Idling is considered a top factor which affects fleet productivity and operational expenses (OPEX). For operations that rely heavily on mobile assets, prolonged idling times can affect their vehicle’s longevity, becoming very costly to their ongoing operation. Some drivers idle without even noticing.

The occasional stop at a coffee shop or waiting in the car for a colleague is in fact considered idling, even if it doesn’t feel like it. In extreme climates, drivers are also tempted to leave their engines on to preserve the air conditioning, even if the car is standing still. By integrating a smart fleet management solution, idling can be minimized or prevented altogether, minimizing expenses and fines associated with overproduction of carbon dioxide.

3 Myths associated with vehicle idling*

  1. # An engine needs to be warmed up before actual driving is done. False! Today’s modern engines require no more than 30 seconds to warm up. Even in cold weather conditions.
  2. # Idling saves money on fuel. False! In fact,  engine temperature while idling is lower than that of a driving car’s, which leads to an incomplete fuel combustion, resulting in fuel residues with the potential to condense and result in damage to the engine’s components.
  3. # Shutting and restarting an engine consumes more fuel than leaving it operating. False!

 

In fact, restarting and shutting off a vehicle’s engine has little impact on the longevity of its components. The wear-and-tear caused by restarting a car’s engine is estimated to add a mere $10 per year to the cost of driving – money which is easily recovered in fuel savings from reduced idling. The main conclusion we can draw is that vehicle idling has a direct impact on a fleet’s operational expenses. By minimizing idling we are consequently affecting a business’s bottom line.

 

Here are some ways to detect idling issues and solve them with Galooli’s smart telematics solution:

  • # A Complete Overview of a Vehicle’s Status
  • # Galooli OTO’s system allows operators to easily pinpoint vehicles which are idling and receive their statistics such as location, idling time, fuel consumption and more. By locating the problematic vehicles, operators can isolate and rectify the problem.
  • # Categorizing vehicles by type

 

Galooli OTO’s solution smartly recognizes and categorizes vehicles by type.

Idling is in fact affected by different types of vehicles (e.g. buses, machinery or commercial vehicles). Each “type” has different values for operational idling and true idling. Buses, for instance, have operational stops in stations and are obligated to keep the air conditioning on at all times, even while they are in traffic. Therefore, their idling time should be calculated differently than that of private cars (or trucks, tractors, etc). The same goes for machinery used in construction, especially vehicles which have a dual part both as machinery equipment and method of transportation. Galooli’s AI enables us to differentiate and categorize the different vehicle categories and differentiate operational idling from true-idling.

# Smart Alert Set Up

Galooli OTO’s smart solution allows fleet managers to set up alerts according to preference. What should the threshold for idling be? 5 min? 10? Idling is affected by many factors including traffic, rush hours, certain geographical areas and more. Fleet managers are either aware of what’s prevalent in their fleet’s ongoing operation or they can set the threshold on-the-go, by detecting specific recurring issues in their fleet and adjusting their alerts accordingly.

# Driver Ranking

Once a threshold has been set to differentiate between true-idling and operational idling, drivers are then being compared to their peers in a specific category and are being ranked accordingly. Fleet operators are consequently able to retrieve insights and understand which drivers in their fleet excel vs. the drivers that need improvement.

# Translate Your Idling into Actual Savings

Galooli’s smart algorithm considers the vehicle’s accurate fuel consumption as well as component wear-and-tear associated with vehicle idling and translate it into actual financial spending. This indication allows fleet managers and operators to understand the actual cost of idling and to understand how it affects their business’s bottom line.

* Gaines L., Levinson T, 2011, Cruising the Fuel Inefficiency Highway.

Article Credits: Dana (Galooli)