A new Confidence Report from the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) says claims of fuel economy benefits from trailer aerodynamic devices could be as high as 10 percent, but how well they work depends on the products and users’ operating conditions.
During a briefing prior to the opening of the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting, Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director, said most fleets are choosing a combination of technologies to deal with reducing aerodynamic drag, such as side skirts and boat-tails.
Trailer aerodynamic devices reduce drag so it takes less fuel to move a vehicle down the road.
While, cheaper fuel has reduced dollar savings and stretched payback periods, fleets continue to make investments is these technologies to meet the anticipated Phase 2 greenhouse gas emission standards, Roeth noted.
According to Heavy Duty Trucking, the report covers traditional devices for improving the aerodynamics of the gap, underbody, and the rear, as well as more novel options, such as vortex generators, wheel covers, and mud flaps.
The study team found that trailer aerodynamic technologies and strategies are constantly and rapidly evolving.
The options detailed in the report are all currently available on the market today, and most are mature with a good track record of functionality.
An executive summary and the full report are available at www.truckingefficiency.org.