Idling control options insight

Idling control options insight

When considering idling-reduction options, a start-stop solution that manages idle time could be ideal for fleets. Idle Smart is an automated engine start-stop system that provides year-round cab comfort and maintains fleet uptime by keeping batteries charged and engines warm. Compatible with most makes and models, Idle Smart’s system continuously monitors interior and ambient temperatures to safely and efficiently start and stop vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and maintain temperature.

Idle Smart’s display unit and menu driven format allow for control of the system and offers three primary functions—cab comfort, battery protect and cold weather guard. Cab comfort automatically starts the engine when the cabin temperature is outside the comfort range (+/-5°) and will run until the target cabin temperature is reached. Battery protect will continuously monitor battery voltage and run the vehicle’s engine for the desired amount of time when the voltage goes below a programmed level. With cold weather guard, fleets have the ability to have their trucks start at a specific outside temperature and run for a desired amount of time.

When it comes to calculating ROI of any idle-reduction solution, Ryan Bennett, Idle Smart vice president of product and marketing, stressed the importance of considering all factors. For Idle Smart, ROI is around 10 months, but there’s more to it than just the purchase price comparison.

“In our experience, too many people look too narrowly at their investment in these equations and focus solely on the capital outlay/purchase price. With that, the cost to run—maintenance, upkeep, down time, availability and cost of parts, useful life—is very often ignored,” he said. “The cost to run is often the most important part of the equation since it can tip the balance in terms of getting a reasonable return (two to three years) or something that’s not economically feasible (four or more years). The other aspect to be considered is how the solution fits with things like their incentive plans. Technology itself can’t solve the problem and so it needs to complement what’s done elsewhere to get the right level of adoption, usage and return.”

For other truck idling-reduction solutions, read the rest of Fleet Equipment’s August Equipment Technology feature here.

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