Research has found that the average fleet vehicle idles through about 25% of its workday, creating an additional fuel cost of $2,500 to $12,000 per year, depending on the vehicle. With fuel prices continuing to rise throughout the nation, unnecessary idling is a cost most fleets can’t afford to ignore. Though idling during traffic is often unavoidable, you can significantly reduce your fuel budget by training your drivers to shut the vehicle off when parked.
While idling doesn’t seem to affect your vehicles’ health, it can actually cause the same amount of damage to internal parts as driving at average speeds for the same amount of time. The American Trucking Association has estimated that idling can increase a vehicle’s maintenance costs by up to $2,000 per year. An hour of idling, for example, can add about 80 miles worth of wear to your vehicle’s engine, shortening the time between oil changes and other maintenance needs. Along with direct maintenance costs, idling can shorten the life of your fleet, forcing you to replace vehicles faster than you should and further increasing budgetary demands.
Whether you support environmental protections or not, idling-caused pollution is still a concern. In 18 U.S. states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia — idling can incur fines of up to $25,000. Training your drivers to limit idling to less than 5 minutes can protect your company from these unnecessary costs and also improve the air quality of your home city and state. To reduce the costs of idling for your fleet vehicles, consider a telematics option that monitors and prevents this issue.