The concept of “Idle Reduction” is wide, intricate, and involves a variety of technology solutions that may complement or compete with one another. There is never a magic bullet that can be the ideal idle reduction option, but every approach promises some sort of advantage.
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) created a fantastic assessment and report of all the idle reduction strategies available today, noting the benefits and drawbacks of each strategy while maintaining an objective viewpoint and focusing only on the facts and studies. If you’re not aware of NACFE, it’s a fantastic organization that conducts a thorough study to improve the efficiency of fleets.
A copy of the NACFE report on automatic engine start/stop solutions is provided below. By clicking here, you may read the NACFE Confidence Report in its entirety.
Solutions for Automatic Engine Start/Stop Overview Functionality
The HVAC systems of the vehicle will warm or cool the sleeper once the engine is running, just as they would while the truck was moving down the road. In essence, the car is still idling to keep the batteries filled and the engine heated, but it can do this much more smartly, efficiently, and automatically.
These systems are quite advantageous and can be utilized in very cold regions, such as when a truck is being stored for the weekend or during another downtime. They guarantee that the vehicle will start when it becomes time to resume freight-hauling operations. Without the truck being linked to external power, automatic engine start/stop systems can function as both a battery charger and a block heater.
Automated Engine Start/Stop System Types
There are two different kinds of automatic engine start/stop systems, with the most popular one aiming to keep the temperature inside a cab when the car is occupied. These might also help keep the battery charged and the engine heat.
The more recent and uncommon automatic engine start/stop technology is primarily concerned with preserving the batteries’ level of charge. This type of automatic engine start/stop system will likely gain in popularity because it helps recharge the battery HVAC system after it has drawn itself down. This is due to the rise in the use of battery HVACs and the new HOS restarts, which last much longer than the 8 to 12 hours a battery HVAC can operate on one charge. A driver will be able to constantly enjoy air cooling during a HOS restart thanks to them, which will allow battery HVACs to idle for longer than a single 8–10 hour window.
Benefits of Engine Start/Stop Automatic Systems
The fact that automatic start/stop systems add few parts but little weight to the vehicle is its most evident advantage. They don’t need additional HVAC parts, batteries, or engines to complete their functions because they are regulating the main engine.
The driver’s side of the hood or driver’s door will also have a serial numbered holographic sticker if the car has a California Air Resource Board (ARB) “Clean Idle” engine. If the car wasn’t also purchased with the tamper-proof five-minute timer that forbids any idling whatsoever after that point, then these stickers permit the use of automatic engine start stop battery without breaking any idling laws.