Trans-West fleet director Michel Morin opens a fuel-saving TrailerTail from ATDynamics. (Photo by Carroll McCormick)
MONTREAL, Que. — Taking yet another step to reduce fuel consumption, Montreal-based Groupe Trans-West has installed trailer tails on the 120 trailers it uses for US-bound trips. The carrier values the monthly fuel savings at $54,000.
“You cannot really calculate the savings in percentages, because different tractors have different fuel consumption. In our tests, the best calculation was that for every 1,000 miles running you will save six to eight US gallons of fuel,” says Pierre Savard, director of training, Trans-West.
The carrier logs 90% of its miles in the US, where trailer tails are permitted. If Canadian regulations change to permit their use north of the border, fuel savings for Trans-West could increase another 10%.
(The company initially tried extending the tails in Canada as well as in the US but was warned against the practice by enforcement officers. “We are asking our drivers now to close the tails in Canada,” Savard says).
Trans-West began trials in May 2011 with 10 units it purchased from Hayward Calif.-based ATDynamics, under the product name TrailerTail. It added 50 more units in 2012 and then went into installation overdrive to equip all of its US-bound trailers with TrailerTails.
The units cost $2,000 each. Look for a full report on Trans-West’s experience with trailer tails in the March issue of Truck News.