Robert Jordan, Overdrive magazine’s 2006 Trucker of the Year, is one of 20 entrepreneurs in the semifinals of Forbes.com’s first Boost Your Business contest. An online vote will decide the five finalists; the deadline is Saturday, Sept. 15. The grand prize is $100,000 for the winning entrepreneur to invest in his or her business. Jordan, of Juneau, Wis., was one of nearly 1,000 people to enter the contest.
Jordan has built his business, Idle Free Systems, around a patent he received in December 2006. Jordan’s invention is an aftermarket device that makes a Class 8 tractor run somewhat like a hybrid. Energy generated by normal engine use is stored in five sealed, absorbed glass mat batteries, housed beneath the sleeper’s bunk. That reserve power then runs heating and air conditioning when the truck is stopped. The reserve batteries also can be charged by shore power and by reefer engines.
Jordan quit driving in December 2006 to work on Idle Free Systems full time. He builds systems for trucking companies and trains their mechanics to install and maintain them. Mack Trucks offers Jordan’s system as an option. Jordan told Forbes.com that he would use the $100,000 to hire five sales personnel and build a website.
To vote and to read about all the semifinalists, visit the Forbes.com Boost Your Business website. Overdrive, owned by Randall-Reilly Publishing, is a sister publication of CCJ.