New and Cool @ HFB 2013: Treadmill Saver

The Treadmill Saver is a check engine light for treadmills.
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In addition to our continuing coverage of product and retail trends from this year’s Health and Fitness Business, SNEWS is shining the spotlight on new and cool brands and products that caught our eye on the show floor at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

Justin Hai, President
The Green Fitness Equipment Co.

Del Mar, Calif.
Product launching: 2013
www.greenfitco.com

We rely on the check engine light to tell us when our vehicles need some TLC.

TreadmillSaver1

There's no such luxury with treadmills, though. We run them until they die. Justin Hai and the Treadmill Saver look to change that.

“This is a check engine light for treadmills,” Hai explained.

After a successful debut at IHRSA 2013, Hai brought the product to the Health and Fitness Business Expo to showcase it to retailers doing light commercial business.

It’s a device that the treadmill cord plugs into, and then the Treadmill Saver (MSRP $299) itself is plugged into the wall. It measures the amount of electricity the treadmill is putting out.

The Treadmill Saver’s light remains green if it the treadmill is outputting the standard amount of electricity, turns yellow when it starts to output more than it should, and it turns red when the treadmill is outputting dangerous levels of electricity. Plus the unit automatically blinks green after 150 hours of use so facilities can ensure everything continues to run smoothly.

So essentially green means good, yellow means check and red means something needs to be repaired.

“Facilities that use this product reduced repairs to the point where the only things they replaced were the belts,” Hai said.

Hai had been working with his brother, who owns a used fitness equipment store, and learned when equipment isn’t closely monitored in clubs, or settings like hotel gyms, people could get hurt when the treadmill finally does break.

“I asked, “Where’s the check engine light,’ and he told me there wasn’t one,” Hai said. So he went about developing the Treadmill Saver to measure the electricity output, which is the chief indicator of motor health, from a treadmill. “The motor has to work harder when it’s hotter because it’s essentially getting cooked,” he said. When overworked in bad health, the motor eventually shuts down leading to expensive repairs and even replacement.

With the Treadmill Saver, clubs and facilities know which treadmills are starting to have issues and can call in technicians.

“When a treadmill is broken, there are only five things that could be wrong,” Hai explained. “The motor, electrical board, belt, deck or rollers.”

Alerting facilities to treadmills that are struggling helps cut back costs of repairs and of energy consumption because they can pinpoint which treadmill is wasting energy right away. Treadmill Savers were installed on the units in the gym at Fort Sam Houston and officials said the product has helped the facility lower its electrical bills.

The product might not cut down an individual user’s electricity bill, Hai said, but it might be worth the investment for consumers just to know when their treadmill needs some attention.

--Ana Trujillo

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