Trailer Talk

Fuel Economy

1  -  19  of  19

Hyliion's Powered Trailer Axle Goes to Europe

The company is exhibiting at the giant IAA truck show in Hannover, Germany, by sharing a booth with its battery supplier, Gentherm.

Like the North American version, the powered axle for Europe would replace a "passive" axle. Image: Hyliion Inc.

September 18, 2016

The Intelligent Electric Axle axle replaces a “passive” axle on a standard trailer tandem or tridem, and promises big fuel savings – 10 to 20% from hybrid-powered operation alone, Hyliion claims.

Tags: Trailers, IAA, Fuel Economy, Europe, Hybrid Trucks, Hyliion

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, September 18, 2016 3:53 PM | » Comments(0)

Phase 2 GHG Regs for Trailers Both Simple and Complex

Box-type and vocational trailers are both affected in 2018-27 rules, and the U.S. is the first country in the world to regulate them.

Flatbeds, among the vocational trailers newly regulated for fuel economy and emissions by the federal Phase 2 rules, will need tire pressure management devices and low rolling-resistance tires to comply. Photo: Tom Berg

August 24, 2016

Trailers have long been regulated for safety. But trailers’ contributions to fuel economy and reduced emissions are new matters for for federal authorities.

Tags: Trailers, EPA, Fuel Economy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, NHTSA

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, August 24, 2016 1:53 PM | » Comments(2)

Trailer Aero Devices Help Save 1 mpg, Manager Says

Air Tabs vortex generators and Laydon side skirts smooth air flow and make trailers easier to pull.

Latest tractrors are streamlined Peterbilt 579s. They average 7.7 mpg while pulling Great Dane and Utility vans with full aerodynamic equipment.

May 24, 2016

“All you have to do is ride a motorcycle behind the trailers to notice the difference” between aero and bare trailers, says John Drake, a Harley-Davidson enthusiast. Learn more in the Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Aerodynamics, Fuel Economy, Trailer Skirts

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, May 24, 2016 1:18 PM | » Comments(2)

A Lot of Thought Went Into This Tanker

"They track better when the axle’s up,” the driver said. “And they turn corners easier.”

Mac trailer's forward axle is raised when the tank's empty. Note also the shrouding around the hoppers and the stairs.

April 7, 2016

On the road last month, Senior Editor Tom Berg spotted a pneumatic tanker trailer with some non-traditional features. He shares some insight from the driver in his latest Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Driver Safety, Fuel Economy, Mac Trailer, Lift Axle, Tire Inflation

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, April 7, 2016 7:20 AM | » Comments(3)

‘Platooning’ Tractor-Trailers Raise Questions at TMC Meeting

Productivity, safety and fuel economy could be increased by running trucks together. But is it practical?

Image: Volvo Trucks

October 1, 2015

ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council just adopted a White Paper: Automated Driving and Platooning Issues and Opportunities discussing where development is and what its prospects are.

Tags: Productivity, Fuel Economy, Truck Platooning

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, October 1, 2015 3:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Fairings Over Tractor's Tandem Save Fuel for Tanker Fleet

FlowBelow Aero devices control air flow and boost economy by 3%, says Indian River Transport.

Wheel covers and fairings between and behind the tractor tandem's wheels reduce turbulance and save fuel.

September 9, 2015

Stainless steel tanker trailers look smooth enough to easily slip through the air, but they have characteristics that cause drag. One fleet has turned to an aero system for the tractor tandems to help smooth the air flow over the trailer.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, Tankers, FlowBelow, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, September 9, 2015 5:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Replacing Rivets with Adhesives Yields Smoother Sides That Could Save Fuel

Computational fluid analysis interpreted air flow over the trailer panels’ surfaces, finding some drag produced by rivet heads.

As trailer aerodynamics improve, the small amount caused by air flow over sidewall surfaces will become more important. Art via Lord Corp.

August 26, 2015

Lord Corp., which makes bonding adhesives, has done research that indicates eliminating rivets from a trailer’s walls might cut aerodynamic drag by about 1%.

Tags: Trailers, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, August 26, 2015 3:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Edge Fairings Gain SmartWay Elite Status

Elite means a set of equipment will save at least 9% in fuel at highway speeds – nothing to blow off with a shrug.

Photo via Transtex

March 3, 2015

The Tail resembles the Trailer Tail from ATDynamics, but seems unique in that its panels automatically deploy when the rig reaches about 45 mph, then fold up as it slows down.

Tags: EPA SmartWay, Trailers, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, Transtex Edge

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, March 3, 2015 8:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Using Archimedes’ Lever Principle to Help Propel a Tractor-Trailer

Multiplying the tractor's pulling force could reduce required input and save 80% in fuel, this concept's inventor believes.

