The disc-shaped polyethelene covers attach to each drive and trailer wheel smooth air flow over the now-closed cavity, explains Dustin Sebring of Solus. This saves about 1.3% in fuel at highway speeds, he says.
The mounting system now uses three stainless steel brackets that are secured on one end under a wheel's lug nuts, he says. The other end supports the cover, which is attached by twist-lock fasteners, also of stainless steel.
The covers stay mounted, fleet testing has preliminarily shown, but can be easily taken off.
The company has cut the cost of the covers by 43%, so they now are priced at about $200 for a set of four. The 1.3% fuel savings have been EPA-verified through SAE Type II tests, Sebring says. Air drag on four wheel cavities of a tractor-trailer can otherwise cost up to 2% on fuel, the tests have shown.
Solus's split-skirt lower trailer fairings, the other part of the Air Conqueror package, allow access to reefer-trailer fuel tanks and cover the rear gap that's created when a trailer's tandem is slid rearward, he said. Solus has documented the impact of a gap on fuel economy by running Type II tests.
A marketing program with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association allows OOIDA members to buy Solus products at a 7% discount. All Solus products are made in the U.S. They are guaranteed to last five years in normal operations but are manufacturered to last 10 years.
Solus, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., continues to develop its aerodynamic packages and expects to roll out more this year.