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Old 11-12-2007, 08:15 AM   #1
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I filled up at a Flying J yesterday. Diesel fuel in my neck of the woods is now well over $3.50 per gallon. I thought how hard it must be on these poor truckers that use of alot more of this stuff than I do. But then I noticed that every single truck that I walked by at Flyng J that was parked, had it's engine idling while it's driver was inside the store. It was 70 degrees outside, so it didn't make much sense to me.

I was told when I bought my coach that the only time I need to let the engine idle is when I first start it up when it's cold, or when I get ready to shut it down after coming off of an interstate, but even in those cases for only a few minutes. So why do truckers idle their engines all the time? It sure seems like they're wasting alot of $$.

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Old 11-12-2007, 08:15 AM   #2
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I filled up at a Flying J yesterday. Diesel fuel in my neck of the woods is now well over $3.50 per gallon. I thought how hard it must be on these poor truckers that use of alot more of this stuff than I do. But then I noticed that every single truck that I walked by at Flyng J that was parked, had it's engine idling while it's driver was inside the store. It was 70 degrees outside, so it didn't make much sense to me.

I was told when I bought my coach that the only time I need to let the engine idle is when I first start it up when it's cold, or when I get ready to shut it down after coming off of an interstate, but even in those cases for only a few minutes. So why do truckers idle their engines all the time? It sure seems like they're wasting alot of $$.

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Old 11-12-2007, 08:30 AM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So why do truckers idle their engines all the time? It sure seems like they're wasting alot of $$. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMHO, they are either driving a company truck and do not pay for the fuel themselves, or if they are owner/operators, they just pass the cost along to whomever they are working for.

You are correct in that the diesel engine manufacturers do not recommend prolonged idling, and in some locales there are laws against prolonged idling.
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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My brother-in-law owned a trucking company (just sold it) and he had all his trucks progrmmed to shut down after idling 20 minutes. He said it saved a lot of fuel for the company.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:07 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Craig P.:
So why do truckers idle their engines all the time? It sure seems like they're wasting alot of $$.

Craig </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Good question. And why do a lot of RVers with diesels do the same thing? A few minutes is one thing, but I'm talking about the ones who do it 10, 20, or 30 minutes.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by paz:
Good question. And why do a lot of RVers with diesels do the same thing? A few minutes is one thing, but I'm talking about the ones who do it 10, 20, or 30 minutes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because it's hard to teach "Old Daogs" new tricks.

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Old 11-12-2007, 08:00 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by paz:
Good question. And why do a lot of RVers with diesels do the same thing? A few minutes is one thing, but I'm talking about the ones who do it 10, 20, or 30 minutes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
No kidding!

A few years ago we were camped next to a couple in a DP. They started their motor about 5AM, and let it idle for about 20 minutes before pulling out. I never got back to sleep. I do owe them however, because it taught me how to be more considerate of others. If I need to pull out early in the morning (which is rare), I always pull all but my bedroom slides in and retract my jacks the night before. That way I limit my diesel engine noise. Likewise, if I pull into a place late at night, I shut off my engine as soon as possible, and extend my slides and jacks the next morning no earlier than 8AM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:02 AM   #8
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At a Cummins seminar at an FMCA convention, they stated that idling beyond the cooling down period of 3-5 minutes just shortens the engine life.
They stated that engine life was based on revolutions. I can see why truckers want their engine idling so they can have heat, A/C, etc even if it isn't the best cost effective way to have it. The companies that own the trucks want idling greatly reduced and sometimes have GPS monitors to enforce it. I sometimes think that people get entranced by the purr or rumble of the diesel engine and like to have idling in the background.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:08 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Craig P.:
I filled up at a Flying J yesterday. But then I noticed that every single truck that I walked by at Flyng J that was parked, had it's engine idling while it's driver was inside the store.
Mouser: No he/she was most likely in the sleeper not glaring back at you.

Craig </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Route 66:
[QUOTE]So why do truckers idle their engines all the time? It sure seems like they're wasting alot of $$. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMHO, they are either driving a company truck and do not pay for the fuel themselves, or if they are owner/operators, they just pass the cost along to whomever they are working for.

Mouser: Do you realy think they can just pass the cost along? It sounds to me like you have something against the people that supply you and yours with everything that is on your back.

Mouser is a Life member of the, OWNER OPERATOR INDEPENDANT DRIVERS ASSOCIATION, www.ooida.com

QUOTE]

First off, there is no reason in 2007 to allow a large diesel engine to idle. If it will be idled for a length of time, the motor should be placed on high idle. That means around 1000 or more RPM's.

Most companies give fuel encentives to the drivers so there is no desire to burn fuel without a purpose.
The statement that the Owner Operators will just pass on the cost to others is ludicrous. It does not happen that way and never has.

