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What is Idling and is it Bad?

When your car’s engine is running but the car isn’t moving, that’s called idling. 

We’ve all been there,  on those hot summer days and you’re sitting in your car with the air conditioner on, it's something we all do but it is a bigger issue for companies operating with vehicles.

You will ask yourself these types of questions: Is idling bad for my car? After all, it’s just a couple of minutes, right? What harm could idling really do? But the truth is that when it comes to company vehicles, the drivers don't really mind. Keep reading to learn all about idling and its effects on vehicles.

The Cost of Idling 

Idling may not seem like a big deal, even more so when you have no idea or no way to see how much your team idles. But it actually has some pretty serious consequences, both in terms of money and the environment. For example, did you know that idling for just two minutes can burn more fuel than restarting the engine? If your drivers are idling for 1 hour each day, that adds up to about 15 gallons of wasted fuel over the course of 30 days. And that’s if the car has an average fuel efficiency. If your company has larger vehicles or some with poor fuel economy, the number will be even higher.

SCDHEC says that a regular car uses 0.5 gallons of gas per hour when it is not moving. That means that 10 regular cars would use 5 gallons of gas per hour! In the Caribbean, gas costs an average of $5.61 per gallon, so $28.05 worth of fuel is wasted each hour that the 10 cars are not moving. If that happens every day, it means up to $842 each month.

Check this table for Caribbean insights on fuel prices and idle costs. 

(last updated on October, 2022)

The Consequences of Idling

Not only does idling waste fuel, but it also emits harmful pollutants into the air we breathe all of which can have serious health impacts. These pollutants have been linked to asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes. This means that idling not only harms the environment but also our own health. 

The truth is that repetitive idling takes a toll on a vehicle's engine, leading to increased wear and tear and potentially a shorter engine life which can have major implications for your business. So not only is idling bad for your budget, the environment, and our health, but it’s also bad for your cars!

Putting an End to Excessive Idling

So, how can Axxon step in to help put a stop to this harmful practice? Through our all-in-one GPS tracking tool, you can easily set up alerts for instances of excessive idling, whether it's for a duration of 5 minutes or more. Our user-friendly dashboards and reports allow you to see which vehicles and drivers are performing efficiently and which ones are not up to par. This information enables you to make informed decisions based on data with just a few simple clicks.

The Medicine and Health Affairs of Curaçao faced challenges related to the misuse of vehicles, reckless driving, and unnecessary fuel wastage. However, they managed to overcome these issues. Presently, they're not only taking proactive measures to promote road safety among their employees but have also successfully reduced the amount of time their vehicles spend idling. This reduction in idling time contributes to lower emissions of harmful pollutants, ultimately fostering a healthier environment.

"We can see if our drivers are driving irresponsible or responsible. If one of our drivers is unsafe and needs assistance we know exactly what to do and where to go. Our fuel consumption has never been so low, we are stunned at how fast and drastically we were able to decrease it," said Gregory Snel from The Medicine and Health Affairs of Curaçao

Save money by optimizing your operations. 

As an operations manager, you're always looking for ways to save money and optimize your operations. We totally get it, and that’s why with Axxon’s vehicle management system you can get full insights into your assets. Want to start saving on fuel costs? Request your FREE quote now!

We hope this article has shown you the importance of reducing your idling. It’s not always easy to break old habits, but hopefully, after reading this, you’re motivated to make a change.