Fleet Idling: Startling New Industry Averages

fleet idling industry averages

We’ve collected over a million data points and the numbers are in, here are the three worst idlers categorized by industry! 


GPS fleet tracking is a game of numbers. Titan GPS tracking devices transfer data from your fleet assets to secure servers where the data is parsed and reported via your interface to provide key insights into where your fleet can cut costs, save money, and boost productivity. Part of our process is helping organizations like yours set benchmarks and goals regarding key performance indicators (KPI’s), identifying where your business can start saving money. For example, across all industries aggregated data, fleet vehicles average an incredible 73 minutes of idling per day. This equates to roughly 39% of active engine hours.

We’ve been analyzing data across dozens of industries and have compiled industry averages for a number of performance indicators that fleet managers should be aware. To ensure statistical significance, we make sure to only report numbers like these with sufficient data. For these statistics on idling we have crossed over a million data points. For the purpose of this article we’re highlighting the top 3 worst performing industries when it comes to idling discovered in this data. Idling is a significant indicator of performance and efficiency, but it is also one of the behaviors that is most actionable and can have a compelling positive impact on the bottom-line of any organization. Some quick terminology before we go on:

  • Idling event: When an engine is running for more then 10 minutes (default) without moving, this triggers what we define as an “Idling Event”.
  • Idle Ratio: Represents the amount of time an engine spends idling in relation to total engine hours, expressed as a percentage. A higher % is bad.
  • Fuel wasted: This number represents the amount of fuel wasted per month, per vehicle while idling. Assumed price of $1.20/liter of fuel.


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Energy Industry

The energy industry is one of the most challenging and industries in the world for fleet managers. Drivers and operators often working in harsh conditions from extreme heat to extreme cold. Unfortunately, many of our metrics indicate that fleet vehicles in the Oil & Gas industry are idling far too often. Overall, they have 80% more idling events than average, with an average engine idle ratio of 57%. All this idling equates to ~$242 spent on wasted fuel per month. With a fleet of only 10, that’s $2,420 in wasted fuel.

Commercial Transportation

Commercial Transportation keeps the global economy running, across the world trucks are constantly on the move delivering vital goods to every corner of the planet. Unfortunately, due to factors outside of the drivers’ control, truckers are often left waiting for others to complete their work, so they can continue driving. From shippers/receivers taking too long to load or unload shipments, to yard managers lethargically filling out paperwork, drivers use up a lot of hours waiting in the yard. This practice causes a lot of tension from a financial perspective. Being forced to be stationary means drivers are not earning an income. However, these costs are increased even further by the amount that many truck drivers idle. In the commercial transportation industry, trucks have 50% more idling events than vehicles in other industries, with an average engine idle ratio of 42%. Equaling upwards of $312 a month in wasted fuel due to idling. With a small fleet of only 5 trucks, that means $1,560 goes to waste every month.

Heavy-Duty Industrial

Big jobs require big equipment, and heavy-duty equipment and vehicles are essential for business and for infrastructure. Moving hundreds of thousands of pounds of steel, dirt, and concrete to lay the roads we drive down and construct the buildings we use every day. But heavy-duty equipment requires significant capital investment. That’s why operation costs need to be kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, operators in the heavy-duty industrial industry have 46% more idling events than average and have an idle ratio of 44%. Equating to $168 in wasted fuel per month. But more importantly than the fuel costs is the maintenance and upkeep costs associated with improper and over use. Heavy equipment is difficult and expensive to maintain, over-operation causes unnecessary strain and Forces maintenance to be performed more often. This results in an assets lifespan being reduced. But with GPS tracking, fleet managers can prevent overuse and lengthen the lifespan of their heavy-duty equipment fleet.