IdleAir

By Deane Barker on December 26, 2004

IdleAire Technologies — The In-Cab Services Leader: Here’s a great example of a win-win situation.

The problem: Long-haul truckers would park their trucks overnight and let the engines run so they could get air conditioning in the cab. The side-effects: (1) air pollution, since an idling engine isn’t anywhere close to its peak efficiency; (2) lots of wasted fuel; and (3) noise pollution in the immediate vicinity of dozens of idling trucks.

Since air condition was the main point this hinged on, a company called IdleAir decided to bring the air (and much more) to the trucks. The truckers shut their engines off, and hook up one of these units through a window. The unit pumps cool air into the cab, and provides a screen with Internet access, 100 volt A/C, and USB ports.

Great use of technology to make things better for everyone. We need more ideas like this.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. Great idea, but the impact has been that the intrusion of this Idle Aire system to the existing truck stop parking spaces has resulted in a net LOSS of available parking for tired drivers. This has proven to “squeeze” trucks out from the truck stops to park in nearby shopping centers and interstate on ramps. I think a better approach would have been to allow, by whatever incentives available, the expansion of the truck stops’ parking areas in order to allow for the space taken by the new systems.

  2. Idle aire pushed me out of their parking space in Ohio making me sleep on the highway ramp that night. Once the ramp was full I witnessed dozens of trucks forced to drive on tired because they werent willing to dish out the cash for the service and buy the required accessories to make it work. I could see the truckstop from there during the night though enough to see that DOZENS of spaces were left empty all night in the Idle Aire parking area. I was told later that I could have stayed (although thats not what they told me that night!) but I would have to shut my truck off and sleep in the bitter cold without running my engine at all in “IDLE AIRE’S” spaces. I guess these truckstops found a way to force us to pay to park. Idle Aire will soon be sued I’m sure when a driver is refused a safe and comfortable parking space and is involved in an accident from driving tired.

  3. It cost 10 dollars for window adapter and it’s cheaper to use service than it is to idle your truck. Plus you do not add pollution into the air that we breath. Hook up to the service and maybe you’ll get a better sleep and maybe YOU will save a LIFE.

  4. Maybe more drivers would use it if the price for the services were not such a secret. And I agree they take up a lot of parking and why did they get the prime parking spots. Heck the driver now has almost all the comforts of home why can’t they be forced to park in the back.

  5. THE PRICE OF IDLE AIRE IS WAY TOO HIGH FOR TRUCKERS YOU DON’T GET MANY CHANNELS FOR THE CABLE, THEN IF YOU WANT CERTAIN CHANNELS YOU HAVE TO PAY EXTRA, AND SOMETIMES THE AIR COMING IN STINKS!

  6. When will Idle Aire go with a remote to change channels. It’s a pain in the bottom to have to get up and change the channel. Why does it cost so much for so little. At home you get movie channels at no extra charge including internet services. They want to much for so little. I will probably just bring movies with me and not use Idle aire any more

  7. Myth- just because you arent a member you cant park in Idleaire spots. Truth- while the onsite reps might come and bug you, it the lot is full and there is IA spots available, you can park. They are supossed to ask you politely to shut down but if its really hot or cold, well use common sense. Its really reckless to push drivers who, probally arent driveing legal anyways out on the road. That is the way its supposed to be done.

    as an employee with IA, I tire of hearing about the inconsistent policies between sites. nothing i can say can change that but oh well

  8. Idleaire prices are not secret. A free member ship is $2.18/hr plus tax. a gold member ship which is $1.85/hr cost $10 every 6 months to keep that way. after 30 hours of use you gain your 10 dollars back. we do not tell people they can not park there because they are not members. if there are spaces in the lot then we redirect them to those spaces. but if a lot fills (which a lot do) then we must allow drives to park there. as for the extra channels you pay 4 dollars for all the channels (sports and movie channels) thats it. then you pay the hourly price after that. also most people dont realize you can turn the module off. yes you can turn it off and your not spending a dime. Also if you have a problem with a certain site then you need to call our customer service line. they can get you to whomever you need to talk to if you had a bad experience.

