What’s the fuel cost of idling?

It’s easy to keep the truck idling, but should you? Utilimarc wondered if it was time for you to kill the engine to save some coin.


To find out, we looked at fleet data from light pickups, light bucket trucks, and heavy bucket trucks to understand fuel consumption per hour of idle time, and average idle time.


Here are the results:  




Average Fuel Consumption Per Hour of Idle

When looking at Power Take Off (PTO)—the use of energy from a running engine to power hydraulic arms, tow truck lifts and other systems—the light bucket and heavy bucket trucks consumed more fuel when PTO was engaged. 50% and 27% respectively.


Interestingly, Fuel consumption at idle for the light pickup is similar to that of the light bucket truck when the PTO is not engaged.


So, what does this mean for increased costs?

To find that, we need to understand fuel price and the average idle time for each truck.



Average Daily Idle Time

In 2017, the industry cost of fuel per gallon was $2.49 for gas and $2.68 for diesel.


Light Pickup Costs:

The light pickup averages .41 hours of idle per day and consumes .41 gallons of fuel per hour. That means the light pickup consumes .17 gallons of fuel while idling. Or, $0.42 per day.


Bucket Truck Costs:

For light and heavy bucket trucks, a similar calculation can be done, but excluding PTO time since it’s likely to be necessary for productivity.


Daily Idle Fuel Costs:

Light Pickup: $0.42

Light Bucket: $1.58

Heavy Bucket: $1.08


In conclusion:

By knowing the average fuel consumption and costs of your fleet, you can validate the ROI of idle reduction technologies.


We hope you enjoyed this Spotlight.

Be sure to check your email and our blog for more insightful, data-backed industry results in the future. Have ideas for our next Spotlight? Let us know in the comment section below.


Have questions?

Want to know more about this data or how it ties to fleet analytics? Curious about how Utilimarc’s fleet suite can improve your fleet? Contact a Utilimarc representative at sales@utilimarc.com, call 952.417.0186, or visit utilimarc.com/demo to schedule a free, insightful demo.

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