If you own or operate a truck fleet, you know just how important it is to maximize fuel efficiency and extend the life of your trailers and equipment. But actually implementing the right techniques can prove to be challenging. Thankfully, a few aerodynamic solutions can do the trick.
Benefits of Using Aerodynamic Components in Vehicle Design
As you likely know, aerodynamic drag is the mechanical force created by the movement of a truck through the air as it propels forward. It’s basically air resistance. It’s what you feel if you stick your hand out the window of a moving vehicle. As you change the shape and orientation of your hand, you feel the air move and become displaced.
When it comes to driving a truck and pulling a trailer, there are a couple of different types of aerodynamic drag. There’s pressure drag, which is what happens when air particles become compressed in the front of the truck and then spread out along the back of the trailer.
Then there’s skin friction drag. While minimal, skin friction drag occurs when the air particles closest to the surface of the truck collide with the truck and slow it down.
Thankfully, it’s possible to make a tractor-trailer more aerodynamic. Here are some components that our team at Wabash Canada has designed and developed for this purpose:
- AeroSkirt®: Weighing in at approximately 185 pounds, the AeroSkirt CX is made out of lightweight glass-reinforced thermoplastic that’s designed to resist abrasions, tears, and impact. It’s mounted to the trailer using a spring-bracket system that conveniently flexes for optimum efficiency. This helps enhance fuel economy by up to six percent.
- Duraplate AeroSkirt®: Backed by EPA SmartWay approval, the DuraPlate AeroSkirt is the most durable aerodynamic solution for over-the-road trailers. It’s made in three sections (for cost-effective shipping) and can be installed quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, it’s been shown to improve fuel economy by an impressive six percent.
- AeroFin Tail DeviceTM: This proprietary component manages airflow across the rear of the trailer to reduce drag. It’s typically combined with the Ventix DRSTM for maximum efficacy.
- Ventix DRSTM: When combined with the AeroFin tail device, the Ventrix DRSTM can provide up to nine percent fuel savings. When low rolling resistance tires are added, it can easily exceed 10 percent.
When aerodynamic components like these are introduced into a fleet, the benefits are striking. They include:
- Fuel savings: As mentioned, the biggest and most tangible benefit of aerodynamic components is the cost savings through greater fuel efficiency.
- Less wear and tear: When there’s less drag on a tractor-trailer, you can expect less wear and tear. This prevents premature damage and lowers maintenance costs over time.
- More efficient transportation: Less drag and fewer breakdowns mean more efficient transportation. It’s easier to reach high speeds and maintain them. Starting and stopping also becomes a simpler process.
- Safer driving: At the end of the day, aerodynamic trucks are safer to drive than trucks that experience significant amounts of drag. This is good news for fleet operators, drivers, and the general public.
For more information about how aerodynamic solutions can protect your vehicle, click here!
Buy Your Next Trailer From Wabash Canada
At Wabash Canada, we’re proud to be the leader in North American trailer technology. Our trailers are aerodynamically designed to reduce damage over long and strenuous journeys. Individually, our components feature the strongest materials and devices for existing trailers.
Through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling, wind tunnel and track testing, and constant innovation, our engineering team has perfected the R&D process to develop some of the world’s most advanced aerodynamic technology.
Wabash Canada offers a full range of new, used, and rental commercial trailers designed to reduce downtime and provide a lower total cost of ownership. Get in touch with us today so we can help you grow your business.