    Idleaire was not made to make drivers mad or take your parking spaces. we actually share revenue with the truck stops we are located in which in turn makes it to where those truckstops can expand even more. This company was made to help drivers of all ages have the comforts of home. it really hurt to watch drivers of all ages on christmas driving instead of being at home. (i would know since i worked on christmas)

    As an employee of Idleaire myself, i just want everyone to know im just doing my job trying to make a honest living. im just lucky enough to help other who in turn put food on my table.

    If you have any questions about idleaire or our services then please feel free to call our 24 hour customer service line.

  9. I love IdleAire , I was one of the first few trusting this service, even then was difficult to find one IA around my route. And still today, or any day I come to a parking spot and use the service I live satisfied. I notice too that many drivers park and don’t connect, I just go if no parking space for me! What’s the big deal? Live and let live

  10. total waste of money-only cool or warm right there at the window-at 1st they gave u a phone- witch everyone now has- and the use of a computer witch u could do nothing with but look at what they wanted u 2 look at…..

  11. Get used to it….Soon the EPA will REQUIRE the drivers to shut off their trucks when stopped as it should be. The fumes are damaging our environment and the sooner the EPA restricts the idling the better. It seems to me that the ones that do not favor IdleAire are from the old school and may not be technologically advanced enough to figure out how to operate the simple system. If that be the case, do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Once you get the knowledge of how to operate it, I’m sure you will be more satisfied.

  12. I agree, sounds like alot of drivers are afaid to ask for help. Imagine that, nothing new there. I have been an Idleair user for over three years now. I dont use it all the time but like with any tool I weigh the good and the bad to see when it is best for me to use. It cost, but not as much as the fuel I have to replace if I idle all night. I sleep warmer, more comfort and have the options of phone, internet and other expanded options. Idleair is here to stay, get use to it, learn to use it, and enjoy your job.

  13. IdleAire is great. As an O/O, I’ve saved tons since I signed up to use the service. As a matter of fact, I’m using it right now. Literally, I signed up back in June at a new site in Kingsland and as a regular user, in less then a year I’ve saved over $1600. You may feel the bite at first when you pay for the membership and the window insert, but in the long run I’m fueling less and having my Pete serviced less. Not to mention, I get movies and TV and QUIET to sleep. Hell, I’ve been driving for over 10 years and I wish I found this service sooner. Anytime I hookup I always make a point to try to find some naysayers and change their mind about Idleaire. Wake up O/O!!! Try it once. That’s all I got to say.

  14. I am sorry to say we do not kick drivers out of our spots. If the travel center has parking we ask those that are not going to use the service to move to a spot so we can save parking for the customer. If the Travel Center is full we provide parking to every one. Those that say we take up to much parking are full of shit, Look your facts up we have produced over 600 parking spots for the professional driver threw out the usa. I do work for Idleaire and proud of it. I had a driver the other day tell me that he would like to see all that yellow shit hauled out on a flat bed. I told him I would like to see him lose his job. He then asked me why I said that. And I told him if idleaire goes away i lose my job. You dick wads that can not stand Change need to relize that IdleAire is provideing America with more jobs. Something this country needs. With all the outsourceing that goes on id say if it wasent for idleaire I would be homeless. Personaly I dont care for you guys that dont want to hook up I dont care if you hate idleaire but before you go around and run your mouth get your fucking facts stright. also there is a typo on the thing. Its 110 Volts of electric.

  15. If Idleaire has Site Representatives that curs and swear like the one on February 15, 2008 at 4:24 AM what does it say for the company itself? I was told about Idleaire by a customer to our travel plaza and I went online to find out about the pro, cons and what Idleaire is all about. As I am reading along through ALL the comments I am suddenly put off by this persons language use which is accessible to the world including children and with this I need to voice my opinion! I really do not care How a person talks at home or in their private lives, but as soon as you are out there speaking to the world, please mind your P’s and Q’s and think about who might come across this site besides me! Children, other possible customers as well as people that are put off by this type of language like me. This does not put the company, its employees, or its merchandise in a good perspective. If you read all the other comments left, even the ones that did not like the product refrained from cursing and foul language usage, why cant you?

  16. Just thought I would let you know that will no longer use Idle Air. I am a non smoker and the smell of cirgarette smoke coming through your system from other trucks is just more then I can stand.

    I drive for Landstar and my truck # is 533814.

    It is a terrific idea and if you could provide fresh air as an option instead of recycled air I would use your system frequently.

