As fleet managers continue to look for cost-cutting measures to stay under budget, the simplest answer remains: Have drivers shut down their engines whenever possible.
Turning off an engine not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases fuel economy, it’s also the law in a majority of states. The fines associated with non-compliance can severely impact a company as these can cost up to $5,000 in some areas.
So as the need to decrease heavy-duty truck idling continues to grow, fleet owners and executives continue to search for the best idle reduction technology available.
While idling, a commercial truck wastes a half of a gallon of diesel fuel per hour, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By idling for two hours per day, a driver will waste over $1,000 per year, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s average cost of diesel fuel per gallon. But fleets that invest in idle reduction technology will see payback from fuel savings alone in as few as six months, depending on which solution is implemented.
The EPA has found that long duration truck idling wastes more than one billion gallons of diesel fuel on an annual basis, and it comes at a substantial cost to the entire trucking industry. Truck idling is also devastating the environment as the EPA reports that more than 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and over 180,000 tons of nitrogen oxides are emitted every year, as well as fine particulate matter and other dangerous air toxins.
Ways to Reduce Engine Idling
Growing in popularity among fleets, an idle limiter will automatically turn off an engine once a predetermined amount of time has passed in order to cut down on unnecessary idling.
Types of idle limiter systems:
- RPM or Speed: The system detects when the engine is idling, and activates the shutdown timer.
- Parking Brake: The device turns once a driver places the vehicle in park or engages the parking brake.
- GPS: If the GPS system detects no movement, the timer is activated.
Passive and Active Monitoring Systems
A passive monitoring system captures data associated with idling to track how drivers are conforming to idle reduction policies. In turn, active monitoring systems are paired with a GPS unit and provides real-time alerts for fleet managers when an automatic idle cutoff transpires. When choosing an idle limiter system, a fleet needs to ensure the idle limiter system has the ability to be programmed so as to comply with all appropriate state and local anti-idling rules in the areas they operate.