Reducing Idle Time Improves Fuel Efficiency, Profit Margins.
Decreasing machine idle time is key to improving your fleet’s fuel efficiency and your company’s profit margins. Idle time cannot be eliminated because of warm-up and shutdown requirements, but it can be controlled and reduced.
Here are seven sure-fire methods to reduce idle time:
Reviewing fuel consumption data and fuel costs with employees helps educate them on idling’s effect on equipment, overall operation, and company profits.
- Limit Warm Up Time
Equipment warm up time at the start of shifts varies by ambient temperatures, but as a rule of thumb warm up times can be limited to 5 minutes.
- 5-Minute Idle Rule
If a machine idles for more than 5 minutes, shut it down. Restarting equipment uses less fuel than idling for extended periods of time.
- Limit Cool Down Time
Machines should be idled when shifts end so that turbochargers and emission systems can cool and purge. In general, idling for two minutes at the end of the shift enables most equipment to reach optimum shutdown temperatures.
- Idle Management Systems
Some equipment is not equipped with “audio idle” or “engine idle management” systems. These systems monitor equipment parameters and automatically reduce engine rpm to idle rpm or below-normal machine idle rpm. Using these systems can reduce idle fuel consumption to less than 1 gallon per hour.
- Breaks and Lunch
Don’t idle machines during breaks and lunch periods. Some operators do this to keep the cab at temperature. Systems such as engine off cab heaters and coolers can reduce the “need” to idle over breaks.
- Monitoring Asset Utilization
Use telematics to monitor equipment use and set benchmarks to identify opportunities to reduce idling time.