    Best regards,

    Bruce W. Fisher

  17. Idle AIr sucks and has ruined parking lots across the united states…i was on my laptop…had it on a tv tray in front of me with wires strung all around playing a game….and an idle air employee rudely banged on my door repeatedly and loudly…when i asked what do you want….R U HOOKIN UP TO IDLE AIR SIR….i said no……and made the mistake of expressin my opinion of there service and that i just spent 8500 $ on Idle reduction Technolagy…(APU)…so you have nothin iam interested in…to plz go away and stop disturbin me….She then got an attitude on her little gulf cart and yellow vest and told me that i was goin to have to move to an non Idle Air Parkin spot ((fyi this was the Dallas TA) move to what spot the truck stop is full…i said i would move when the other trucks not hooked up move also and roled my window up…10 minutes later the minium wage makin golf cart drivin yellow vest wherer showed up with reinforcements …A large intimadating Black Gentleman took of his yellow vest flexed his muscles and told me to fuckin move or he would have me towed away…..so i pulled out of the spot…now breakin my federal mandatory break and had to go on down the road tired and illegal to look for parkin 112 miles later i was parked again…..also went into the T/A Dallas on my way out and asked to speek with manager….got only assistant manager with attittude…name Jennefer …..she said she had nothin to do with idle air and that they can do what they want…..it is only a matter of time before they go out of business…remeber park n view LOL..i c there equipment all across the country and it is fallin apart…a true signe of a failin Idle AIr…ps global warming is a iie

  18. My husband is a driver. He & I often talk about the demeaning attitude that the general public has toward the truck drivers. After hearing some of these comments & the fowl language, I can understand why the public has a low opinion of truck drivers. The majority of you complain about high fuel prices & threaten to stop driving to help drive down the prices but the facts are you will never be organized to accomplish this because you can’t even open your eyes to new technology that could have a benefit to you saving money from high fuel costs & help the environment….not to mention less noise pollution from idling disel engines. My husband & I are non-smokers & even though he has not tried idleaire yet, the comment regarding the smoke smell is a very valid one & should be addressed. I would think that the drivers would be delighted to get cable hookup at their truck but getting more channels should be looked at too. Do the math…..How much disel fuel do you use idling your truck each time you sleep, etc? I bet it is a lot more than the cost to hook up to idleaire! If you look at it this way….the TV hook up is a bonus & you might even feel like your at home! I think the idea is great, even though it may need some things worked on & if stock is available, I would buy it!

  19. I was searching the net thinking bout getting Idleaire. Im parked in TA but not hooked up. When I just read this comment from an Idleaire employee I changed my mind. I dont care about him or his job. When you drive 11 hours a day and spend your money in the truck stop and want to rest its a shame to have these people harassing you. Find another job if your not fired already.

  20. It certainly is true that Idle Air reduces the available parking at every truckstop they touch. I have proof!!! Here is an example. At the Jessup TA, I Google Earthed that location, before and after. I counted 424 before and 287 after. Even the Bobtail spaces was reduced. See for your yourself. Copy and paste the links below to your browser and count the parking spaces yourself.

    BEFORE – http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=jessup,md&ie=UTF8&ll=39.163642,-76.780347&spn=0.003436,0.009356&t=h&z=17

    AFTER – http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCC&cp=39.163118~-76.781476&style=h&lvl=18&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=25230004&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

  21. IdleAir seems like overkill. Why not just provide a 110 volt plug (with an internet and phone connection) and let trucks provide their own heat/ac units similar to what RV’s have? Would take less space, provide fresher air, and cost a whole lot less to convert a truck stop.

  22. So many people that don’t have a clue. To all those that use idleair keep using and to those that posted all the negatives….. Get a clue it is not that complicated and not that expensive. Also in my opinion that comment from a “idleair” employee with all the cussing, I think that was really somebody just trying to give them a bad name.

  23. If you are not going to use the service why park at an IdleAire space. That does not make sense. There are drivers who do use the service and want to use the service and it is hard for us when all the spaces are taken by non users. I have always wondered why? Are you drivers (that park in a space not intending to use the service) trying to prove a point or are you just being jerks. Yes there are some instances that there is cigarette smell but before I put it in the window I always ask the IdleAire guy to air it out for more than 10 minutes and they are more happy to do so. Owner operators just remember the wear and tear of you engine when idling, it is a great service and I am proud to use it.

