XStream Trucking has introduced TruckWings, which it calls an “active-aero device” that automatically deploys at highway speeds to deliver streamlined aerodynamics, fuel savings, and lower carbon emissions.
According to Daniel Burrows, the company’s founder and CEO, TruckWings features a patented design, that has been developed through years of wind tunnel, track, and road testing and is designed to work at highway speeds. The system automatically deploys large panels to cover the sides and top of the tractor-trailer gap. The panels, which are made of high-impact, glass-reinforced composites, create a continuous connection between the truck and trailer that allows the air to flow smoothly over the entire length of the truck. When the truck slows down, the panels retract without driver intervention, providing the necessary clearance for turns at any angle.
“There have been significant investments made in improving truck aerodynamics in other areas,” Burrows said. “TruckWings is the first device which completely solves the turbulence problem created by the open area between the tractor and trailer that contributes significantly to a truck’s overall aerodynamic drag. Since two-thirds of a truck’s fuel bill is spent overcoming that drag, there is a huge savings to be had by reducing it.”
"The exciting thing about TruckWings is that it is the first solution to automatically and completely enclose the sides and top of the tractor-trailer gap,” said Mike Roeth, Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, NACFE. “This gap area presents as much as a 5% opportunity with little to no other solutions available for truckers today. We performed their first independent on-road fuel economy test in 2016 and XStream has always taken a very customer led, data-driven product development approach."
“We see TruckWings performing particularly well on routes with high winds. Crosswinds push a wedge of air flow into the gap area, hitting the front of the trailer direct on. TruckWings cleanly prevent this buffeting and this is where we see our highest fuel savings.” said Burrows, “Drivers feel the improvement in windy conditions and report much smoother rides with less lane drift.”
Burrows said the company is offering several options for truck and fleet owners interested in adding TruckWings to their tractors, including a shared-savings model and outright purchasing.