06/06/08 — County not idle about wasting fuel

View Archive

County not idle about wasting fuel

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 6, 2008 1:45 PM

Wayne County Manager Lee Smith doesn't want county vehicles and equipment idling away their time and their increasingly expensive fuel.

Smith on Tuesday told county commissioners an administrative policy has been implemented to eliminate unnecessary idling of county-owned vehicles and equipment.

He said the move would save fuel and reduce equipment wear and harmful emissions.

Employees who violate the policy could face disciplinary action.

Periodic roadside and job site inspections may be conducted by supervisors who also are expected to perform periodic checks to educate co-workers and to enforce the policy.

During his Tuesday budget presentation, Smith told commissioners he had budgeted for fuel costs as best he could using current data. However, he warned that fuel costs could still outstrip the budget.

In that case, board approval may have to be sought to utilize reserve funds.

Under the policy all county-owned vehicles must be turned off when:

-- loading or unloading, unless the engine is required to load or unload.

-- unattended, no vehicle shall be left running while unattended.

-- parked, vehicles are not permitted to idle while parked to operate heating or air conditioning unless it meets certain exemptions. In general, once a vehicle becomes stationary for longer than two minutes, the engine is to be turned off unless it meets one of the exemptions.

Vehicles meeting any of the following reasons may idle:

-- when in traffic.

-- to operate power take-off equipment.

-- to operate electrical equipment on emergency and traffic control/safety vehicles.

-- to build air pressure for vehicles with air brakes.

-- to complete portions of a pre-operation checklist that requires engine operation.

-- to cool down turbo-charged diesel engines (3-5 minutes).

-- to cool interiors for K-9 units.

-- during emergencies.

-- extreme cold weather to defrost windshields; to warm up turbo-charged diesel engines (3-5 minutes); or crew, passengers comfort if temperature is below 30 degrees (5 minutes).