How To Reduce Truck Idle Time?

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Truck Idling may result to numerous additional costs for your fleet aside from wasted fuel, environmental violations, damage to the vehicle’s life cycle.

Today, competition is so high that all sections of a company are looking for ways to cut and/or reduce costs without cutting efficiencies. The first to go would be those costs that are avoidable. For fleets, that should be to substantially reduce idle time.

Better fuel efficiency is a priority for fleets, yet idling trucks burn fuel unnecessarily. This can result in fines from breaking local, state, and federal environmental and idle time regulations. And it can mean even greater maintenance and repair costs on a vehicle that’s essentially rarely powered down. Overnight idling alone costs about $5,640 a year per vehicle!

We all face the problem of driver shortage, so if we simply set a rule that limits idle time, we could be subjecting drivers to work in uncomfortable situations, like cab that are too cold or too hot, depending on the season.

  • Research all the vehicles in your fleet, to identify those that are best fit and have the needed equipment to handle longer layovers and wait time.
  • If you have a driver that consistently faces longer layovers, look in to what type of tractor he or she is currently driving and ascertain whether it is sufficient for that driver’s needs, and if not, swap that tractor out for one that suits their needs
  • Consider dressing your current fleet with appropriate equipment

What about equipment? 

  • Auxiliary Power Units (APU) – This can be an expensive option and, at weights of up to 400 lbs., the heaviest. However, this can save wear and tear on the engine, as well as conserve fuel.
  • Diesel Powered Heaters – These are much lighter and use diesel fuel to function. However, they only heat the bunk.
  • On Shore Power – This is a converter that plugs into a wall; however, this necessitates the tractor being parked at a facility that offers plug-in capability.
  • Batteries APU – A large set of deep cycle batteries that charge while the truck is running.
  • Automatic Idle Shutdown – Most times, a driver may leave the truck idling while he or she takes a meal or bathroom break. This equipment will shut down the engine after it’s left idling for five minutes or more.


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