Idle Time

Idle time is my topic this week.  I’ve been spending some time reviewing government programs for idle reduction as part of my task to review the 21st Century Truck Partnership.  This is a Congressionally mandated activity that happens every 5 years.  A big portion of the Partnership the last 4 years has been the SuperTruck program.  But, the SuperTruck program does not cover all the activities related to idle time and idle reduction.  

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) published a confidence report on this subject earlier this year.  I’ve seen the average go from over 35% to something in the range of 20% in the last decade.  I’ve also seen benchmark numbers go from 15% to 5%.  But, what exactly does that mean?  Does idling at a traffic light count?  Does idling in a traffic jam count?  Does warming the diesel emissions fluid at startup in the winter count?  I’m not aware of a standard for determining idle time.  

I understand that each engine manufacturer has its own algorithms for determining this.  Make sure you understand the algorithms as you coach your drivers how to reduce this number and save fuel. Maybe, in the next decade we can get an agreement on how to calculate it and put it into the engines for the next round of emissions and fuel consumption requirements in about 2020.  Here are two links to information on state regulations.  Graphic  or SpreadSheet can be dowloaded from here.

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