In the old days a driver left his engine running all the time while on long hauls. The reasons where many. It probably would not re-start for one. Starters where not up to par with the engines and would deteriate rapidly. The next component in line was the batteries. They where always failing with the hot and cold, snow and sleet the over-the-road driver exspierienced.
Parts failed and for what ever reason the guy who was on the road with no one to help him, LEFT THE ENGINE RUNNING. Fuel was cheap and for the most there was no one around to bother with fumes and leaks.
Yes, the driver also needed the engine for warmth or a cool cab while resting or sleeping.

Today, with component parts that are more sturdy and extremely reliable,there is no need to keep the engine running.
There is no need to warm up a diesel engine. It is best put into operation as soon as the oil pressure reaches level.
With fuel additives (most come with the fuel depending on season)there is little or no need to worry about fuel gelling and all the other stuff that went along with northern weather.

Next time you go by a Big truck and think it is running, it may not be the main engine making the noise.
More and more trucks are installing or being deliverd from the factory with generators for Heat,A/C.110power and engine climate conditioning. No frozen parts on the truck or driver, it is always comfortable and there is power for tv's, refrigerators and the internet.

Many states offer tax or cash incentives to owners to install gensets.
In the past these units where only used in the extremes like Alaska and Canada. They did not always work well and where problematic. Not today every driver wants one, it is only cost the stops them from installing.

Yes, more and more states and municipalities are passing and enforcing no-idle zones. In most cases they allow for 5 to 20 minutes before the truck must be shut down. That includes your diesel RV. These laws have also helped to make the sidekicks more popular.

Then there are those who must keep the engine running no matter what is said or done.
They are the same ones whether in a truck or an RV. They are the same ones that leave there pickup running for hours on end
This could lead into another complete direction and I am not that familiar with Freud.

For more information:

This is a must read on the subject. http://www.etrucker.com/apps/news/article.asp?id=43816
T
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:32 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Mouser: Do you realy think they can just pass the cost along? It sounds to me like you have something against the people that supply you and yours with everything that is on your back. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I made no such statement, and I have nothing against truckers, either company drivers or owner/operators.

I will be happy to discuss issues, and our opinions, but not each other.

I have paid fuel surcharges, that were listed that way on bills. Now, they were mainly due to the price of fuel increasing.

However, all companies charge whatever is necessary to make a profit, and that includes fuel costs. All companies pass their increased costs along eventually.

If a driver lets his engine idle constantly, then his overhead will be higher than a driver that doesn't, and he has 2 choices. Either raise his rates to make a fair profit, or cut back on idling to reduce his overhead.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:38 AM   #11
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Mouser pretty much covered it. When I was a diesel mechanic in the early 70s the trucks that held up the best were left idling often. Shutting down an engine tended to allow heat soak into the components and liner o-rings would fail. I did plenty of in-frame overhauls on N series Cummins because of that reason. When they were left idling, the water pump was able to keep temperatures consistent.

That was then. Today's engines are vastly superior and that is no longer required. While it's still beneficial to give themn a cool down period after a long run, it's not necessary (and indeed doesn't help things) when that time period is extended. Still, old habits die hard.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:16 PM   #12
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This is an interesting topic. I too fueled up at Flying J yesterday. Cash price was $3.55-9/10 versus $3.61-9/10 for credit...and I had min. cash on me...and it was still cheaper than Pilot.

Anyway, we talked about this very "idling" subject. I explained that Cummins told me the same thing. You either drive off of the freeway/interstate for a few minutes or pull off and idle for the same time. Typically, 5 min. is enough for the engine to "cool down" and then shut off.

Most of the "semis" I hear at Pilot are running diesel gen-sets and NOT their main engine. Some truck stops have that "custom air/communication/TV" thing in the driver windows (I think it is called "Driver-Aire") so they don't have to run the engine or gen-set.

FWIW, my FIL is a retired heavy equipment mechanic/low bed driver. He used to let the equipment idle since they were notoriously hard to start and often worked in extreme cold temps. The same was thought of the early semi-tractors but modern ('80s to today) don't need this same care.

I only idle long enough for the air bags to fully inflate and the brake safety valve to bleed off, then go. I usually give the family a 5 min. warning or fire it up as they are getting in.

OAN, I spoke to a few "guys" at Flying J who all thought diesel would be over $5 by next year some time. I wish we would threaten to open up our strategic reserves or drill a few new wells off the coast to get OPEC to lower the price of crude to compete. Most of these rising costs appear to only be profit rather than Europe's high taxes and diesel is one of the least refined fuels so what gives?!

There! Rant over...until I have to fill up again...
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:17 PM   #13
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Sometimes it's just so hard to teach old dogs new tricks.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #14
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Very true. I am not THAT old yet...allthough the DW might think otherwise...
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