June 13, 2022
As the cost of fuel continues to rise we know that drivers and businesses are looking for ways to minimise fuel waste and make their fuel last a little longer. One way you can make the most of your fuel is to reduce idling.
What is Idling?
Idling is the term used to describe when the vehicle engine is running, but the vehicle remains stationary. No matter whether the vehicle is moving or not when the ignition has been turned and the engine is on then it will be using fuel.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Idle Vehicles?
According to data compiled by Cat.com idling can be up to 40-50% of the total running time for some vehicles which costs up to 1 gallon of fuel per hour, when translated to UK measurements this is nearly 4 litres an hour so it’s easy to see how reducing idle time can save you money on fuel.
Additionally, the engine idling will contribute to wear on the engine and other components of the vehicle. This can lead to you having to complete maintenance work more often or earlier than expected, which adds to the cost of the vehicle.
Not only is idling bad for your business’ wallet but it’s also bad for the environment as the vehicle releases pollutants via the exhaust in one fixed area when it is stationary, impacting the air quality of the area. In some towns and cities, there will be no idling areas and you could even be fined for sitting stationary in your vehicle with the engine running because of the impact it has.
Ways to Reduce Idling
1. Educate Your Drivers – there are a lot of myths surrounding engines and needing to warm them up, especially in the winter. Modern vehicles do not need to stand idling before moving, the best way to warm your engine up is to drive it. If you provide drivers with information on idling and best practices, then this will help reduce the time they spend idling.
2. Invest in Telematics – you can also invest in GPS telematics that let you know where vehicles are spending their time so you can easily spot if there are particular drivers or vehicles which are idling and act accordingly.
3. Turn the Engine Off at Stops – if your fleet includes delivery vehicles or those that make regular stops then you should encourage drivers to turn the engine off fully when the vehicle is stopped. This will not only reduce the fuel usage but will also be safer if the key is not kept in the ignition.
4. Stop-Start Vehicles – if you are upgrading your fleet and do not want to move fully to electric vehicles just yet then we recommend looking at models that use stop start technology to turn the engine off when you are stationary, even in traffic.
5. Invest in hybrids – if you’re not ready to switch to a fully electric model but are updating your fleet then you might want to consider hybrid models. These will utilise stop-start and energy recapturing technology to help reduce fuel waste.
Enjoyed this article? Read more of our latest blogs below:
- How to Cut Fuel Costs for Your Business
- How to Drive Around Other Road Users
- The Best and Worst UK Cities for Driving
- 10 Essentials to Keep in Every Car
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