why do truck drivers let trucks Idle

by Ricky
(Atlanta)

I've always wondered, why do trucks idle so much? why dont drivers turn off the engines?

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Jul 24, 2017
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Wow NEW
by: The best

can y'all say something other than " you try driving for [insert time period here] straight.
Learn the difference between words that sound alike but are spelled differently. You look as dumb as you drive

Jun 26, 2017
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Idling NEW
by: Slow-Up PhD

I have happen to been blessed with an APU, which I use regularly. I occasionally idle when I'm just running in and out of somewhere. For all the guys calling names and saying get over it, that's not professional. For those who are saying we are disturbing the peace and that we need to pay, your out of your mind.

While yes I use my APU when I sleep, it doesn't keep it as cool as it would if I idle, but I make the sacrifice. I do it for when I hit the Eastern states where idling is treason. The only thing I'll say against idling is it is rather noisy as you truck continues to run, then Regen, then run some more.

Now even though I use my APU my truck still requires me to idle it if I use it for more than 8 hours straight. This is because it uses battery power and the batteries eventually drain and my truck offers an auto start/stop feature that isles the truck for about 30 minutes to recharge the batteries. So APU is not a permanent solution to the no idle.

If you like sleeping in your own sweat or have your muscles tense up because they are fighting cold, you can be my guest to live in a cabin in the woods and have nothing but a camping stove to warm you. However I like to sleep in some comfort so if need be, yes I'll idle.

Disturbing the peace? Trucks are no more noisy than that kid driving down your road at 3am with his sub woofer all the way up and it shaking your windows. It isn't like we are blasting our air horns as we pass by your house. However, if there is an issue with the noise sure to trucks outside your house perhaps contacting your local government about not allowing trucks down your road. Good luck on that since we have to go places that are barely able to fit our vehicles as is, closing more roads to us means that closes more stores closer to your home.

We need to pay? Pay for what? We are the all singing, all dancing, crap of the world as it is. We are professionals, so that means in an accident, even if it is not our fault or it was completely unavoidable (someone runs into the back of us at a stop light), we are the ones still under a microscope until proven otherwise. While driving 11 hours a day doesn't sound hard, try driving 2500 miles in 7 days. For a lot of us this is an easy goal. It is about 358 miles a day. You could get it done faster, fuel wherever you want, stop to eat wherever you want, and sleep in your own bed or a hotel.
A trucker has to fuel at a TRUCK STOP, more often than not eat at a TRUCK STOP (or make food in the truck) because we are on a deadline most of the time and must maximize our stops, and sleep on a bunk bed mattress in less than optimum conditions.
Driving is mentally exhausting and can if you don't get some exercise outside the truck can be debilitating as your muscles can begin to atrophy.
It is like being an astronaut without the rocket science and zero gravity. Our calculus is risk assessment. If this car pulls out in front of me, how quickly can I stop if they hit their breaks? If it is 400 miles to my stop how long will it take me if r is the amount of road construction I'll encounter and a is the accidents I'll encounter and d is simple traffic delays and g is general stops (bathroom breaks, fuel, food, ECT).
(400+g)+r+d+a=ETA.

I hope this has been enlightening, I'll have another lecture on Tuesday at 6pm. I'll hope to see you there.

May 27, 2017
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Why do truck drivers let trucks Idle NEW
by: Anonymous

For a lot things. When its hot I leave it running so I can stay cool instead of sweating. When its cold I leave it running.

May 01, 2017
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What's with my neighbor? NEW
by: Bystander

Okay I'm glad I found this forum. Most of the argument I gathered from reading this and another forum tells me that you idle for the AC and maybe whatever entertainment that may run on electricity. Fair enough. Without condoning or condemning, I understand.

I have a neighbor who drives a big semi truck and it sits in our lot when he's home. He's been home for a week now and the truck has been idling THE WHOLE TIME.

I've been living here for over a year now and he does this every time he's home. I know he's not sleeping in his truck. He is at home, sleeping in his bed in the AC. So why is he doing this??


Special Notice: I found this page while researching my question. So please don't give me that "do some research" line, because I'm asking YOU.

