Mar 09, 2011

“New Owners of IdleAir take over IdleAire” –

New Owners of IdleAir take over IdleAire
Originally Published Monday, March 7, 2011

At first glance the title of this post might be confusing, however if you look closely you will see that although the pronunciation remains the same, the spelling is slightly different.

The original IdleAire Inc, was a company that offered a service to trucks so they may obtain heat, cooling, electric, satellite, and internet connection. Many CDL drivers preferred this service rather than idling their trucks, however, there were problems that drivers faced while using this service

The old IdleAire, Inc. went bankrupt and completely ceased operations in late January 2010. Later that Spring, a new group of owners and investors, Convoy Solutions, LLC, purchased the remaining IdleAire assets. They bought the physical remains left over from the company and then restarted the business from a dead stop. Many of the old IdleAire staff had received a pretty rough deal (just as many of their customers did) so the new owners rehired many of them . They now have 21 locations in 9 states and anticipate 40 before the end of the year.

The new company IdleAir, now under new management, is determined to improve both the physical services as well as the past customer service, addressing any negative experiences or complaints that prior customers may have had. For starters, they are honoring all customer balances, even if they no longer have their old IdleAire card. All that is needed is the driver CDL # and then to call their customer service number 1-877-738-7024. Although these refunds are not the new owners responsibility, they feel that it is a “good will” approach to let drivers know that they appreciate their business and want the new IdleAir to be only a positive image and experience.

The former IdleAire had many locations at the TA Travel Plazas. TA has torn down many of them and although there are still many remaining, TA plans on demolishing them also.

The new owners have attempted to work with TA management in order to reopen the remaining sites, but to no avail.

Oddly enough, the new IdleAir owners have also offered to purchase the remains of the equipment from the TA, but TA has refused that also. Odder still is the fact that the new owners have also offered to pay to dismantle it, and then pay to haul it off their ( TA) lots. Instead, the TA has chosen to pay all costs themselves to demolish the remains, and then pay again to have it hauled off.

Interestingly, TA franchises do see the value in IdleAir and are offering the service to their customers. IdleAir now has sites with Pilot/Flying J, Loves. Bruce’s, JJ’s Sapp Brothers, and All-American.

IdleAir has researched all aspects of the old company and has greatly improved policies and services for their customers. In addition, they are continuing to seek out all complaints from prior customers in order to resolve any negative aspects so they may positively enhance the new IdleAir driver experience.

Examples of prior customer grievances and new management IdleAir solutions:

1 “Too expensive” IdleAire’s top package is only $1.99/hr. Included in the package is: heating, cooling, electricity for both inside and outside the cab, 60 channels of satellite( including free ESPN), and basic internet service.

It takes about 1 gal/hr ( $4.00/gal) to idle a truck, well just do the math. Additional discounts include:

New fleet discounts, extended stay discounts, VIP rewards program, new customer discount, and customer referral promotion.

Company drivers will also have a rewards program offered.

NOTE: Many companies are charging their drivers for idle time and with fuel prices skyrocketing, we expect this problem to get even worse. Yesterday we even received an email stating that a driver’s company is keeping his detention pay and layover pay because he went over his idling limit!

My suggestion to these companies is that they need to address their non idling policies and to consider alternatives such as IdleAir for the health and safety of their drivers.

Sleeping in subfreezing temperatures and temperatures above 90 degrees does not create safe and rested drivers! The FMCSA should also be considering the non idling safety and health repercussions of the professional driver.

2 “Takes up too much parking space” There are fewer IdleAir spaces and they are now farther away from the main buildings, giving more room to those who want to idle and quieter for IdleAir customers.

3 “ IdleAir Parking Police forcing idling drivers to move” IdleAir understands the need for more truck parking so they are allowing drivers to park in their spots if the lot is full. Obviously, if there is ample parking available, an idling driver should take a non IdleAir parking spot.

4 “Customers lost balances on old IdleAire cards” IdleAir is honoring ALL balances on cards, even if you no longer have the card. Just call customer service 1-877-738-7024 and have your CDL# available.

5 “Needs more Security” Additional lighting and security staff are being put in place to report suspicious activity. Idle Air is also a supporter of Truckers Against Trafficking, and will report suspicious human trafficking activity.

6 “APU’s are better and IdleAir not needed” APU’s offer great comfort and convenience for drivers. IdleAir now has a low cost package for APU users designed to save them fuel and maintenance costs. Drivers with an APU that has an electric pass through, can hook up to Idle Air and use only the electricity and pay for only the electricity!

7 “Cigarette Smoke Smell from previous Driver” This has been a big complaint from the “old IdleAire.” There is now hotel grade cleaners and regular maintenance and cleaning to eliminate this problem. No more “flower scented” smoke smell.

8 “Hotels are cheaper for extended stays” There are times when you want to stay in a hotel and that’s just a fact! However, if you would rather stay in your truck, IdleAir has an extended stay option (ready to be launched), that will give drivers a much lower hourly rate after their first 10 hours. This is appealing for many drivers approaching their 34 hr restart.

“Buy American” It takes energy to maintain a drivers warmth, cooling, TV’s, cell phones, etc…Drivers have a choice, they can idle using energy from imported diesel, or they can hook up to an American electric grid such as IdleAir, using energy resources from coal, gas, nuclear, wind, hydropower, and more.

We will be scheduling a show in regards to this topic of electrification on Truth About Trucking “Live” with special guest Andy Warcaba.

As we continue to search companies who sincerely have the professional driver interests at heart, we are proud to announce that Idle Air is now a sponsor for the 2011 “First Truck Driver Social Media Convention”. We believe that IdleAir does have the drivers concerns as a priority and will be an asset and financial relief for our drivers.

All sponsors for this convention must meet criteria which includes Supporting Drivers with valuable services and/or products.