The event took place on Maryland Circle in front of the U.S. Capitol building, giving the public, legislators, local media and others concerned with fuel-efficient transportation, the opportunity to learn how aerodynamic "tail" technology can save the trucking industry $20 billion in fuel costs over the next decade.
Werner Enterprises recently retrofitted 130 dedicated trailers with TrailerTails.
"The government is eager to highlight how American innovation can reduce dependence on foreign oil, save trucking companies money and create jobs here in America," said Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of ATDynamics. "Putting tails on trailers is critical to our national energy strategy and critical to the competitiveness of long-haul trucking fleets."
Approximately 1,500 TrailerTails are now operating in 48 states, with thousands of additional units scheduled to be on the road by the end of the year.
TrailerTails deliver 6.6% fuel savings to tractor-trailers traveling at highway speeds, according to third party SAE Type II J1321 testing. Improving the rear-drag aerodynamics of the U.S. trailer fleet with TrailerTail technology has the potential to reduce diesel fuel expenditures of the trucking industry by $2 billion annually and carbon emissions by 5 million metric tons annually, according to the manufacturer.
The Office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier, which represents the 12th Congressional District of California, where one of ATDynamics manufacturing facilities is located, hosted the event.
Werner driver Tom Pietrzak brought the tractor-trailer to the Capitol and responded to questions regarding truck driving, fuel efficiency and TrailerTail operation.
Unfortunately, near-100-degree heat meant there wasn't much of a crowd, reported New York Times reporter Matthew Wald in a "Green" blog titled "An Odder Look to Fuel-Efficient Trucks."
Wald spoke with Pietrzak and learned about some of the less-visible fuel-saving specs on the Werner truck, including using the sliding fifth-wheel to close the gap between tractor and trailer for highway driving, tire pressure monitoring systems and aerodynamics on the 2011 Volvo tractor.