Overdrive Staff | March 01, 2010
Long-term financial problems, followed by a weak freight market and unseasonably warm temperatures, forced IdleAire to shut down Jan. 29.

IdleAire pulls the plug

IdleAire, the major provider of shore power to truckers, closed Jan. 29 after its investment company owners of the past 18 months failed to find a buyer. IdleAire had 131 locations in 34 states.

IdleAire is owned by six investment management companies that were working together as Knoxville, Tenn.-based IdleAire Acquisition Co. LLC to sell the company, the owners said in a prepared statement.

“The company had made great strides toward profitability in the midst of a very challenging operating environment,” the owners said. “We believe IdleAire had strong growth potential.”

However, they continued, “Due to the economy, our customers had less freight to haul, resulting in reduced truck traffic and we have had extremely mild weather across the nation, reducing the demand for our climate control service.”

The current owners had acquired the company after it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2008.

The IdleAire closing leaves fewer truck stop electrification options. Shorepower, formerly Shurepower, offers services in Washington, Oregon and North Carolina and a partner site in California.

IdleAire’s closing affected 315 employees.

— Jill Dunn

Listen up: Truckers urge hours flexibility

At the last scheduled listening session for the proposed hours of service revision, many requested more flexibility in duty-hour and sleeper berth regulations.

At the fourth session organized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Jan. 28, many speakers said existing rules are too restrictive and lead to increased fatigue, stress and log book cheating. The public sessions are part of another hours rulemaking FMCSA is conducting under a settlement with groups challenging the current regulations. A fifth session may be scheduled for March, officials say.

Instead of letting drivers sleep when they need it, log book demands are managing drivers’ sleep, said Brenda Neville, president of the Iowa Motor Truck Association.

Drivers often lose time in emergency situations such as bad weather or a traffic accident that count against their 14-hour duty clock, said Kathy Gillaspy, an over-the-road driver.

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