driver fleet management

The Real Costs of Idling Behavior and How GPS Vehicle Tracking Helps

How often do you see drivers check their cell phones or tablets while they leave their delivery trucks or service vehicles idling on the road? While you won’t know if they’re checking their Facebook or checking in with dispatch, idling is a behavior that costs businesses millions of dollars each year. Fleet management software makes it easy to generate reports on idling by driver, or even set up real-time alerts when idling exceeds a specific number of minutes.

The Cost of Idling

Idling among US vehicles (from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks) wastes more than 6 billion gallons of fuel each year, according to a study by Argonne Laboratory. Passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) contribute to half that amount, while medium and heavy-duty vehicles contribute to the other half.  Idling wastes more than $20 billion in industry costs each year if you estimate about $3.50 a gallon.

Potential Savings

It’s easier than you think when it comes to scaling down the cost of idling. Small businesses can immediately see savings; if they cut out 1 hour of idling for each vehicle, they’ll save 1 gallon of gas. And businesses would save $2,275 on fuel each year if every driver eliminated 15 minutes of idling. Here’s the math:

Idling Costs Fleet Management

Vehicles don’t idle. People do.

Vehicles don’t idle on their own. Awareness of a problem drives change. Just as Fitbits helped people get in shape by making them more aware of their activity level, GPS vehicle tracking can help curtail idling behavior by bringing drivers awareness of how often they’re idling.

Changing driver behavior is the only way to eliminate, or significantly reduce, fuel-wasting idling. Using Spireon’s fleet management software to monitor and reduce idling behaviors, one customer decreased idling by 52% across the 3,000 vehicles they managed. This contributed over a million in fuel savings.

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