  24. I have been an Idleaire employee for 4 days. I was a driver before I hired in as part-time,so I observed both sides of the issue. I say observed due to the fact that I don’t think I like turning away drivers until all the other spaces are filled in the other part of the lot. These spaces in the general parking are back-in parking and some drivers don’t feel comfortable enough with their backing skills to use them. I know that I allways wanted to nose-in park when possible.
    I have seen some problems certain drivers have with backing into a space between 2 trucks. I can relate to that. When you don’t have adequate space between the rows and you have to jack-knife to get into a space it presents a challenge that not all drivers welcome. I know I never did. I believe the Idelaire concept with the nose-in parking and all the available services provided is worth the money spent for a membership . Not to mention it is also good for the environment and this is a necessity. I don’t beleive the one posting using vulgar language, name calling,profanity and other negative remarks toward proffessional truck drivers was a true employee. I am in training during this period and I have been issued a handbook, and veiwed training videos and it is highly stressed that you are required to be courteous and helpful at all times regardless of the treatment you receive from some of the drivers.This is sometimes hard to do, but you have to keep in mind that these people you are interacting with have been driveing long hours and facing the difficulties of the highways and they just want to find a place to rest without all hassels they have been thru and they don’t want a person like me to tell them that that they can’t park in an Ideaire nose-in parking space unless they are a member,but this is a job that someone like me has to face daily in order to have an income,no matter what the weather is I have to be out there in the elements to try to monitor the lot to assure our customers that they are getting the service that they are paying for. I don’t want pity and I don’t want anything other than a fair understanding that I don’t derserve all the name calling and threats that I have received in the past 4 days. I am only trying to do my job. There are those of you who truly act proffesional and I am not putting you in the same category asa the buttholes I have had to deal with. I want you who act as proffessional people I am very grateful for your behavior; to the rest of you who have deliberately tried to give me a difficult time you can kiss my behind. I’m at home on my pc looking out the window at the rain thinking that this might very well be the last day on the job. For those of you who read this an can understand where I am coming from I thank you. Toyou other people who get off on trying to push my buttons and abuse me verbally and threaten me with physical harm, have a nice day. NOT!!!!!!!!!

  25. Idleaire is a government funded waste of taxpayer money. I don’t have to repeat all of the negatives, most of them are true.

    When I see post like “Why don’t you get a hotel room like everybody else?”, well that goes to show how much folks pushing Idleaire understand. We’re not “like everybody else”. There’s not enough pay to cover the costs of a hotel, many hotels don’t have parking for rigs, and good look find those that do.

    I can understand where a non-trucker would think this is great. It looks like a good idea, until you understand the negatives and trucking in general. As for the cleaner air, what a load of crap. It’s a couple of gallons of fuel. We burn more than that in an hour going down the road. If it was going to kill you, it already has. Besides, we bought the fuel, why should anyone tell us how to burn it?

    You don’t just choose a parking spot in a busy truckstop. You grab one if you can find one. Look at one close to a busy interstate and tell me how you can just “pick a spot”.

    It’s not a matter of not knowing how to park your truck, it’s the matter of knowing how to park that drives people away from Idleaire. When you leave you have to back blindly for a looong way. Billy big rigger comes through the truck-stop at 40 mph and plows into you, and it’s considered your fault because you were backing up. Yes, Idleaire assists, but I’m not trusting over $100,000 worth of equipment to someone make $10/hr who has no care as to the outcome.

    If there are so many truckers that just love this crap, explain why the government needs to fund it. Explain all the empty hoses. Profitable businesses don’t need the government’s help to operate. There are great alternatives to Idleaire, but the government squashed the competition by giving Idleaire an unfair advantage by funding them. Compared to the the alternatives like APU’s and shore power, Idleaire is an engineering joke and it’s the laughing stock of the engineering world. Just look at it sometime, and look close.

  26. I have worked for idleaire now since oct 08 and I can not believe everything that this offers to the drivers. There is so much available to them at the touch of a button and most drivers will not even give you a chance. They are just mad that you took the spaces and you are outside in your yellow vest. At the sites that I work at we always welcome you weather you are a member or not and that is your choice but make sure you check out what you have available to you before you ignore it.

