Vehicle idling gets zero miles per gallon; unnecessary idling wastes fuel and pollutes. Running an engine at low speed (idling) also causes twice the wear on internal engine parts compared to driving at regular speeds. The break-even point for shutting off and restarting gasoline engines as compared to leaving it to idle is 30 seconds - from the point of view of both emissions and fuel consumption.

Unless exempted in the following section, no University vehicle or piece of equipment is to be idled in a non-emergency situation. The operator of the vehicle/equipment is to turn-off the unit and the keys are to be removed from the ignition.


The following situations will allow idling, as needed:

  1. Vehicles at job sites requiring the use of emergency lights, PTOs, and/or other powered accessories to accomplish their assignment; and
  2. Inclement weather situations where the supervisor authorizes the use of the vehicle/equipment heater-defroster for the work crew's comfort according to the guidelines listed below;
    • If the outside temperature is:
    • Between -10 and 32 degrees F; 5 minute maximum
    • Below -10 degrees F: 15 minute maximum
    • Note: At no time is the vehicle to be left unattended while idling. If the outside temperature is greater than 90 degrees F, maximum idling time to cool air conditioning equipped vehicles for the work crew's comfort is 5 minutes.