The True Cost of Idling for Work Trucks

Idling your work trucks may cost more than you think.

What is the true cost of idling a work vehicle? You’ve probably heard that vehicle idling negatively impacts the environment, but the impact of idling on the vehicle itself is often overlooked or disregarded as a myth. But the cost of idling is a very real expense for companies, and it adds up significantly over time.

Idling Cost Assumptions
Fuel cost per gallon [1]$3.06
Gallons burned per hour @ idle [2]0.9
Idle hours per day8
Weeks idling per year52
Costs per idling week$110.16
Idle cost per idling month$440.64
Total Idle Cost Per Year$5728.32
Idle hours per year2080
“Miles” per idle hour [3]25
Total Idle “Miles” Per Year52,000
Oil, Filter & Labor – Every 7,500 miles
or 300 hours [4, 5]
Air Filter – Change per indicator
(assume 15,000 miles or 600 hours) [6, 7]
Diesel Particulate Filter
(200,000 miles or 8,000 hours) [8, 9]
Total Savings from Cutting Idling (12 Months, Per Truck)
Fuel Savings$5,728.32
Oil & Filter (6 changes/year)$1,829.94
Air Filter (3 times/year)$300.00
Diesel Particulate Filter (change every 4 years)$500.00
Depreciation from Idling [10]$6,500.00
Total Annual Savings$14,858.26

In short, eliminating idling from your company’s work vehicles has the potential to save your company nearly $15,000 per vehicle per year in fuel savings, vehicle maintenance and depreciation.

[1] Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices. (2020, April 27). Retrieved from
[2] Argonne National Library. (2018, February). Idling Reduction Savings Calculator. Retrieved from
[3] Ford Motor Company. (2009, April). How Idle Time Impacts Engine Maintenance. Retrieved April 30, 2020, from
[4] Mancilla, K. (2018, November 9). How to Maintain Your Boom Truck. Retrieved from
[5] Travel Centers of America. (2020). Truck Oil Change Packages. Retrieved from
[6] Cummins Inc. (2019, August 7). When Should I Change My Engine’s Filters? Retrieved from
[7] Babcock Auto Care. (2018, October 3). How much does diesel truck repair cost? Retrieved from
[8] Minuteman Trucks, Inc. (2017, March). OEM Recommended DPF Cleaning Intervals. Retrieved from
[9] Cummins Inc. (n.d.). Genuine Cummins New and ReCon Diesel Particulate Filters. Retrieved from
[10] Straight-line depreciation based on $75,000 asset cost, $10,000 salvage value, and 500,000 mile life expectancy including 25-mile/hr idling equivalent

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