1. Floating kingpin  2. Linkage arm  3. Carrier bearing assembly  4. Front and rear levers  5. Trailer chassis 6. Tire-wheel assembly  7. Landing gear  8. Suspension  9. Axle  10. Input pivot (top of lever) 11. Fulcrum pivot at axle12. Output pivot at bracket mount

September 19, 2014

Archimedes, the scholar and mathematician of antiquity, was quoted as saying, “Give me a place to stand and a large enough lever, and I will move the earth.” That’s debatable, but some pretty big and heavy things can be nudged into motion with a lever – and trailers are among them, says an inventor in Ohio. Tom Berg has the story in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Fuel Economy, Inventions

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, September 19, 2014 5:30 PM | » Comments(0)

Integrated Approach Tractor-Trailer Saves Fuel in KW's T680 Advantage Package

The Utility side skirts reduce the amount of wind that gets under the trailer, causing drag, and the TrailerTail reduces drag at the trailer's rear.

March 22, 2013

Kenworth designers have turned to the trailer part of their T680 Advantage rig, integrating the smoothly styled tractor's aerodynamics into the lines of a 53-foot Utility van. The tractor has mechanical and electrical equipment meant to save fuel, but reducing air drag across the entire vehicle is almost as important, they said.

Tags: Kenworth, Trailers, Utility, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, March 22, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Extensively faired trailers show big savings, skirt maker says

October 12, 2012

Brian Layfield, president of Laydon Composites Ltd. in Ontario, Canada, read our recent Trailer Talk about the MAN-Krone aero tractor-trailer shown at the IAA show in Germany

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, October 12, 2012 7:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Aero Trailer could save $3,900 a year in Euro fuel, Daimler engineer says

Aero improvers on this Schmitz reefer trailer cut wind drag by 18% and improve fuel economy by 4.5%, says Daimler Trucks, whose research went into the design. It's on display this week and next at the IAA show in Hanover, Germany.

September 19, 2012

HANOVER, GERMANY - Thirty years of aerodynamic research is behind a streamlined semitrailer displayed this week at the huge Hanover truck show in Germany, says a Daimler Trucks executive who briefed a crowd of journalists on the efforts behind the vehicle

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:22 PM | » Comments(0)

'Teardrop' trailers save 2%-5% for British beverage distributor, but shape's not new

British beverage distributor Tradeteam placed its second order for 60 Don-Bur aerodynamic Teardrop trailers.

May 24, 2012

Streamlined "teardrop" trailers are saving enough fuel money for Tradeteam, a British beverage distributor, that it's buying a second set of them

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:28 PM | » Comments(0)

Skirts built to last 1 million miles, and slide over the gap ahead of the tandem, their maker says

July 29, 2011

Everyone who sells a product talks up its advantages over the competition. Jim Reiman's claims about his Aerofficient side skirts include some that I've not heard before: 1 million-mile life, and ability to close the gap ahead of the trailer's wheels

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, July 29, 2011 5:25 AM | » Comments(1)

Here's more scientific and real-world proof that trailer aerodynamics work.

Gina Angsten recently saved 0.7 mpg when she pulled an aero-equipped Duplainville Transport trailer with her already aerodynamic Freightliner Cascadia.

May 10, 2011

Jack Latimer sells Airtabs, the wishbone-shaped aero enhancers that many truckers apply to the trailing edges of tractors and trailers. He keeps tabs (so to speak) on studies of truck aerodynamics and recently sent us this information

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, May 10, 2011 7:13 AM | » Comments(0)

High-Tech Trailer Aero Systems

November 12, 2010

A couple of new, sophisticated trailer aero add-ons were on display caddy-corner to each other on the show floor at the recent American Trucking Associations management conference and exhibition

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, November 12, 2010 6:19 AM | » Comments(1)

Innovative Fleet Installing 3,500 Sets of Trailer Aero Improvers

September 15, 2010

Mesilla Valley Transportation, known for its efforts at saving fuel, is equipping its entire fleet of 3,500 long-haul trailers with side skirts and a folding boat tail that together claim an economy betterment of almost 12 percent at highway speeds

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:31 AM | » Comments(0)

Trailer Side Skirts Save This Trucker 8.94% in Fuel

Greg Decker says his Windyne skirts save him about $4,400 a year in fuel. They fold up for access to the trailer's undercarriage. (Photo by Jim Park)

August 31, 2010

Some truck owners have begun buying trailer side skirts because they need them to legally run in California

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:49 PM | » Comments(1)

Federal Program Helps Interstate Install Aerodynamic Skirts on 2,058 Trailers

Interstate Distributor Co. will install Freight Wing AeroFlex skirts on 2,058 reefer and dry van trailers as part of a grant program. More trailers will follow, the fleet says.

August 20, 2010

After several years of testing showed trailer side skirts save considerable fuel and therefore cut exhaust emissions from tractors that pull them, Interstate Distributor Co. has begun installing them on 2,058 reefers and dry vans at its maintenance facilities in the Pacific Northwest

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, August 20, 2010 8:20 AM | » Comments(0)

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