The Dangers Of Idling Within Truck Driving

H8pbqv2The Dangers Of Idling Within Truck Driving

Whether it’s sitting at traffic lights, waiting to pick up a customer or sleep during a rest stop, truck drivers often idle their trucks. While it’s tempting to think idling improves engine performance, the truth is that it’s actually harmful for the environment and for their trucks. It costs fleets billions of dollars annually to fuel and repair their trucks when they’re idled for long periods of time. Here are 5 dangers of idling within truck driving that you should know.

1. Carbon Dioxide Emissions

When you’re idling your engine, you are producing air emissions that contribute to climate change and air quality issues. These emissions include smog, soot, and acid rain. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) reports that every 10 minutes your engine is idled releases a pound of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is more than the amount of pollution released by the 250 million personal vehicles on the road in the U.S. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your vehicle’s fuel use and decrease the carbon dioxide emissions produced by idling. This can save you money on your fuel bill and help protect our environment by reducing the air pollution that affects us all. It’s easy to do, and there are many benefits to doing so!

2. Fuel Costs

Truck drivers need to idle for a variety of reasons, from keeping the cabin at an appropriate temperature to powering climate control accessories or running an auxiliary appliance that runs on engine power. Some drivers develop bad idling habits that lead to unnecessary fuel costs. A typical diesel heavy-duty truck burns 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour when idling, according to the Department of Energy. That’s higher than the 0.25 to 0.5 gallons that a consumer car burns, because of the larger engine size. Rest-period idling, in particular, can be particularly costly. According to Argonne National Laboratory, idling during a 30-minute break can cost $3 billion in fuel every year.

3. Noise Levels

Idling can cause noise levels to increase significantly. This can be a problem for those who are near the vehicle when it is idled, such as customers or business associates. For example, if you are in the truck stop or rest area and you need to get some rest, it can be even more difficult. A lot of trucks are traveling at any given time and they make a lot of noise, which can be disruptive to people who need to catch a few zzzs or get some shut-eye during the day. This is why many cities and states are attempting to curb idling by enforcing strict idling laws. Some have fines for idling violations, while others offer awareness programs to educate drivers on how idling can affect their health and safety.

4. Wear And Tear On Engine Parts

Idling is not only damaging to the environment, but it also adds a substantial amount of wear and tear on engine parts. As a result, idling time can shorten the life of an engine by up to 20%.   The American Trucking Association estimates that one hour of idling per day for a year will reduce the lifespan of a truck by up to six to twelve months. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce the amount of time that vehicles idle. These include idling awareness programs, fuel consumption targets and driver training.

5. Increased Heat

Idling can create significant amounts of heat, which can cause damage to the engine. This can lead to expensive repairs and shorter engine life expectancy. Idling can also lead to increased temperatures inside trucks as well. This is especially harmful for drivers, who often sleep while idling their trucks. If you’re a trucker, it may be tempting to leave your truck idling while you sleep in order to keep the interior of the truck warm. However, this practice is a waste of diesel and time, so it’s important to consider other options.