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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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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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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