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 about two months ago. The new owners are operating under the banner of Convoy Solutions.
One thing that could stand in the way of a quick mass return is that about 90 IdleAire locations are 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.
Thomas O'Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters of America, told investors during its first-quarter 2010 earnings conference call on May 10 that the IdleAire product "not only may have a limited life, but it is very expensive to run as currently configured. So while it's not 100 percent for sure that equipment will be removed and not adapted, that is where we're headed."
A Convoy Solutions spokesperson said as of Friday, TA officials had not returned its phone calls to discuss the fate of the IdleAire equipment at those truckstops. She said the new owners are talking to other major truckstop operators about getting the equipment installed.
The executive heading up the new IdleAire effort is Mike Fielden, previously an executive with Pacer Global Logistics and other trucking and logistics companies.
For a list of the locations that will reopen, go to www.idleaire.com.