Feb 08, 2017
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stupid truckers NEW
by: Anonymous

Ahhh poor babies..you can't sleep when its 80 degrees. It is 62 degrees now and the rig next to me has been idling for 5 hours. you truck drivers are illiterate, selfish, inconsiderate, inbred
Aholes. "Hey guys do you have your 3rd grade diploma?! you can be a truck driver! oh yeah aloe down you kook. Dont forget to bring back STDs from the boy prostitute for your ugly wives.

Feb 08, 2017
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stupid truckers NEW
by: Anonymous

Ahhh poor babies..you can't sleep when its 80 degrees. It is 62 degrees now and the rig next to me has been idling for 5 hours. you truck drivers are illiterate, selfish, inconsiderate, inbred
Aholes. "Hey guys do you have your 3rd grade diploma?! you can be a truck driver! oh yeah aloe down you kook. Dont forget to bring back STDs from the boy prostitute for your ugly wives.

Jan 07, 2017
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Idiot 4wheelers NEW
by: Anonymous

I idle all I want and I bet this highly regulated DEF drinking 15liter Cummins engine puts out less pollution than alot of cars on the road.

You drive 11hrs a day then try to sleep when it's 80 to 100degrees out fools GOOD LUCK!

And if it's cold for diesel fuel gels up if you don't idle maybe do some research or actually pull into a truck stop and nicely ask a driver why we do what we do.

The world does not revolve around you 4 wheelers or us drivers but we need adequate sleep to safely drive long haul and you can't sleep good when your sweating your balls off.

Oct 08, 2016
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Things to think about.. NEW
by: Anonymous

1. Yes I am a truck driver.
2. Yes, I wish a good alternative was available.
3. Even not running on a 62° night, the internal temp continues to rise to 80° with windows cracked and all the sleeper windows open that I could.
4. We operate under laws that govern when we are able to drive. We do NOT get to just drive any old time we feel like. After we start our day we have 14 before we can't drive, with exception to the 8-2 split.
5. We are often thought to be rude when we don't move over to let you cars on the interstate, or slow down. It takes muck longer for semis to get up to speed than your tiny car (so hit the gas pedal), usually we have other cars trying to pass us at the time as well so we cant move over, and thirdly, if you are entering an interstate it is YOUR job to yeild and merge, not the vehicle who is established in the lane.
6. Many of us operate a truck owned by a company. Would you spend a fifth of your anual salary to put equipment on your companies car? Or just spend that much period, on something for work? So no, just go buy an apu doesn't work for me, not to mention all the perviously mentioned problems with apu's.
7. Truckers are targeted by criminals as easy prey. Were not supposed to have weapons, carry cash to pay for food, scales, and such, plus we are highly compacted into truck stops where you could litlerally rob someone walk 10 feet and do it again, rinse wash repeat.

In conclusion I would like to ask you to please do research and think about the problem for yourself before you spout out your local newsrooms opinions as facts and know-all sourch of information.
Thank you, and happy driving.

Jul 29, 2016
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wow NEW
by: Anonymous

I am absolutely disgusted by these stupid hippy fuckers talking shit about us leaving the trucks run to stay comfortable. Hey assface you try driving all day or night every day and sleeping in a hot ass truck and get a good nights rest so you can wake up and do the same thing. And the person that said the day is coming that truckers will have to pay? Get a life fucktard. No truckers are not rude except only to stupid ignorant assclowns like you. Grow the fuck up losers. If it wasn't for us you wouldn't have that game system you are playing or anythingf or that matter .We keep this world moving

Jun 29, 2016
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Hey, Ken NEW
by: Anonymous

What you described for father having in his truck sounds like an APU (auxiliary power unit), and while they are certainly good in theory, unfortunately they still tend to be rather unreliable. The company for which I drive has actually stopped using them altogether, because when they did the math, they realized that it was actually cheaper to let the drivers idle their trucks, while they sleep and whatnot, than it was to maintain and repair the apu's. Hope this helps!

Jun 10, 2016
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]truckers nred a eakr up call NEW
by: Anonymous

There are already laws that everyone is suppose to obey it is called DISTURBING the PEACE and for those of you that dont know what that means.it means everyone must keep noise level to a minimum at certain hours of the day. Most states it is from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Truckers you are no where near being above the law so obey them or pay the consequences

Jun 02, 2016
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Idling NEW
by: Anonymous

It takes about 45 minutes to cool or heat your truck back up after you have shut down for a while. You really want a cold or hot driver on your hwys? I don't and screw that climate change crap. China,Russia and these third world countries aren't caring so idle on drivers.

