The dirt on clean mud flaps

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Rosemary Andersen of Andersen Flaps says she was as surprised as anybody to learn that their “EcoFlaps” actually conserve fuel.

She knew they cut down splash and spray, and make driving safer generally, but to actually cut diesel consumption?

“Who would have thought that mud flaps flapping around would have caused so much wind resistance?” she told “Turns out it’s huge.”

The thing is, EcoFlaps are perforated so they don’t flop around. And that’s one of the reasons they don’t splash much.

But some recent lab tests proved that they improve mileage, considerably, so the Andersens are making a flap about the discovery. They’ve also just signed on a Canadian distributor for the product.

Here’s the dirt on the flap’s fuel-saving properties. In 2006, the Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC) performed SAE Test J1321 Type II on the Andersen flaps. The results are on the EcoFlap website. (There’s also a very cool four-minute video clip on the site. It takes about 50 secs to download but it’s worth it.)

The baseline fuel economy for the two test trucks was 6.37 mpg and 6.54 mpg. With the flaps installed, the mpg increased to 6.71 mpg and 6.77 mpg respectively.

According to the company website: “The patented airflow design of EcoFlaps  saves an average of $1,500 in fuel per year for individual trucks, which translates to super savings for you and our environment.”

Are we buying the story?

We wouldn’t be the first. For one thing they’re flipping off the shelves. Andersen’s building not one, but two new production facilities for the things.

Also, the American carrier Arctic Express just order $20,000 worth of the things. An article in Business First magazine quoted Arctic’s CEO Richard Durst thusly: “With fuel at $4.70 a gallon, these were worth another look.”

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