Construction Equipment Europe

3 ways idling machines affect profitability

When a piece of construction equipment is idling, not only is it not contributing to production, it’s also costing you money.

3 ways idling machines affect profitability

1. Increased fuel costs

Fuel is a major cost for every construction equipment owner so it’s important that each drop goes towards doing the work your company is paid to do. Idling machines are literally burning money for nothing.

Increased fuel costs

2. Increased machine wear

Similarly, if the engine is running but you’re not actually using the machine for work, you’re causing unnecessary wear to the engine. The machine will need to be serviced more regularly and parts replaced more frequently, which all adds to the total cost of ownership.

Increased machine wear

3. Decreased resale value

Idling can also decrease the resale value of a machine, by adding unnecessary hours on the clock. Over the lifetime over a machine, this can add up to be a significant loss in value that could easily have been avoided.

Decreased resale value

How to decrease idling

There are two main causes of idling. The first is engines being left running during operator breaks.

To combat this, many Volvo machines include an auto engine shutdown feature. After four minutes of inactivity, the machine will give a 60 second warning that the engine will shut down. Then after the 60 second period is up, the machine’s engine will switch off on its own.

Nevertheless, it’s good practice to encourage operators to turn their machines off.

The other frequent cause of idling is that the number and capacity of machines onsite are not properly matched to the target tonnes per hour or cost per tonnes. For example, a wheel loader could be idling while waiting for a hauler to arrive to receive its next load.

Volvo CE works with customers to make sure they have the optimum combination of machines for the job. For larger customers, Volvo CE can even run a simulation using the SiteSim tool, which calculates the ideal set-up of the job site – even the routes operators should take.

In either case, connecting your machines via Volvo CE’s telematics system CareTrack and requesting an Insight Report will enable you to see what is going on at your site and take control of your costs.

How to decrease idling


Anne Bast

Head of Brand, Marketing & Communication
Volvo Construction Equipment
Sales Region Europe / International
Phone: 0735585906

Hannah Kitchener

Tel: +44 207 923 5863