  27. my company will not pay for the service and if I were an o/o I still wouldn’t hook up. Its cheaper to idle. My laptop offers way more options than idle air can offer and for the price I can get a cheap motel room for that but you can’t park a truck at most of them. I had to park at an IA space tonight because I ran out of hours and there is more IA spaces than regular spaces at this t/a off 81 outside of Roanoke VA.

  28. Idle air has three major factors that are bad for this industry. 1 The air coming out of the system will make a lot of drivers sick. It smells like a ash tray. Has this been tested with the constant second hand smoke, to determine the health risk, or are the truck drivers the lab rats. 2. The idle air people will run you out of the parking space, regardless what any manager will say to CNN. I have been told to leave several times and I am a “GOLD” member. This makes parking hard to find. 3 the price of the service is more than I can afford. I am not a truck owner,so I save myself no money. 10 hours of Idle air cost me close to 25.00.($175.00 a week) and 90% of the time I have asthma attacks, or get sick from the stale air. I know Idle air could put smoke detectors on the unit that would disable the unit if it detects smoke,alerting attendants there is a smoking violation. Shutting down till it could be cleaned out. Making idle air a no smoking environment. If they are trying to make the air we breath so much better than why do truckers who are non smokers have to breath stale cigarette for 10 hours a day. I know I have the right to not use the service, but only catering to smokers is discrimination.

  29. If the federal Government is funding Idle air, and CNN reads these post “please help us” we are getting sick from Idle Air. Take a truck and pull into any idle air space and run the unit for 10 hours the D.O.T. required break, and see what we mean. Do not ask idle air for a space, or let them know who you are, just park like we do. When I ask them to run the system before I hook it up, they come out spray air freshener in it, and a few minutes later tell you it’s fixed.

  30. The new Idle Air 2009 price is $2.89 an hour. If you are a Gold member it is $2.45 an hour. D.O.T. requires a 10 hour off duty a day . So the cost is $171.50 a week. If a driver does not pay for fuel what good is Idle air . If all you get out of it is sick

  31. Don’t you cry babies know that idling produces sulfuric acid, which breaks down the oil and eats into bearings, rings, valve stems and engine surfaces. If you don’t your obviously a junior driver or a old fool that never learned to maintain your truck. Your too stupid to realize idle-air will save your stinky ass money

  32. I would like to put a snow plow on the front of my truck and push Idleair into a big pile in the back parking lot

  33. Here is the thing i think everyone is forgetting. Only the property owner can make you move. If someone with idleaire or another driver ask you to move. You don’t have to unless an employee ask you to move. Also if you are asked to move, and you are on a companies lot. Call the local pd or dot and tell them you need an escort, because after shutting down in a public place you are required to move. Just FYI, i done this and i ended up stay at the pilot, west Memphis, Ar. Idleaire does not own the lot the truckstop does, but if they truckstop gives access to park they can not in turn make you leave.

  34. Yes, the travel plaza owns the parking lot. Idleaire leases a space from the travel plaza to generate revenue. If a representative of Idleaire asks you to move and you do not, you can be cited for trespassing. From what I know, Mr. Swift driver is lying. If your not a customer of Idleaire, don’t park there. Pretty simple, even for a swift driver.

  35. Idleair went bankrupt in January 2010 and has been restarted by new owners. I’m one of them. We agree that the old sites took up way too many central parking spaces and that the equipment often smelled like 2nd hand smoke. We are only in 20 locations (and growing) but all sites now are equipped with industrial air purifiers and parking tends to be located toward the back edge of lots away from other idlers and so as to waste too much parking. We have also lowered prices and will have a non-HVAC “ala carte” service for $1.25/hour soon. All members get 25% discount on Shark products as well. We want to help drivers save money and breath less fumes. All suggestions (even hate mail) welcome.

  36. I hated the stale cigarett smoke. Another consideration is that you need to keep re-fer trucks in a different section they are way to noisy, and yes your employees were awful. Electronic log books make it ILLEGAL for us to move once our driving hours are expired. I wish you good luck, but remember we don’t need you, you need us.

    Jim Franey Trimac trans east

  37. I wish they just had a pigtail connector built to fit in the bumper or something like that, that would automatically disconnect when pulling out. You’d be able to use your own equipment. How come they didn’t make a monthly plan? At least for the cable or Internet, electric separate. Just a thought.

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