Trailer Aerodynamics

Adding aerodynamic devices such as nose cones, skirts, under body devices, tails, etc. to the generally boxy trailers can improve fuel efficiency.  The higher the speed the more effective these devices become.  An obstacle to their adoption is that most fleets have multiple trailers for each tractor limiting the miles driven per year and increasing the payback time.

 

• There is significant data showing fuel savings for the various trailer aerodynamic devices. The priority for device adoption by fleets is skirts, tails, front, and then other devices. • Devices have matured and will continue to improve. Skirts have become lighter, less expensive, and more robust improving their payback. Other devices are maturing but need continued development to improve their total cost of ownership. • There are unique challenges with trailer aerodynamics. These include the trailer to tractor ratio, the fact that the purchaser of the aerodynamic device is not the one buying fuel, and the fact that some devices need driver intervention. • Performance for each fleet is difficult to determine. • Regulations will drive great adoption

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