As a fleet manager or business owner you may be looking for ways to reduce business costs or vehicle operating expenses. This is a fundamental problem for fleet managers when we first meet them. Take Rick A. for example. Rick’s business is all about getting the service truck to the customer. In the towing industry, customers on the receiving end want to know one thing: “When is my tow truck driver going to be here?”

A tracking system to pinpoint driver locations at the time of a customer request is critical. This let’s Rick find the available tow truck closest to his customer. The truck gets to the customer faster and it takes less fuel. Before using a GPS tracking system, Rick’s system was unmanageable at times. For Rick, this meant longer ETAs and wasted fuel as a result. But fast-forward to after onboarding the GPS Trackit solution? Rick has shortened the time it takes to route drivers to jobs. This has a twofold benefit: shorter ETAs and a lower fuel bill – both of which are very good for business.

How Does Engine Idling Hurt Your Fleet Business?

  • A typical fleet truck or van can burn one gallon of fuel for each hour it idles. This is true for gas or diesel fueled vehicles.
  • If this fleet truck idles for 6 hours per day and operates for 300 days in a year, it would waste about 1800 gallons of fuel.
  • For a diesel truck this means wasting about $5200, with the May 2021 price of 2.90 per gallon of diesel fuel.
  • For a gas engine van this means burning about $5000 worth of gas per year.

Engine Health & Idling

You might not realize it, but just sitting in traffic is costing you — and not just in wasted fuel. The American Trucking Association reports that idling causes twice the wear on engine parts compared to driving at regular speeds and can increase maintenance costs by almost $2,000 per year and shorten an engine’s lifespan.

Fleet Vehicle Idle Time is Eating Your Profits: Three Things You Can Do

1. Prevent your Fleet vehicles from excessive idling and protect your business.

Idling in the parking lot may seem like a harmless habit, but it can be costly and damaging to your motor vehicle. Idling for long periods of time creates excess heat that wears out engine parts quickly. This increases the need for frequent maintenance and increases unproductive downtime. So take care when you idle!

2. Help Drivers to Reduce Idle Time

Reducing idle time starts with your drivers. There are small behavioral adjustments that could add up to big savings for your business. These include turning off engines when vehicles are not in motion, following manufacturer recommendations for minimum warm-up time and obeying local anti-idling laws. These changes create significant reductions of fuel cost and lower emissions from idling trucks.

3. Reduce the Impact of Driver Rest Periods

Argonne National Laboratory, a leading research and statistics center, estimates that idling for rest periods results in the emission of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 55,000 tons nitrogen oxides and 400 pounds of particulate matter annually. These emissions contribute to climate change and diminish air quality which can affect not only those living within a community but also the truck drivers themselves. Argonne states that trucks that idle while sitting for their 30 minute required break consume up to 1 billion gallons fuel each year costing $3 billion. Obviously, there will always be exceptions to a no-idle rule on driver rest periods. But creating a policy that incentivizes drivers to follow company guidelines (wherever possible) can go a long way toward reducing both the cost of fuel and the impact to the environment.

How to get Drivers to Buy-In on In-Cab Video Monitoring

It’s no industry secret that drivers generally don’t love dash cams and telematics systems. For the drivers that are reluctant to comply with company guidelines, it can be helpful to create a win-win situation that motivates them to do their part. Driver incentive programs are a great way to do this — so it is possible to get drivers on board with video monitoring.

Driver incentive programs can take a few different approaches. These could be cash incentives, opportunities to advance their career in the company, recognition or awards and opportunities to mentor other drivers. At GPS Trackit, our Driver Behavior Scorecard allows you to easily see trends in your driver’s behavior over time, helping you make adjustments and driver evaluations that keep the fleet secure. You can review driver behavior dating back up to four quarters at a time, or pull up specific drivers with one click. This information helps identify potential problems before they become expensive crises and lets you take appropriate action.

Remember we mentioned Rick earlier? His story is not unique. Customers are generally seeing improvements in efficiency and fewer accidents across the board. If you want to learn more about the benefits of a GPS tracking and telematics solutions for your fleet including dash cams, driver reviews and ELD hardware. Contact a fleet advisor to get more information about how GPS Trackit can help you keep your fleet safe while saving you money.