Apr 16, 2016
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YOU stfu NEW
by: Anonymous

If you are in your truck, fine, let it idle. When you get out for longer than 5 minutes, turn the damn thing off. No different than if you are in your house. Save some damn energy. Is that too much too ask?

Apr 09, 2016
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Stfu NEW
by: Trucker

You try driving eleven hours a day and then sitting in isolation. No electricity, no temperature control and then you come back here and apologize. Disrespectful asshats. Take a look around your house. Everything you see was made available to you via a DRIVER. We have to put up with enough of your dumb 4 wheeling ways while driving. Don't need it when we're in R&R. I make over $100k a year doing this, so maybe you should try it long enough to buy a conscience or some thicker walls brother.

Mar 22, 2016
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Truck drivers are the biggest babies NEW
by: Anonymous

Because truck drivers are the most disrespectful people on the face of the Earth! They only think of themselves. There's a day coming where they will have to answer for all the rudeness they've caused people.

Jan 14, 2016
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Idle NEW
by: Anonymous

Because you are all a bunch of stupid north americans, stuck back in the day. Well news flash! Do u hinestly think its harming a modern day truck when its shut off at night? Shut the damn things off morons and let other people sleep

Dec 10, 2015
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Research, don't just ask! Who knows what you'll get! NEW
by: Anonymous

If anybody in this room picked up a mechanical magazine or even looked it up anywhere on the internet besides of this obviously lacking forum, they would know. The reason is is because diesel oil is much thicker than regular oil. So when starting an engine from a cold start does significant damage especially as many stops as a truck driver can make. Even if they aren't stopping that often it is much cheaper overall to leave the engine running keeping the oil viscosity and fuel systems running properly. Than it is to turn it off and pay for your cylinders getting washed out and then damage done by that later on. Bottom line, wear and tear cost is the reason. A.C., heaters, all that other crap is just that. If it cost $50 to run an engine all night for heat, don't you think they'd just get a hotel!?

Sep 29, 2011
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Do you want your stuff or not?
by: Anonymous

People who ask this question obviously don't live in a Semi 24/7.
If they did, they would understand why.
Question for them..would you go shopping and drive an hour in traffic in the summer with no air conditioning?

Some places we deliver to make us sit for 12 to 24 hours. Now with no idle laws in place, truckers and their pets risk their health and possibly lives, if they can't run their air conditioning.

The EPA is number than a box of rocks, and do are people who think anti idling laws are a good idea.

Sep 02, 2008
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Other options that other trucks have to keep from idling
by: Ken

My dad's Volvo (company truck, not sure what model) has a system in it where the heat and ac are run off of batteries. There is a voltage control on it, so that when the batteries get down to a certain level, it starts the truck automatically. I asked him about it, and he doesn't know much about it, but did say that it has a security feature, so when the truck turns itself on, no one can drive away with it.

Aug 11, 2008
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thanks
by: RIcky

yeah that helped a lot. i always wondered that... glad to finally have it answered. thanks a lot.

Jul 23, 2008
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Just Think About It...
by: MiNuS...

Just think about when your in your car with the AC on...then you turn the car off and park to go in a store for 15 minutes...come back and it's hotter inside then outside the car...I'm not a driver but if you think about it...then you'll know why they idle...

I'm sure when your in the house in the summer you don't feel good sitting in the house with no AC on...or when you first start driving in your car waiting for the AC to get cold...temperatures can change a persons comfort zone...being in a good temp most of the day will make you more happy and active then only having a good temp while driving...and when your parking in these places you never been at night you don't want to have your windows down...

Jul 18, 2008
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this is my explanation of whay trucks idle so much
by: The Crazy Trucker

What's happening Ricky,

Man I think back in the day, when fuel was real cheap it might have been cheaper to leave the truck running for short periods instead of shutting them down and restarting them during short stops. Of course the air pollution wasn't as big of an issue and there was no where near as many trucks as now.

