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The worst mileage a vehicle can get with the engine running is 0 mpg, and that's what happens when a truck idles. Idling has long been a problem for fleets and fleet managers, and it has no benefits. It’s a harmful contributor to CO2 emissions and noise pollution, and it consumes excess gallons of fuel, resulting in increased fleets expenses. By reducing idling, fleets can save on fuel and contribute to a safer environment, both in terms of emissions and noise pollution, creating. a safer work environment for those in the area.  

Here are the need-to-know stats about idling: 

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 6 billion gallons of diesel fuels and gasoline are wasted by idling vehicles each year. 
  2. Trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles currently account for more than 20 percent of transportation-related fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. 
  3. Fuel costs typically comprise 30 – 40 percent of a motor carrier’s cost per mile, making it the second largest expense area reported by fleet managers in 2018 and excessive idling contributes to that.
  4. Exposure to noise, which idling contributes to, has been demonstrated to cause hypertension and gastrointestinal changes, and has been linked to aggression. Medium-sized trucks and heavy trucks cause noise peaks ranging 73-85 decibels.

Reducing idling in your fleets starts with educating your drivers and getting them on board about stopping this costly, wasteful behavior. Telematics solutions can provide insights to alert fleet managers when vehicles are actively idling, and can provide idling reports. With this information, fleet managers can pinpoint where most time idling is being spent.

Learn how fleet management software can help you monitor and reduce vehicle idling: Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, ATRI, EPA, Telematics Benchmark report, ETC Bulletin

Oswaldo Flores is a Safety & Compliance Product Manager at Teletrac Navman.

As a former fleet supervisor, Oswaldo has first-hand experience managing drivers and vehicles, ensuring his fleet maintains adherence to all internal and external regulations, policies, and guidelines, including DOT compliance, ANSI/OSHA certifications, and CHP Biennial Inspection of Terminals. Prior to his current position at Teletrac Navman, Oswaldo held fleet and compliance administrative management, fleet supervisory,  sales and business development roles with Pepsi Cola, Time Warner Cable, British Petroleum North America and Legacy Supply Chain Services.