MONTREAL, Que. -- After five years of testing trailer side skirts and undercarriage fairings, the results are in, and the fuel savings are real.
That was the message from FPInnovations’ Performance Innovation Transport (PIT), which shared its findings today to coincide with the conclusion of its most recent Energotest.
Testing has shown that trailers with side skirts consumed an average of 6.69% less fuel than similar vehicles without skirts, the organization announced. Meanwhile, trailers with undercarriage aerodynamic devices consumed 1.43% less fuel than those without.
“The goal of these trials was to identify the real value of each technology so fleet operators can focus their implementation efforts where they get the best value and can more easily justify their capital investment,” said Yves Provencher, director of PIT. “Our controlled test-track fuel efficiency studies accelerate technology implementation and provide the commercial vehicle industry with the information it needs to make sound technology choices.”
Side skirts from Freight Wing, Laydon Composites, Ridge Corp. and Transtex Composite were among those tested. Fuel savings ranged from 5.2% to 7.45%.
Undercarriage air deflectors from AirFlow Deflector, Airman and SmartTruck were tested, with fuel savings ranging from 0% to 2.2%, PIT announced.
Testing was done to SAE J1321 Fuel Consumption Test Procedure - Type II standards. Fuel consumption was measured by weighing portable tanks before and after each trip.