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Old 05-16-2008, 03:48 PM   #1
AMX
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Drivers Idling!!!

Last evening, I filled up my gas tank because gas prices were going up today. So anyways, I went to a local gas station and cars were lined up waiting (about 2 or 3 cars at each pump). So like a smart driver, I got in line and shut the engine off. I couldn't get over how many people were idling!! It just doesn't make sence that people are waiting to get a few cents cheaper per liter of gas, yet they are wasting gas by idling!! Anyways, I just needed to rant. Any comments?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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Must be that they're accustomed to idling in traffic jams so waiting with the engine running just feels "right" somehow to them.

Like anything else - it becomes habit and you really don't notice you're doing it.

Here's what surprises the hell out of me, though.

I am amazed at the number of people who don't turn off their cars waiting for a freight train to clear an intersection. Now that can be a long wait. But, idle away they go. During nice weather I like to get out of my car and lean on the hood waiting for the train to finally go past - I like watching trains. As long as the hood is not too hot - I don't like toasty buns. LOL!
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:19 PM   #3
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I get upset about trucks idling, when they go inside to get food, or to eat inside. Nearly all leave their trucks running. Also small busses are running the entire time the drivers are taking their break for lunch. There is NO good reason to leave them running...........stupid people.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:34 PM   #4
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I've been doing tons of EOC lately (prolly more than what most people on these boards would deem safe or reasonable) and I got to a parking lot at Holyoke College to go get a book from the library and there is a big SUV in the parking lot with no one inside and the engine running. In front of the truck was a guy on the grass by a tree. I thought it kind of ironic that I roll in there with my engine off in a small little car to see a big SUV idling for no apparent reason. I came back from the library about 20 minutes later or so and the SUV was still there idling--but now the man on the grass was gone and someone (probably the same person) was sitting inside the vehicle.

Not really related to that little anecdote, I'm always curious what people around me think when they hear my starter turn in the middle of traffic.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
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Consider this as an extreeme case of the consequences of idling.

Houston is being evacuated due to a hurricane, most of the cars run out of gas on the interstate in the crawling traffic jam averaging less than 10 mph.

If everyone had shut their engines off and allowed a 10 mile gap to grow between groups of traffic, many of those that ran out of gas could have made it.

To say nothing about the bus whose brakes caught on fire and killed a bunch of elderly people.


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Old 05-16-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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What blows me away are the people across the street from me, sitting in line to get gas when I'm in the station with the lowest price. I know for a fact that the gas in both stations is delivered by the same truck on the same day out of the same tank. I have watched it deliver on multiple occasions. So much for Techron, whatever that means.

The real mind boggler, if you haven't thought about it yet: I asked the truck driver -- How many gallons of gas does each of his two tanks hold?-- He said, "The larger front tank holds 24,000 gallons, the smaller rear tank holds 20,000 gallons." At the current average price of $3.90/gal., locally, the load value is $171,600. Knowing this has given me flashbacks to the movie Roadwarrior

Something I learned that is a real eye opener -- after fuel has been created at the refinery it is pumped through huge, extremely long pipe lines to distribution stations; in some cases 100s of miles away. When they pump the different grades of gas and diesel through the same line they don't even separate it. They have worked out a calculated mix ratio they factor in. This is why it is so easy to get contaminated gasoline and/or diesel depending on how close to the end of each slug of fuel you happen to get. Only in certain cases are dividers pushed through the pipeline. They are not put in place to separate the fuels though. These devices are called 'pigs' because of the squealing sound they make as they scrape deposits from the inside of the pipe. Many of these pigs have another task to accomplish. They use ultra-sound to check for cracks in the pipeline and radio back their location when a crack is found.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner View Post
I get upset about trucks idling, when they go inside to get food, or to eat inside. Nearly all leave their trucks running. Also small busses are running the entire time the drivers are taking their break for lunch. There is NO good reason to leave them running...........stupid people.
I like hearing them ***** about gas prices, that I tell them I get 34+ miles per gallon...
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner View Post
I get upset about trucks idling, when they go inside to get food, or to eat inside. Nearly all leave their trucks running. Also small busses are running the entire time the drivers are taking their break for lunch. There is NO good reason to leave them running...........stupid people.
Actually, in many cases there are very good mechanical reasons. I don't know all of them, though I am aware of their existence. The one I do know is that turbo diesels can NOT be shut off until they are properly cooled down, else there will be bad damage.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:50 AM   #9
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Agreed. A turbo charged diesel puts out a lot of heat. At idle, I believe a turbo is still spinning at about 10,000 RPM's.

Immediate shut down of turbo diesel isn't good for longevity. Oil can coke up on the bearings. There are some kits that can allow a person to shut off the key, then walk away while the engine runs for a few minutes. Not common, as most just decide to let their diesel run. A diesel truck will even cool down the coolant quite a bit while idling.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by roadrunner View Post
I get upset about trucks idling, when they go inside to get food, or to eat inside. Nearly all leave their trucks running. Also small busses are running the entire time the drivers are taking their break for lunch. There is NO good reason to leave them running...........stupid people.
I think that in a diesel truck motor it is very hard on the motor to stop and start it, and it also takes a considerable amount more fuel to re-start the motor than it does to just let it idle for a few minutes. I could be wrong, but I thought that there was a real reason for trucks doing that.

Heres a crazy story for you. My boss is well known for being forgetful. He travels a lot and frequently will leave his phone behind, or his laptop, or his suitcase, or any combination. One day he drove to an office where they were holding an all day meeting. He was on the phone as he got out of the car at 7am and when he came back at the end of the day 5pm or so he found a large puddle of water coming out of the bottom of his truck. It was the A/C sweating. He had left the truck on all day, with the A/C on, keys in the ignition with the doors unlocked....... doh!
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