Early diesel-fueled trucks (from the 1930s) experienced a number of issues. The engine’s design made it difficult to start. The oils were thick and heavy, and the fuel had a tendency to congeal, making it difficult to start the engines, particularly in cold weather. The quality of the fuel was not as excellent, and it was not controlled as it is now.
Fuel engines and technology have vastly advanced over the years, yet for some reason, the old habit of leaving the engine running has persisted.
Myth: Before driving a diesel engine, it must warm up for 5 to 10 minutes at idle or longer, especially on chilly days.
Fact: This is one of the most popular diesel engine misconceptions. Newer diesel engines should be idled for no more than 3 minutes before driving, according to most engine manufacturers.
Allowing an engine to idle causes more damage to it than starting and stopping it. When compared to traveling at motorway speeds, idleing an engine generates twice the wear on internal parts. Idling increases maintenance costs and reduces the engine’s lifespan.
Fuel is one of our industry’s most expensive operating expenses. Idling has a negative influence on us because it increases our fuel and maintenance costs. In a truck, one gallon of fuel is consumed each hour of idling time. The bigger the engine, the more gas it uses. The price of a gallon of diesel is currently over $3.20 and is likely to rise this year. The expense of idling soon adds up with the number of pickup trucks, big trucks, and equipment we operate.
Why do people let their diesel engines idle?
Mark and Jamie Womble park their 18-wheeler in the snowy lot behind Trader Alan’s Truck Stop along Interstate 95 around 12 p.m. Eight more trucks have already arrived and are parked side by side. Despite the fact that this is a truck “stop,” their diesel engines are still going.
The Wombles, a husband-and-wife driving duo, will also come to a halt – but not completely. While they enjoy lunch with the other drivers at the restaurant, their truck will idle outside, rumbling gently to keep the engine and fuel warm in the frigid weather.
Hundreds of thousands of diesel trucks idling at truck stops across the United States, according to a research by the American Trucking Association, are a serious emissions problem.
Even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reduced the sulfur content of diesel fuel to reduce pollution, if the trucking industry is unable to reduce idling trucks, stronger federal emissions regulations may be imposed.
The number of hours wasted idling by the projected 1.28 million long-haul diesel trucks on American roadways is in the billions. Truck stops are significant stationary sources of CO2, NOx, CO2, and volatile organic pollutants. Trucks transport 56 percent of all freight in the United States.
According to Vic Suski, senior automotive engineer of the American Trucking Association (ATA), a gallon of diesel fuel consumed at idle produces 2.5 times the amount of ozone components in the air as a gallon burned on the road.
According to the American Trucking Association’s Vehicle Maintenance Council, the average diesel truck travels 130,000 miles per year and spends 6,316 hours on the road. However, it has only been hauling freight for 3,095 hours, which is less than half of the period. The vehicle has been operating but halted for 3,221 hours, the engine rumbling at a low idle. According to another estimate, truck pauses account for around half of the idle time.
“The community around the truck stop is facing the brunt of these pollution,” says Steve Allen, a project manager with Boston-based Energy Research Group, an energy consultancy business.
Weather circumstances, economic demands, and old habits are all reasons why truckers, both independent owner-operators and fleet drivers, leave their engines idling.
The engine and fuel tank of a vehicle must stay warm in cold weather. Heaters, lighting, and other appliances in the living space right behind the driver, where he or she sleeps, eats, reads, and watches TV, all require power. Cabs and perishable cargoes must be chilled in the summer.
Mr. Suski said, “A lot of drivers are under the gun.” “They have to make a drop, and if the engine won’t start in the dead of winter, or at any other moment, they’re done….” Allowing her to be inactive is the best way to avoid this.” It might cost up to $100 to jump-start a diesel engine. Minor repairs could cost as little as $300.
Despite truck manufacturers’ promises to the contrary, many drivers believe that stopping and starting a diesel engine causes unnecessary wear. Many drivers will not wait the recommended five minutes for the engine to cool down before turning it off. They simply leave the motor idle at a truck stop while they eat, shower, or shop.
“Except in freezing weather, there is no reason to leave an engine idling,” Mr. Allen explains. “Many drivers believe it is healthy for the engine, and it is difficult to break established habits.”
Only the Edison Electrical Institute (EEI) in Washington, D.C., has recommended truck-stop electrification as a feasible solution, according to the trucking industry. Truck stops would be equipped with outlets for “electrified” vehicles to connect into upon arrival, similar to how trailer parks give electricity to their customers.
Heaters for the engine and fuel tank, a heating/cooling device for the cab, and an automatic shutdown to kill the engine five minutes after stopping would all be built into the truck. According to Eric Blume of Electric Perspectives magazine, most of the components are currently available, and retrofitting a vehicle with the equipment would cost between $1,500 and $2,000. The electricity utilized would be paid for by the truckers.
“A truck costs around $3,400 a year to idle,” says Mike McGrath, director of client programs at EEI, whereas plugging in a truck only $1,369. “We are solely advocating this proposal for its economic benefits,” he argues.
