The Problems with Idling a Truck: 3 Tips to Reduce Idle Time

PAM Transport recently held their Mission MPG event in Tontitown, Arkansas where they awarded the company's most fuel efficient drivers with cash and prizes.

Last time, we discussed what the first letter in "MISSION" stands for -- Minimizing RPM's. Now it's time to move on to the letter "I."

Mission MPG

The "I" in "MISSION" stands for "Idle Off."

For every hour of time a truck spends idling, one gallon of fuel is used. That equates to about $4 an hour to idle a truck!

To put it in bigger perspective:  If an average truck idles for 6 hours a day and operates 300 days a year, it uses 1,800 gallons of fuel on idling alone. 1,800 gallons at $4/gallon equals $7,200 spent a year on idling one truck!

But idling is not only hurtful financially. It can also cause problems with engine wear and pollution. Idling a truck causes twice the wear on internal parks compared to driving and can increase maintenance costs by almost $2,000 per year. On top of fuel and money waste and engine wear, idling vehicles produces significant amounts of pollution. When drivers sit in an idling vehicle, they're more exposed to said pollution since there is no air flow.

Steps to Reduce Idling

  • Turn off your engine when you're not driving.
  • Follow manufacturer recommendations for minimum warm-up and cool down time.
  • Use an APU to provide heat, air conditioning, and electrical power while the vehicle is not in use.

What are your tips for reducing idling?

Let us know in the comments section below!