How Much Can Idle Reduction Efforts Impact Costs?￼
Excessive idling trends can be a nightmare for budget-conscious fleets. While burning fuel in an idle vehicle increases fuel spend and lessens fuel efficiency, these are not the only ways that unproductive idling contributes to fleet expenses.
Many fleet managers are utilizing idle reduction tools not only to decrease fuel consumption and emissions, but as a strategy to reduce fleet costs. With budget-cuts happening all around, opportunities for scaling back unnecessary spend are top-of-mind for every fleet manager today. Luckily, there are numerous ways to successfully approach this challenge.
As you can see pictured, Utilimarc’s Business Intelligence Platform offers an easy way to distinguish the unproductive idlers and understand general idling trends within your fleet.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that an implementation plan and dashboard covering Idle Reporting can help cut down your fleet costs.
Idle reduction = cost reduction
Reducing maintenance costs: A running vehicle, whether in motion or not, causes wear and tear on the engine and other parts. What does this mean for vehicles that are excessively idling? This means that while your pickup truck’s odometer might read 10,000 miles, it might feel far more used when factoring in the additional wear due to time the engine was running. This results in needing maintenance services more frequently: oil changes, spark plug replacements, etc.
In this case, the Idle Reporting and in-depth Usage Analysis capabilities of Utilimarc’s Business Intelligence Platform helps you distinguish unproductive from productive idle. Pointing out which vehicle classes, and even specific vehicles, are the greatest offenders and helping you get to the root of the problem before it becomes an issue.
Improving vehicle lifetime: To get a vehicle’s age, people often take into account a vehicle’s age and mileage. As mentioned before, however, once you factor in idle time over the vehicle’s life, you get a much more accurate idea of the vehicles true “age” in terms of total wear. Going solely off of vehicle mileage ignores many other factors that contribute to a vehicle’s bill of health. By closely monitoring this wear before it does too much damage, fleet managers can help to create a more accurate preventative maintenance schedule and therefore extend a vehicle’s lifecycle. This has the potential to help managers avoid costly, unexpected repairs on underserviced vehicles due to lack of consideration for idle time.
Cutting TCO overall: With fewer maintenance costs and an extended lifecycle, we see how a better reporting and maintenance regimen can be a great tool for lowering the overall Total Cost of Ownership for fleet assets. If vehicles cost less money to manage and last longer before they are retired from the fleet, they become a better investment to fleet managers. This is an all-around win.
READ MORE: 5 Reasons Why the Top Fleets are Using BI
The Bottom Line
While many managers might believe idle reduction reporting is a tool for sustainability or just to reduce fuel spend, it actually provides us with actionable insights on how to target excessive idle, maintain vehicles more effectively and achieve the cost-saving benefits mentioned above. With a solid understanding of how their fleet is performing, managers can take action by implementing regulations around drivers idling. Especially with such a clear tie to costs, there is major incentive to monitor trends closely and work to understand the metrics and associated impacts of idle as much as possible.