The plan’s initial cost to a truck stop is estimated to be $1,500 per outlet, with a payback period of 8 to 16 months, according to EEI.
Even if diesel fuel sales decline, truck-stop owners would make roughly 76 cents per hour if they sold power. According to an EEI estimate, the truck owner, particularly the owner-operator, would save more than $3,500 year in gasoline and extend engine life.
According to the EEI, an hour of idling time equals 80 highway miles of engine wear. Engines would live longer if idle hours were decreased in half or more under the plan.
Annual carbon reductions under the strategy are estimated to be around 30%. “This is an opportunity to minimize emissions while also making money for truckers and truck-stop businesses,” Mr. Allen says.
The EPA, the ATA, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, and the Electric Power Research Institute have created an informal consortium to reach agreement on the plan’s provisions. Within two years, pilot initiatives at several new truck stops would commence. “We’re also going to talk to drivers personally,” Allen says.
Is idling bad for diesels?
Is idling a diesel engine harmful? Idling a diesel engine causes the engine to suffer greater damage than regular running. When a diesel engine is run at a low speed, the internal components are subjected to twice the amount of wear as when it is run at a typical load. This will result in higher maintenance expenses and a reduction in engine life.
This information astounds me. I can’t believe that idling your engine generates twice as much wear. When you consider the amount of idling that occurs in diesel applications, that is just incredible. Do you believe your diesel is on its last legs? See my post on the 10 indications and symptoms of a worn-out diesel engine for more information.
This is why most manufacturers define applications with long idle durations as severe workload and advise a more aggressive maintenance regimen.
Idling really causes carbon to build up in the engine. Mirror glazing in the cylinder walls can also be caused by a large percentage of idle time. When the walls surrounding your pistons have a mirror-like finish, this is known as mirror glazing. More oil will travel by the piston rings, resulting in a high volume of blow-by.
The fact that diesel engines must operate at higher temperatures is the fundamental reason for the damage. A diesel engine requires a very high combustion chamber temperature to complete the fuel burn.
There will be carbon build-up if this temperature is not maintained. Carbon accumulation is accompanied by a slew of other issues. To get the most out of a diesel engine, it must be run under stress. Low idle times help extend the life of your engine.
What is the purpose of high idle for diesel?
The High Idle option avoids the need for someone else to stomp on the gas pedal, such as when trying to jump start another car. You can control the idle to generate a comfortable air temperature for the cabin on hot or cold days. It only takes one click to turn off the High Idle switch.
What is a lot of hours on a diesel engine?
Diesel engines can survive between 6,000 and 8,000 hours with good maintenance before requiring substantial repairs. As a result, some diesel engines on boats can endure a long period. Diesel engines are popular among boaters since they are long-lasting.
What RPM should a diesel idle at?
Severe weather is the most typical reason for leaving a truck idle. Excessive cold and extreme heat can make it necessary for the driver to idle the truck in order to stay comfortable.
- Start the engine at 900 to 1200 RPM and let it idle for a few minutes. This guarantees that the oil has enough pressure to reach the tops of the engine’s heads.
- Open the windows or the bunk vents. This keeps the air in the cab clean and free of fumes. Fumes from the engine have been related to a greater cancer rate among truck drivers, as well as death by asphyxiation.
- Look for any leaks in the exhaust system. During your morning pre-trip checkup, look for any exhaust leaks. Check any APU exhaust that has been improperly channeled and has accumulated underneath the cab or sleeper. I know of a truck driver in Arkansas who died lately from this identical condition while sleeping in his bunk.
- For the optimal air flow, park the car. When it’s necessary to idle, try to park in the opposite direction of the wind. Any fumes lingering beneath the truck will be blown away by the wind.
- Do not leave the truck running with the engine turned off.
- If you need to get out of the truck, turn it off. Thieves are attracted to idling and empty trucks.
Idling a big rig should only be done in exceptional circumstances. However, it never ceases to amaze me how many truckers leave their trucks running all night when a blanket would keep them just as warm.
Is high idle better?
It’s likely happened to you at least once if you’ve been driving for any length of time. You pull up to a red light and realize your motor is racing while you wait for the green. Engines typically idle between 600 and 800 rpm. Warming up older engines might reach 1200 rpm or higher. However, if the engine is revving up while idling, even after it has warmed up properly, you may have a problem.
Idle speeds that are too high waste gasoline, inflict extra wear and strain on your engine, and can even be dangerous. If you let your foot off the brake while the engine is revving, your car may lurch forward, endangering other drivers and pedestrians. To avoid an accident, it is best to address the issue right away.
When should I use high idle?
High idle engine switches, also known as high idle controllers or high idle kits, are used in a variety of industries where end-users require a large amount of power from a vehicle when it is not moving. Armoured and security vehicles, labor trucks, buses, and motor coaches are all common applications. Installation is simple.
How much fuel do diesels burn idling?
A heavy-duty truck burns around 0.8 gallon of fuel per hour when it is idling. Even if diesel is only $2.50 a gallon, a 10-hour rest time will cost $20 in fuel. A long-haul truck typically idles for 1,800 hours a year, consuming 1,500 gallons of diesel.