Chattanooga, TN-based refuse body maker Heil Environmental has expanded its availability of “operate-at-idle” system from just its side loading units to all of its rear, front and side loading body designs. The system may come standard or as an option depending on body configuration, the company said.

The operate-at-idle system enables a vehicle to perform all of its normal functions to load and/or compact garbage at standard operating speeds while the vehicle engine is at idle – mainly to reduce both fuel consumption and wear on the vehicle’s engine, said Dan Rosen, Heil’s director of product management.

“Operators driving vehicles without an operate-at-idle system have to shift the transmission into neutral and raise the throttle -- revving the engine -- every time they want to lift a container or pack a load,” he said. “All that shifting and engine revving wastes fuel, creates additional noise and causes increased wear on the chassis, transmission and operator.”

With the operate-at-idle system, however, the vehicle’s engine is constantly running at a much lower RPM, so fuel consumption is decreased — often by up to 20%, said Rosen. “Stress on the chassis and vehicle systems is also diminished, leading to longer life and lower maintenance costs,” he added. “It allows for much quieter operation and eliminates the time spent shifting and waiting for the engine to get up to speed, which improves route productivity and reduces operator fatigue.”