Nothing says aerodynamic like a huge rectangle rolling down the highway. Left on their own, trailers are about as good for your fuel economy as a giant parachute. While trailers are not optimal for cutting through the wind, there are a few things we can do to make them better.
That space between the tractor and trailer where air sneaks right in creating resistance. The key here is to direct the wind past the gap and onto the side of the trailer. We can do this with improved side panels on the tractor. Our tractors have a 20-inch side panel that diverts air past the gap. This results in significant reduction of the wind resistance created in the gap.
High-velocity air flowing under the trailer can create drag. Proper placement of the skirts is critical in channeling the air. Some skirts may just deflect the air instead, which is not as effective. We have partnered with various manufacturers to produce the best solution for channeling air.
At this point, the air has passed the trailer and can’t create drag right? Wrong. As high-velocity air flows past the end of the trailer it can wrap into a vortex. This creates a low-pressure area right behind the trailer that pulls on it creating drag. A good set of tails will channel the air off the back of the trailer diminishing the low-pressure area. With the low-pressure area gone so is the drag.
Now that we’ve gotten rid of all that wind resistance we don’t want to waste energy with rolling resistance. We use low rolling resistance tires to help keep things moving. We also use automatic inflation systems to maintain optimal air pressure and reduce blowouts.
Altogether, we’ve managed to turn our “parachute” into an air slicing machine. What it all comes down to is greater operational efficiency and a greater payday for our drivers.