3 Ways to Detect and Reduce the Cost of Fleet Vehicle Idle Time

    by Richard Higgs, August 26th, 2022

Fleet vehicle idle time is one fleet management’s silent killers. While it can be easy to miss, the problems excessive idling poses to your business are very real. Wasted gas, unnecessary engine fatigue, and – are just a few of consequences you’ll encounter. Luckily, there are moves you can make to reduce idling and improve the bottom line.

GPS Tracking Application

Gather and Analyze True Idling Reports

Telematics, commonly referred to as GPS tracking systems, can be applied to vehicles to monitor engine diagnostics, long-stop hot-spots, and even fleet vehicle idle time itself. These Idle reports are an absolute necessity when it comes to recognizing true idling and reducing waste — with them, managers can review the hard data and find solutions to their waste loss leaders.

In addition, keeping on top of your fleets’ idling statistics could save you from costly fines – several states have put anti-idling laws on the books to help reduce environmental harm. Idle reports can help eliminate the risk of fines.

GPS Route Planning

Configure Routes Optimally to Stop Fleet Vehicle Idle Time Before It Starts

While traffic is often thought of as unpredictable, it’s actually ripe to be studied and understood. Investing in route research, improving internal algorithms, and implementing best practices (such as choosing the right time to depart your trucks) can save big dollars in the long run.

Route planning software can analyze variables like traffic jams and difficult left-hand turns, and offer anti-idling alternatives. Ultimately, proper route optimization helps you make the most of your resources; and in turn, with everything working to its potential, idle times will dwindle.

Fleet Fuel Management System

Install Fleet Fuel Management Systems

Without fuel there’s no idling, and vice-versa. Thankfully optimization software can be implemented to give your gas money the best bang for its buck. Fleet fuel management optimization systems can offer insights into fill-up times and usage trends, prevent fuel fraud, and monitor harmful driver behaviors through innovative notification systems. Alerts for actions like illegal speeds or excessive idling can be set up to be sent directly to you, for example.

Plus stop-start systems have become a common way for fleets to reduce their idle times automatically. When the system detects a stop or idle, it’ll automatically cut the engine until the driver has lifted their foot off the brake or changed gear. Advanced systems can even look at accessories like headlights and windshield wipers and their activity. Simply put having both automatic systems like this and fleet fuel management data at your fingertips give your fleet a chance to be its best.

A Final Word

Fleet vehicle idle time is a challenge for even the most seasoned fleet managers. An array of variables go into daily idling, from unforeseen traffic issues to errant driver behavior. The cost of true idling can be very expensive, and that’s why proper systems should be put in place to reduce it as much as possible. True idling reports, route optimization, and fleet fuel management programs should be in the playbook of every fleet manager.