Here is a short checklist of recommended steps to help you find the idle reduction solution that will best meet your fleet's needs:
- Conduct your own controlled tests to determine how much your trucks actually idle and what it costs. Include both long-term idling during rest periods and shorter-term idling during the workday.
- Develop an idle reduction (IR) system acceptance criteria that defines your company's “must-have” features, including performance expectations, initial cost and expected payback period, service and parts support, installation time, financing requirements, warranty and product life expectations, ease of use and driver satisfaction and confidence in the supplier.
- Survey the available idle reduction solutions to identify those that, at least initially, appear to meet your criteria.
- Talk to the suppliers on your list to learn more about each system. Ask for references — fleets using the system that would be willing to share their experiences with you.
- Check to see if there are any grants, special project funds, tax credits or equipment weight exemptions that may be available to help offset the purchase price of your IR systems. Suppliers may be able to help you and there are also a number of Web sites that provide this information. (See the resources list on page 56.)
- If possible, run side-by-side comparisons of the systems on your “short list.” Allow time to test the systems in hot and cold weather
- If you are buying an aftermarket system to install on new trucks, talk to your truck OEM about any packages they may have to help streamline the installation process. Even a little time savings may significantly reduce labor costs.
- Suppliers are constantly improving and enhancing systems or partnering with other companies to add functions and features. If you aren't seeing exactly what you want, talk about it with your IR supplier and/or truck OEM. You may be pleasantly surprised by what can be done to better meet your needs.
For more information, go to Directory of idle reduction solutions.