Study says skirts and tails most fuel-efficient devices

Study says skirts and tails most fuel-efficient devices

A recently released study from the National Resource Council of Canada determined that the combined use of a rear fairing and trailer skirt provides a 10% increase in aerodynamic efficiency above the sum of the individual products.

The review, conducted from 2012 to 2015, used products comparable to the Stemco TrailerTail and EcoSkirt in a 30% scale wind tunnel to evaluate the benefits attainable by a variety of commercial trucking aerodynamic devices, Stemco said.

According to Stemco, the study revealed that “side-skirts and boat-tails provide the greatest drag reductions” among the devices studied. The findings, the company stated, determined that users can save nearly 1,400 gallons (5,300 liters) of fuel per truck, per year by using both a rear fairing and side skirt.

"In our study, we were excited to see that adding skirts and tails were actually mutually beneficial at multiple yaw angles," said Brian McAuliffe, senior research officer at the National Research Council of Canada. "We hope our study will help North American trucking fleets become more fuel efficient and better understand the aerodynamic benefits of current and future technologies."

Stemco said the NRC test also confirmed research completed by the company, which indicated that a 4-sided, 4-foot-long TrailerTail 4x4 delivers slightly more drag reduction than the 3-sided, 3-foot-long TrailerTail Trident. However, combined with Eco-Skirt, both TrailerTail 4x4 and TrailerTail Trident models meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed GHG Phase 2 regulations, according to Stemco.

"The NRC study further validates that a TrailerTail and EcoSkirt should be essential elements in modern fleet operations," says Al Smith, director of sales for Stemco Innovative Tire & Mileage Solutions group. "Companies could be losing over a thousand dollars in fuel costs per trailer per year by only using one or the other."

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