Skip to main content

Fleet Managers Can Crack Down on Idle Time with Telematics

August 4, 2015

Excessively idling engines are a big problem for mobile fleets. In fact, annual losses caused by engine idling are so serious that the state government in Wisconsin invested $1 million in 2014 alone to help local fleet companies resolve the issue, according to The Daily Cardinal. The program encourages fleet managers to invest in new equipment, like telematics, that helps companies to keep a closer eye on the behavior of each driver and the performance of each vehicle. If you suspect that your fleet is facing serious revenue losses on account of idle time, you can use telematics to face the problem head on.

Performance alerts catch every instance of idle time
An article in Green Fleet pointed out just how much companies stand to lose from rampant idle time. Extra costs add up quickly, so fleet managers with the largest number of drivers also stand to lose the greatest amount of revenue to idle engines. A fleet with just 10 vehicles, for instance, can lose over $14,000 to idle time in just a year. Thankfully, telematics systems can deliver driver alerts to dispatch and fleet managers based on several preset scenarios, such as a vehicle that has been left idle longer than necessary. Keeping track of excessive idle time becomes a breeze when instances are recorded automatically by the telematics system.

Drivers can’t hide from the data
Telematics data allows fleet managers to have honest, straightforward conversations about excessive idle time with their drivers. The hard data provided by a telematics system provides an objective starting point in terms of evaluating a driver’s performance. As time goes on, comparisons between these numbers can be used to identify trends in the employee’s behavior. Positive trends make it easy to reward a driver for a job well done. On the other hand, this detailed information also catches a driver’s behavior as it begins to slip. By talking to a driver after spotting small increases in idle time through telematics, a fleet manager can help the employee correct his or her performance before more loss impacts the company.

Long list of benefits for stopping idle engines
Beyond saving fuel and reducing travel time, cracking down on excessive idle time with telematics offers numerous advantages for your company. Less engine use means reduced repair costs, extended engine life, fewer emissions, and quieter performance. Each of these problems hinder your fleet from reaching its full potential. However, telematics systems can help address each of these issues by making idle vehicles easier to spot. This feature is especially useful when hiring new drivers – preventing bad driving habits from setting in is the easiest way of stopping idle engine problems from occurring in the first place.

Additional strategies to reduce idle time
Fleet telematics are one of the most effective strategies that you can deploy to encourage your fleet toward better performance. There are plenty of additional approaches that fleet managers can take in order to reduce idle time, and many of them work well in tandem with a telematics system. The Environmental Defense Fund strongly recommends that drivers make a habit of turning off their ignition if they plan sit idle for more than 10 seconds. Drivers should also remember that modern engines don’t need a waiting period before they are ready for cold weather driving. Allowing a modern engine to “warm up” is simply a waste of fuel. Communicating these new strategies to drivers along with introducing telematics is a great way to resolve poor driver habits that lead to idle engine for good.

Stay connected

Subscribe to our fleet blog and follow us on social media to receive all our fuel and energy industry insights. 

"*" indicates required fields

Learn how WEX can help with your energy transition