Con-way Freight Deploying Trailer Skirts
April 10, 2014
Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc is outfitting its line haul trailer fleet with DuraPlate AeroSkirts to increase overall fleet fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Commonly known as “trailer skirts,” the DuraPlate AeroSkirt was developed by Wabash Composites, a division of Wabash National. The DuraPlate AeroSkirts improve trailer aerodynamics, reducing wind drag and contributing to improved fuel economy and trailer stability, according to Con-way.
Con-way Freight has contracted with Wabash to retrofit some 16,000 trailers used in the company’s line-haul operations. Installation of the skirts began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by August. Combined with the company’s other fuel-savings initiatives and technologies, the addition of the trailer skirts is expected to help reduce fleet carbon emissions by some 80 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
The EPA SmartWay-approved DuraPlate AeroSkirt is an aerodynamic solution for over-the-road trailers. The structural composite material, DuraPlate, consists of two external steel skins thermally bonded to a high-density polyethylene core. A proprietary spring-bracket design allows for inboard and outboard deflection, to further resist potential impact damage, leading to longer service life, according to Con-way.