The EcoStar III automatically turns the engine off and on after the vehicle is shifted into the park for a programmable set amount of time so you save on fuel.

InterMotive’s updated idle reduction system keeps truck working with engine off

March 7, 2018
EcoStar III's Bluetooth connectivity allows operators to start and stop engine remotely with key in hand and cab secure. Also monitors and manages battery levels and interior temperatures.

INDIANAPOLIS. InterMotive Vehicle Controls has added Bluetooth connectivity to its idle reduction system that gives truck drivers controls over their engine even with the key out of the ignition.

The system is being introduced at the NTEA Work Truck Show this week (Booth No. 3880).

“We’ve had the system out for a while now,” Marc Ellison, director of InterMotive, said during a Tuesday press conference at the Work Truck Show. “A number of large fleets have been using our product but we made some significant enhancements to the product that we think are pretty unique.”

The EcoStar III automatically turns the engine off and on after the vehicle is shifted into the park for a programmable set amount of time so you save on fuel. The system, however, keeps the battery power on so your equipment still works but the truck is not idling.

“One of the major features that we are just launching now is it has the ability to start/stop with the key removed from the ignition,” Ellison said. “So for additional safety, that vehicle is now secure and the operator can walk away from the vehicle or be up in the boom, up in the bucket and have it stop/start with key in hand and the doors locked.”

With the key out, the operator can lock and secure what’s inside the vehicle while he or she is working outside the vehicle. It also has a redundancy so that if someone somehow got into the vehicle and tried to shift it out of park without the key in the ignition, it would automatically shut off the engine.

With Bluetooth and a free mobile app, the EcoStar III is configurable to custom conditions and can pull data for the tracking idle time reduction and fuel savings. The app also allows remote engine starting and stopping.

The system monitors battery voltage and has an optional feature to monitor interior cab temperature to restart the engine if any of the specific condition settings are exceeded. This includes a high idle for quicker battery charge and better A/C performance, according to InterMotive.

For example, a user can set the EcoStar III to restart the engine if the Vbat falls below 11.9V. It would turn the engine on at a “high idle,” Ellison said, and charge the battery up to 13.4V in eight minutes before shutting the engine off again.

Another example is if the interior vehicle temperature drops below 57 degrees, the engine would restart and raise the interior temperature to 71 degrees, then shut off again.

“Obviously it optimizes fuel economy,” Ellison said of the system. “When you’re not idling, you’re reducing wear and tear on the engine.”

This would me fewer oil changes, less fuel and reduced emissions, Ellison said. “We’re not going to eliminate idling but we’re going to minimize it.”

The EcoStarIII is easy to install, according to Ellison, using plug-and-play connections on work trucks, firetrucks, cutaway-bus and ambulances, and other vehicles. He said it will work with most vehicles up to Class 7. It is also available to order from builders, upfitters, dealers or InterMotive’s master distributor, LGS Group.

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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