Aftermarket

IdleAire Reopens Some Facilities

August 08, 2010

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The new owners of IdleAire re-opened four of the facilities last week and plan to open three more this week.


IdleAire, which closed up in January, installed equipment at truckstops and other facilities that allowed trucks to receive heating, air conditioning, Internet access, TV and other services without running their engines. At the time it shut down, IdleAire had about 130 locations.

A group of investors that focuses on green technologies purchased the intellectual property and some of the key assets of IdleAire earlier this year. The new owners are operating under the banner of Convoy Solutions.

Now open for business are:
* Pilot Travel Center - East St. Louis, Ill.
* Pilot Travel Center - Laredo, Texas
* Pilot Travel Center - Fort Worth, Texas
* Flying J Plaza - El Paso, Texas

Scheduled to open this week:
* Love's Travel Stops (formerly Pilot) - Baytown, Texas
* Pilot Travel Center - Newnan, Ga.
* JJ's Truck Stop - Benton, Ark.

Current plans are to restart about 25 sites in the near future, but not all will start at the same time. Company officials say they are working with travel centers to reopen as many of the original sites as possible and are examining opportunities for opening new site locations. At this time, they do not expect to open all sites that were previously operated.

Previously, about 90 IdleAire locations were located at TA and Petro Truckstops. Officials with TravelCenters of America, which operates both travel plaza chains, have publicly said the company would likely remove the IdleAire equipment from its locations.

The service will feature most of the same services offered previously, including heat and air conditioning, electricity, television access, and Internet. Basic television will include more channels than previously offered. Movies on Demand and In-Cab Driver Training programs will not be available at launch, but officials hope to provide these again in the future. There will be no telephone service, because most customers today have cell phones.

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