Solid Waste & Recycling

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Raise a Little Heil

Now all the benefits of an operate-at-idle system are available from most refuse collection vehicles manufactured by Heil Environmental. Benefits include fuel savings, increased productivity and noise...


Now all the benefits of an operate-at-idle system are available from most refuse collection vehicles manufactured by Heil Environmental. Benefits include fuel savings, increased productivity and noise reduction. The Heil operate-at-idle system has been standard on Heil automated side loaders for years, but now can be installed on most Heil rear-loaders, front-loaders and side-loaders.

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. In contrast, operators driving vehicles without an operate-at-idle system have to shift the transmission into neutral and raise the throttle (i.e., rev the engine) every time they want to lift a container or pack a load. All this shifting and engine revving wastes fuel, creates additional noise and causes increased wear on the chassis, transmission and operator.

With the Heil system, the vehicle’s engine is constantly running at a much lower RPM, so fuel consumption is decreased (often by up to 20 percent). Stress on the chassis and vehicle systems is also diminished, leading to longer life and lower maintenance costs. Neighbours appreciate the much quieter operation.

Operate-at-idle systems work by enabling the vehicle’s hydraulic system to produce the amount of flow needed to achieve the designated operating speed of the vehicle at a lower RPM. Generally, this is accomplished by providing a larger hydraulic pump to accommodate the extra flow required for the vehicle to operate at idle. As a result, the engine in a vehicle with an operate-at-idle system installed has to be able to develop a sufficient amount of low-speed torque in order to create the torque and horsepower required by the large pump without stalling the vehicle.

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