Controlling Vehicle Idling is Critical to Reducing Fuel Costs

As fuel costs creep up to $4.00/gallon business owners and fleet managers are faced with the troubling task of finding ways to reduce fuel related expenses. In today’s ultra-competitive business market it helps do this by implementing internal conservation efforts rather than by raising retail prices. One of the most effective means of reducing fuel consumption is to reduce the amount of time that vehicles spend needlessly idling. Here’s why –

Studies performed by the Environmental Protection Agency show that one hour of idling is equal to the expenditure of one gallon of fuel.  This can get very expensive if mobile employees leave vehicles idling during lunch or break periods or for extended times at customer locations. When this occurs excessive idle related fuel expenses, even in small fleets, can be staggering. If each vehicle in a ten truck fleet idles needlessly for just 30 minutes per day (and in many fleets we see this as a much higher number) the resulting increase in fuel expenses would be in the area of $3,000.00 per year. In larger fleets the numbers are even more compelling. Aside from bearing the added expense of increased fuel usage management must also consider the environmental effects of vehicle emissions and the effect of powertrain problems caused by higher engine temperatures generated by excessive idling.

At Reltima we have a solution for these problems. The SmartAntenna, our GPS tracking device uses an idle sensor to tell system users when a vehicle is idling. In our Teluware fleet management application we have several reports that deliver these metrics for review in an easy-to-read format. A system user may also configure email or text alerts to be sent for extended idling events – at idle times defined by the user. These tools give management the data needed to modify driver behaviour early on – before instances of excessive idling are manifested in increased fuel and repair costs.

Driver reward programs for reduced idle times make complete sense and go a long way in reducing fleet expenses related to fuel and maintenance costs. We would be happy to explain in more detail how some of our customers have implemented these reward programs with success in the past. For more information call us at 781-569-2051.

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