute to that if you don’t have to.

3. Shortens your Engine Lifespan 

Leaving your vehicle idling is not good for your engine. It may seem like you're saving on fuel by leaving your car idling for a few minutes, but when you think of the damage it causes to your engine, it makes sense to avoid it when you can.

Your vehicle does not operate at proper temperature when it's idling. The fuel does not fully combust, which can cause damage to the fan belts, thermostat, and engine exhaust system. When fuel is not fully combusted, it leaves some residue behind that can damage the exhaust system over time and cost you a lot to repair the engine system.

Turning your vehicle on and off when stuck in traffic may look stressful, but it has the potential to save you a lot of money. Although it could potentially cause some damage to your car battery, the cost is bearable when compared to how much you'll spend if your engine goes. 

4. Puts You at Risk of Theft 

When you leave your vehicle idling in the parking spot, you are exposing it to theft. Anyone passing by can get into your car and drive off in it.

It gets worse if your vehicle does not have the best fleet tracking device installed on it. If you are not likely to stop leaving your vehicles idling, you should install a fleet tracking system from Azuga inside the vehicle to keep it safe. 

Final Thoughts 

Vehicle idling affects your fleet in many ways. Besides increasing your fuel expenses, it also damages your engine, which can shorten your fleet lifespan. If your drivers are fond of vehicle idling, you can track their behavior by installing an Azuga fleet safety and tracking app on your vehicle. You can also educate your drivers on the dangers of vehicle idling to improve your fleet efficiency. Any dedicated team will be happy to help you make changes that help your business improve.

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Fleet Dispatching

Dispatch software is a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your dispatch process and keeping operations streamlined. It offers a variety of features that make daily procedures so much easier, from fleet tracking to reports that help businesses make decisions. What features does dispatch software offer, and how do these features benefit fleets? We will break this down for you. 

Assign and Monitor Jobs

It is easy to assign and monitor jobs with dispatch software because it uses fleet tracking. Fleet tracking allows you to assign jobs to crews in the field. If you need a lead technician for a job, it’s simple to attach that lead tech to any job you need. You can even sort jobs based on their status, whether they’re one-time, recurring, or multi-day, or based on urgency. 

When workers finish jobs, they can mark the job as complete on their end. This way, you can know when each job concludes and when your technician moves on to their next task. 

Easier Communication

Back and forth calls between technicians and managers are no longer a problem. With dispatch software, you simply input the job you want your technicians to address. Your technicians access it from their phones and know what to do from there. When they’re done, they can mark it complete and view their next job right away. They can track their time, update their schedules, and input notes all while on the go. Everything you need to know will be on your screen when you need to know it, no need to track the information down. 

Improve Customer Service

Dispatch software can improve your business’s customer service reputation in a variety of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking allows for route optimization software, which gets your technicians to their destinations quickly and efficiently. No more late technicians making your customers wait. Furthermore, dispatch software allows you to assign technicians to customers they already know, building an improved relationship with your business. And with all of your customer information in one place, it’s easy to respond to disputes and issues in a timely and personal manner. 

All of your client and order information is available in a field service CRM that details everything you need to know about your customers and the jobs you’ve done for them. 

How to Get Dispatch Software

Azuga offers state-of-the-art dispatch software that your business is sure to benefit from every single day. These benefits will improve your fleet’s daily operations, boost customer service, and maximize productivity among your workers. These features and more bring your fleet to its maximum potential, allowing you to focus on making important decisions to help the business grow and thrive. Find out everything you can do with dispatch software by trying out a free demo today. You’re certain to be impressed with the improvements.

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Multi-Drop Route Planning

A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety. 

How Does Multi-Drop Route Planning Work? 

The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption. 

Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information. 

Benefits of Multi-Drop Route Planning

There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel. 

Where to Get Multi-Drop Route Planning Software

If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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