Aerodynamic devices won’t benefit day cabs? Think again, says the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.
As reported by CCJ magazine, NACFE Executive Director Mike Roeth announced that its latest fleet study reveals that aerodynamic devices on day cabs result in fuel efficiency gains, even though the trucks frequently travel below 50 mph and do not travel the same distances as their long-haul counterparts.
“We studied day cabs. This is where we put a lot of our focus, because some will say that day cab tractors should never get aerodynamics. People say that they don’t drive very fast. They don’t travel many miles and aero’s not very appropriate. We think differently,” Roeth told trade reporters .
“We found as we talked to fleets that, first of all, the myth that they don’t work is untrue. Aerodynamics help at any speed. It does help at higher speeds. So, if you’re in the 50 to 60 to 70 mph, of course aerodynamics helps more.
“What we found in day cabs is that if you remove all of the aerodynamics from a day cab and really go non-aero versus total aero on a day cab, that’s worth about 10 percent as well on fuel, maybe even more.
With more day cabs on the road, Roeth said NACFE is challenging OEMs to make additional aero devices standard on the regional haulers.
Duration of ownership is another factor worth considering when looking at aero for day cabs, Roeth said. For instance, day cabs are on the road longer. It’s not uncommon to see these regional work horses traveling for 10, 12, 15 even 20 years. During that long span of time, fuel price fluctuation can have an even greater impact on the cost of ownership.
“My point in that is that when you buy a day cab tractor, you’re not just buying it for the fuel cost of today, but for the fuel cost over the next decade. And so with aerodynamics, you’re limiting a risk there.”
As product distribution changes, Roeth said day cabs are becoming more popular.
“Day cab production as a total percent of class 8 tractor production is inching up,” he said. “It’s a higher percentage of the overall build. So aero on day cabs, we think, is a big opportunity.”
NACFE’s advice to manufacturers is to lower the total cost of ownership for aero devices because with greenhouse gas effects and possibly higher fuel prices coming the need for aerodynamics will increase.
Full CCJ article here.
Access the full NACFE report at www.truckingefficiency.org.