Idle Smart’s new platform allows fleet managers to understand how their fleets are performing under the idle reduction system and actively manage the devices in the field.
Fleet managers, explained Idle Smart CEO Jeff Lynch in an interview, essentially told Idle Smart, “I come in to work, I have five to 10 minutes to look at how I’m doing — give me the data I can use to make some changes.”
Idle Smart continuously monitors interior and ambient temperatures and starts and stops a vehicle to maintain desired cabin temperature and prevent cold starts in the winter, while saving fuel and protecting battery voltage levels.
The new Android-based platform allows fleet managers to use a dashboard-type computer screen to view the idle time and amount of fuel saved over the past week, month, etc. They can look at the average and at the highs and lows so they can focus on the worst performers. They can even drill down and find out why the Idle Smart system started — was the weather cold, did the battery need charging, etc.
If a fleet determines the problem is the battery, it can take steps to getting the battery replaced, but with a few clicks can also lower the battery voltage threshold, change the run time to charge the battery longer, and run the idle a little higher to help it charge better.
In addition, as seasons change fleet managers can remotely change parameters without bringing the truck in. For instance, you can turn the cold weather guard feature on in the fall and push it out to the fleet.
With the fleet’s permission, Idle Smart personnel can go in on the back end to help diagnose and troubleshoot if there are problems with the unit.
The new system also allows drivers a little more control. Fleet managers can set a range of temperatures and allow drivers to alter it to suit their preference plus or minus a few degrees.
The installation process also has been simplified, taking out several steps and standardizing some pieces to bring the installation time down from about three hours to about two.
Idle Smart expects the new system to be available in January and expects it to generate a return on investment in under 18 months.