As part of its recent Earth Day celebration, Schneider National gave Fleet Owner and members of the Green Bay press a close-up look at a new device expected to reduce the fleet's fuel consumption by some 1.8-million gals. per year. The Deflecktor wheel cover is designed to keep wind out of the wheel wells, reducing drag and improving fuel efficiency.
The improvement in aerodynamics is just about 1%, but the savings can really add up, especially when multiplied by thousands of trucks as it will be at Schneider. The carrier plans to deploy the new wheel covers across its entire fleet.
“We tested the Deflecktor on about 1,500 trucks for two years,” said Bryan Gerl, fuel purchasing manager for Schneider's long-haul operation. “They performed well and held up in all kinds of weather.”
Gerl especially liked the durability of the flexible wheel cover material and the ease of installation. No tools are required to fit the covers to the wheels, and they zip open to allow drivers to complete the required pre- and post-trip inspections. Schneider also had the Deflecktors imprinted with the Schneider logo.
Jon Fleck, owner of A de F Ltd., a privately held company located in St. Paul, MN, invented the covers. Fleck also invented (with his then eight-year-old daughter) a bacon cooker called “Makin Bacon” that is still distributed through Wal-Mart 20 years after its debut.