Now, its a tough habit to break, even though it may very well conserve fuel and money to shut them down even if only stopping for a few minutes I can't say for sure.

We mostly leave them running to keep the cab inside at a comfortable temperature. Remember, most of a trucker's life during downtime is spent in these trucks. Most drivers also have appliances that you would find in a kitchen in the cab of the truck. The have coffee makers, toaster, croak pots, tv-dvd units, etc that all need power. So this requires a certain amount of idling also.

I agree though that we do leave them idling way too much for extended periods of leisure time that we are not even in the truck.

Some companies give bonuses on lower idling time and fuel consumption as incentives to reduce idling.

There are companies that make generators to install on trucks so that they don't have to idle to heat or warm the cab of the truck. They also provide electrical power for appliances inside the truck. This replaces the need for idling.

There is also a company called Idle Aire out of Tennessee that is working with the truck stops and trucking companies themselves to provide a service that through units they install at parking spaces.

These units generate heat or air and electric power to the cab of the big truck to make life as a trucker comfortable during down time. It also delivers cable tv, high speed internet, and long distance phone service.

I think as time progress idling will be made more and more of an issue by everyone. It already is by some states like California and New York where you will get a fine for idling in excess of a certain period of time. I hear in Dallas city limits they have also passed an idling law.

I hoped this answer your question about big truck idling.

Please feel free to return.


May 24, 2017
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Utility Trucks Idling NEW
by: Bill

I completely understand why big rig drivers idle their trucks. That's common sense. What I don't understand, for example, right now there is a power outage in my neighborhood. I have the power company and the contracted tree trimmers in my yard. The tree trimmers have not trimmed anything in two hours and are relaxing on my back patio. Meanwhile their diesel cherry picker truck has been idling in front of my house for almost 3 hours, as are the power company trucks. It seems that anyone who drives a diesel whether it is the phone company or cable or any other utility, they never shut their trucks off. Why is this?

Jun 12, 2014
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The truck is our home while on the road NEW
by: Ronald R. Brett

Try this: When it's 30°F, and then when it's 100°F, keep your home AC/Heater off for 10 hours. That should answer the question 100%. If the truck doesn't have an external heater or a/c unit you have to idle the truck.

Aug 22, 2016
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Wishing I could leave my windows open NEW
by: Anonymous

I understand that truckers drive all day and have to deal with other shitty drivers and road rage on a daily basis etc... etc. You move a lot of important product everyday. I also understand that you need a place to sleep at night and comfortably at that.
The only problem I have is this, I too work hard every day trying to make the world a better place in my own way and would like to sleep comfortably in my own home. When I come home to my family I want to hear the crickets and the creek near my house when I go to bed and have the fresh air. I've worked hard to have that. The lot next to us has turned into a loading dock for a hardware store on the other side. I get it, they load and unload during the day. But right now it is 1:15 in the morning and the same semi has been idling outside our yard for over 3 hours. The hardware store has been closed for hours and hours and we're in a housing development not the city. The highway is about 1 mile away with plenty of stops and there's a mall, shopping centers and huge parking lots... away from any houses! It's a beautiful 65 degrees out. I would love to have my windows open but it's so goddamned loud and smelly that I can't! So my windows are closed and I'm paying for air that I could be getting for free out my window. The sound is starting to drive us crazy! We can't sleep, it's Sunday night and the kids start their first day at school tomorrow. Our dog is uneasy at the sound and keeps barking. Is the idling still necessary... really? I'm simply asking truck drivers to consider this when your turning in for the night. There's no reason for him to be idling this late!

Mar 27, 2015
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Oil is finite at any price, and wasted foolishly NEW
by: E.A.

A lot of idling is done in comfortable weather and is simply wasteful. Many months out of a year people can use natural ventilation to stay comfortable at home, and truckers could do the same. Car drivers idle wastefully, also. Idling while talking or surfing on smartphones is a common sight.

Oil is finite but many people don't accept it as such. They don't bother to understand geology and the low EROEI of oil-bearing shale (e.g. Bakken) and especially kerogen (which must be cooked to yield oil and is absurdly hyped as a Saudi Arabia equivalent). Oil gluttony is a temporary luxury of ignorance that historians will reflect poorly on.

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