Idling a semi-truck isn’t recommended for numerous reasons. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s bad for your engine. It’s also illegal in Illinois under certain circumstances. Illinois State statute 625 ILCS 5/11‑1429 prohibits diesel vehicles over 8,000 pounds from idling more than 10 minutes every hour. This law is enforced by enforced by Department of Public Health (CDPH) inspectors, traffic control aides, parking enforcement aides, and police officers. Idling can also be harmful to the environment and the truck driver’s health.
Unfortunately, idling isn’t always avoidable so today J&A Fleet Repair Braidwood is going to guide you through safely idling a semi.
What is Semi-Truck Idling?
Truck idling is when a truck driver allows the engine to run when the vehicle is not in motion. This can happen when a big rig is stuck in traffic or even parked at a local truck stop.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable. After all, there’s not much drivers can do about rush hour gridlock. However, idling can be reduced while truck drivers sleep and when they warm the truck’s engine before hitting the roads again.
Some common circumstances where ground transportation fleet vehicles have no choice but to idle include:
- Being stuck in traffic with no room to maneuver out
- Running appliances from the truck’s electrical inverter
- Building up air pressure to release brakes
Why You Shouldn’t Idle A Vehicle
We’ve already talked about this a bit, but we could go on and on. There are several reasons why J&A Fleet repair warns against truck idling. First, it’s wasteful. Gas prices are rising with the costs of crude oil and Illinois’ taxes. Unnecessary idling wastes thousands of gallons of diesel fuel every year. Did you know that just two minutes of idling uses up the same amount of fuel as driving a single mile does?
Aside from the cost of gas, idling can lead to expensive big rig repairs because it shortens the lifespan of the engine. You’ll also waste a lot of motor oil which leads to more frequent oil changes, something that can get pretty expensive for heavy-duty trucks.
Finally, idling a truck emits toxic pollution into the atmosphere, which is not only bad for the planet, but it’s also bad for the driver’s health.
As you can see, truck idling has some serious consequences. Sometimes idling is necessary, but it should be avoided whenever possible to save money, protect the environment and driver’s health, and reduce fleet downtime.
How to Safely Idle A Company Truck
One issue with idling that we haven’t discussed in depth yet is its effect on the drivers’ health. Idling a car creates carbon dioxide which is bad for the driver and the environment. But things can get worse if you’re parked in an enclosed area because vehicle exhaust systems emit carbon monoxide which can be deadly. To avoid harm from these gases follow these easy steps courtesy of your Braidwood fleet repair shop–
- Crack the windows or crack the vents to keep fresh air circulating through the cab and eliminate any hazardous fumes. If the driver inhales too many fumes they may be at higher risk of certain cancers or even sudden death by asphyxiation.
- Check for exhaust leaks during regular maintenance checks. J&A Fleet Repair in Braidwood checks for this every time a fleet vehicle comes in for maintenance, but drivers should still check for exhaust leaks in their pre-trip inspections. You’ll also want to make sure the exhaust is being eliminated properly and isn’t accumulating beneath the sleeper.
- Never let your truck’s engine idle if you don’t have to. This is a prime opportunity for gases to overpower you. You should also turn off your semi-truck anytime you exit the vehicle to prevent theft.
J&A Fleet Braidwood Semi-Truck Fleet Repair and Towing
If you need help keeping your semi-trucks operational, look no further than J&A Fleet in Braidwood, Illinois. We specialize in road services and heavy-duty truck repairs which keep both local and national companies at full productivity. Are you curious about how our auto repair shop can help your company maximize profits? Call today and ask about our two-truck fleet maintenance agreement.