New investors to revive IdleAire?

KNOXVILLE -- IdleAire Inc., which announced Jan. 28 that it was shutting down, now has a cryptic message posted on its Web site that indicates new owners are seeking to revive the company.

“Great News!” says the headline dated March 4 on “Due to popular demand from fleets, professional drivers, and all of our valued customers, a new group is working to restart IdleAire service.”

Readers are invited to check the Web site for further developments. The message gives no indication who the group is and efforts to reach the company for comment have been unsuccessful. The Knoxville Chamber said today it tried but was unable to find out any information about new IdleAire developments.

Founded in 2000, as IdleAire Technology Corp., the company launched a network of service bays with attachable power consoles that truckers could connect to their rigs to avoid idling the engines, which is a costly and polluting activity. The power consoles provided heating, air-conditioning, electricity, an Internet link, telephone and cable TV connections.

The company received widespread recognition for several years but by 2006, was reporting a $13.9 million loss. In 2008, the company filed for bankruptcy and a group of investors bought the company’s assets and opened a new company called IdleAire Inc. However, the new company has also struggled and on Jan. 28 closed its doors, resulting in 315 lay-offs. At that time, IdleAire Inc. was operating 131 locations in 34 states.

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Comments » 4

rauchy writes:

I cannot see any chance of success for the concept as much as it appears to be a good idea. The features that make its truck stop installations seem desireable are little by little being by-passed by technology which now has wireless widely available, satellite TV receivers for mobile units, small self contained heating systems for trucks powered by diesel fuel, and inverters designed to make 120 VAC electric power available for any purpose, including an AC unit.

The key to Idleair or truck mounted equipment is the desire for fleet owners and truckers to want to shut down the trucks when they are not being driven. With truck mounted equipment any suitable place can be used for parking, with Idleaire only their very capital intensive sites are acceptable.

robertb writes:

It seems they have a better business model this time around. Give them a little time.

rauchy writes:

In an RV this is called "dry camping" and we can go all night long and into the next morning without running the engine or generator while having TV, lights, being on line on the computer, using the microwave, etc.

From an environmental point of view it is far better to have trucks self contained so they can shut down no matter whether they are in a truck stop, rest area or at a loading dock rather than require a massive infrastructure that has already been rendered obsolete.

ReasonableOne writes:

Trucks make money for their owners and operators when the are running, not when they are idle. That is why you see so many team drivers, the truck stays in motion, maximizing capacity, with minimal down time. The vision of a trucker driving 10 hours, then pulling into one of the stationary Idleaire docking bays, and paying somebody, for taking 8 hours of uninterrupted rest is wishful thinking at best. It also ignores, as others have mentioned, advances in technology that obsolete the need for such services. Reduction in power drains from laptops, cells phones, and AC units, as well as advances in inverter technology and small auxiliary generators absolutely negate the need for an Idleaire type service. The basic business model for this type organization is to suck up cash from investors, get as many Federal and State grants as possible, and as officers of the company, pay yourself a huge salary. When the cash runs out, simply belly up...the ideal type of "Green" enterprise that Obama loves. Don't be surprised to see millions of your Tax dollars revive this albatross for a while.

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