Running a logistics business is not easy, especially at a time when the rising costs across the board are making turning a profit a nightmarish proposition. So many companies struggle to cover their base operating expenses that tons of the smallest ones are forced to declare bankruptcy daily. So, it is crucial to cut down on costs where possible! Due to the rising gas prices, one of the main operating expenses nowadays has become fuel costs. So, it is only reasonable that engine idling time, which wastes fuel and does not do your vehicle any favors on top of that, should be reduced to an absolute minimum. However, it can be hard to come up with ways to implement measures properly. To this end, here are some effective ways to reduce engine idling time you can test out and implement into your own business!
Do not hesitate to turn your vehicle off
In the world of logistics and transportation, there has been a debate over what is better for your vehicle for a long time: idling or just turning your vehicle off, no matter how short your break is. Well, any reliable logistics company nowadays can tell you that the myth that it's bad to 'turn your vehicle off and on frequently' is exaggerated and incorrect. In fact, saving on fuel costs is the least important reason to try and avoid idling. If you leave your engine on constantly, it significantly increases its wear and tear. This naturally makes it so that you'll need more frequent maintenance to keep vehicles in top condition. No matter how knowledgeable a driver is about the basic maintenance of their vehicle, they will hardly be able to do anything to stop the vehicle from aging due to wear and tear. If you want to maintain your vehicles, you will need the help of a professional.
Try to keep your AC off
One of the most effective ways to reduce engine idling time is to eliminate the need to keep the vehicle running. And one of the most common reasons people leave their engines on is so they can run AC in their truck, be it for heating or cooling purposes. Now, as the experts from Divine Moving and Storage like to point out, refusing to use your truck's AC to save on fuel costs is not the best option. Sometimes, the temperatures inside a truck get horrendous, and AC is a basic requirement to protect yourself from heatstroke or catching a vicious cold. However, many drivers frequently set the AC to either temperature extreme. Modern drivers tend to resort to using AC even if the temperature is only mildly uncomfortable. If you do this, then you are wasting your resources. There is a middle ground to using AC, which can make the temperature comfortable while conserving fuel.
Remind your drivers what idling means for them
One of the most effective ways to reduce engine idling time that's unnecessary is to point out its consequence to your drivers. Every truck driver needs to pay a ton of attention to their CSA score. It is the one big thing for identifying professional and exceptionally experienced drivers from the mediocre or unsuccessful ones. And an essential part of every driver's CSA score is their 'hours of service,' which are meant to log their driving and activity hours and therefore allow them to rack up 'measurable experience.' However, if there're discrepancies between their supposed hours and distance crossed, problems start to pop up, and their score tanks. Leaving your engine idling almost always means that your ELD is running, too. And you might be flagged for trying to 'fake' your hours of service if you are not careful.
Start using the auto-stop and start technology
Another example of effective ways to reduce engine idling time is to start using the auto-stop and start technology. The whole logic behind the tech is simple: if your vehicle stops, your engine immediately shuts off. As soon as your vehicle starts to move, it automatically turns on. This is an amazing way to cut down on your employees' engine idling time without really having to rely on properly educating them about the importance of doing this. Of course, the results are best when you put in the effort to explain the pros of turning your engine off. But, it is a helpful option if drivers refuse to put the new policies into play. Especially at a time when even Californian law attacks truckers and the supply chain, since just making it through this period is hard for a logistics company.
Integrate more in-depth truck tracking
There are many benefits to fleet tracking. It can make your supply chain more sustainable by making it much easier for you to coordinate your fleet! However, the main benefit for our purposes is the fact that it's one of the effective ways to reduce engine idling time. Now, admittedly, this is probably the crudest and most invasive way to achieve this. Truck tracking allows you to identify the exact location of your trucks. And, if the software is advanced, even fetch some of its data. Such as, for example, whether or not its engine is on. You can monitor employee data to track your fleet's progress. You can contact them if they notice a truck parked in place with its engine running. And then request they either follow policies and shut off their engine or continue moving along the route.
Now that you are familiar with the effective ways to reduce engine idling time, you can probably tell why they need to be implemented. Engine idling is not just bad for your fuel consumption rates. Consider that some truck drivers can spend upwards of six hours every day with their engines idling. It is clear just how harmful this is to the vehicles. If you want to do your utmost to reduce operating costs, prolong the lifespan of your equipment, and promote good working habits, then reducing engine idling time is crucial.