Why do people needlessly idle ?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by bzinger, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 Road Train Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    I'm not worried about my starter. Not worried about my engine, either. When it needs an in-frame, I'll rebuild it. And I dang sure won't be spending $18,000 to do it.

    If I want to idle to be comfortable and get good sleep, I'm gonna do it.

    With that being said, if I was to lose a starter, or have batteries go bad overnight while sitting here on location, and the truck didn't start in the morning, I'd be in everyone's way and basically have a multi-million dollar frac job on hold while I wait for parts or a wrecker.

    That's not on my list of stuff to do.
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  3. Starboyjim

    Starboyjim Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2011
    Rio Rancho, NM
    I have news for you, cnsper, Shooter, or anybody else who thinks that way. I'm a light sleeper, and idling semi truck or reefer engines make it hard for me to get my rest. It's not up to you to give me permission to drive my truck, earn my living, or support my family driving my Freightliner. I don't appreciate your closed attitude, and I don't want you or anybody else telling me "I'm in the wrong profession." Mind your own business, I'll take care of mine. And I don't believe I'm alone in this. For all I know, maybe you have sleep apnea and can even fall asleep stopped at a red light, how about that?

    Some drivers do find the vibration and sound to be soothing, that's great for them, I'm sure it's a lot easier for these drivers to get the sleep they require. Some drivers, older probably, still believe there's less wear and tear on the engine if they idle and keep a constant engine temperature, since more wear on the engine occurs at cold startup. Today that may be old news, but I still run around 55 for 20 or 30 minutes while my engine gets nice and warmed through. Of course, I am old.

    I think idling consumes more fuel for whatever reason, and since I'm a conservation minded American, I try not to idle. I do, though, of course, hot or cold extremes.

    I used to idle to charge my batteries like some members mention. However, I got away from the 1,000 CCA batteries, bought a nice set of dual purpose batteries, and they'll run my refrigerator, charge my devices, turn my cabin lights on, for at least 16 hours and still crank my D60 14L right up in the morning. A little slow below 32 degrees, though, but still plenty of pop.

    One other thing. All batteries are not created equal. I bought a set from Fleet Pride 2 years ago, they had a great price point, $69/each. I thought it was a good thing. But they didn't last. About a year and a half in, they began getting shorter and shorter charge intervals. I'd be waking up in the night when my bunk heater was running to charge them, or idling for a while before hitting the bunk in the hope I'd sleep a few hours straight. There's a couple of great American manufacturers, Deka for one (a number of different labels, you can check on this) is very very good, and Johnson Controls also makes a quality product. In my outfit, 725 CCA batteries from Deka or Johnson Controls (I run one in my Silverado, RedTop AGM) and my battery issues went away.
    bzinger Thanks this.
  4. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Seems there is a common theme here

    "I am not allowed to idle so you shouldn't either"

    Fuel is cheap now and my comfort physical or mental is priceless....

    And I'll hug trees with the best of them.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  5. TampaTony

    TampaTony Medium Load Member

    Dec 13, 2015
    Sounds like your mad because you have to spend your weekend at the truck stop. It's ok man I understand, been there done that. I quit my last carrier because they diddnt care about getting me home. Now I'm getting home for Saturday and Sunday and I'm so much happier. Good luck.
    Mudguppy Thanks this.
  6. cnsper

    cnsper Road Train Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    Talk about a closed attitude, that goes both ways. You got into this profession fully knowing that some trucks idle. I don't care if you don't idle, just don't come complaining when I do. I live in a state where many people move to because there are not that many here for it's size. What ends up happening though is that they now want what they had in the other state. Well they left that state because it is ####ed up and they will end up doing that here.

    Just spent 4 days traveling the back roads in Idaho and was amazed at all the little towns that restricted jakes at the top of the hill coming into town. I can see restricting the use of them when they have no muffler but not when they do. Here they only restrict the use if there are no mufflers on them. But hey that is Idaho they can do what they want but it is much safer when you are 130k, come around a corner at 55 only to hit that sign at the very top of the hill and a 35 mph limit at the bottom to allow the use of the muffled jakes.

    It's stupid but it is what it is, you deal with it. Just like idling trucks, you deal with it. I like the sound of straight pipes but I cannot stand them being on my truck. I don't worry about my batteries as I don't have anything but a 100 watt inverter to run the printer.

    As for falling asleep at a red light, I probably could as I could also fall asleep in an artillery barrage but I don't. You could be someone that stays up playing video games on your 10 and you are the one that falls asleep at the red light. Luckily I don't have to deal with truck stops and whiney drivers other than to get fuel.

    You leave me alone and I leave you alone unless you are a hazard on the road. An idling or shutdown truck is not a hazard.
    Keith48, Oxbow, clausland and 2 others Thank this.
  7. cnsper

    cnsper Road Train Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    Lots of people worrying about nickels when they could be picking up dollars.
  8. cnsper

    cnsper Road Train Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    I have 871k and the original starter and 30k hours on the motor still pulling 100k plus loads all the time. Oh and this is also a CAT that has never had new bearings rolled into it. Only the valve covers have been opened up on it. We just did an inframe on a sister truck with 865k and the bearings and crank looked new. We had issues with the head so the boss decided to just go ahead and inframe it. Same crank is in the motor to this day.
    Oxbow and Mudguppy Thank this.
  9. Dye Guardian

    Dye Guardian Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    I went about 59 kilometres (~37 miles) on a logging road to get to a hydro dam. I went there twice and it took about 2 hours one way both times.

    No cell service but then again the small town where the road starts doesn't even have it there or anywhere around for miles (which makes your point).

    And I don't know if a logging road doubling as a main road to this hydro dam is anywhere near qualified to be called 'bush'.

    For the record, I drive for a company with a zero idle policy. I have no problem with that, or other trucks idling. As others have said, it's even better if one is idling near me because of the ambient noise it creates. Unless their air drying is constantly going off I wouldn't think most people would have an issue but maybe I am wrong about that.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  10. PackRatTDI

    PackRatTDI Licensed to Ill

    Jul 15, 2006
    El Chuco, Tejas
    One engine can last a million miles on the original parts. Some are like the Paccar MX in one of our t680s that ate an injector and wound up getting a brand new engine at 200,000 miles (warranty paid)
  11. jerezxp7

    jerezxp7 Medium Load Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    I hear you driver and it's your truck do what you want but in 6 years I have never had my truck not start.
    bzinger Thanks this.
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