Aerodynamic device maker TruckWings has won its share of sustainability awards and reached 250% year-over-year growth, but its size has been a drag on its true potential. On Nov. 2, ConMet, a longtime truck and trailer component manufacturer, acquired TruckLabs and its technology, which should streamline its production and supply networks.
Since hitting the market in 2015, the main value proposition of TruckWings has been overcoming wind resistance to cut fuel costs and emissions. Made by TruckLabs, the aerodynamic device automatically emerges from the back of a Class 8 tractor to close the gap between the tractor and trailer at highway speeds. TruckWings has been shown to reduce fuel usage by 3 to 6% per truck by reducing drag in the gap. According to TruckLabs, this equates to a per-truck annual savings of 1,100 gallons of fuel and a reduction of 15,000 lbs. of CO2.
Through the deal, TruckLabs will become a wholly-owned subsidiary. ConMet will retain "the whole team," according to Daniel Burrows, Truck Labs founder and CEO, who will now be the general manager and VP of TruckWings.
Burrows, who said he is "beyond thrilled to continue to lead the TruckWings product to new heights," said this was the right move to make TruckWings more accessible to fleets.
"This really is a glove-meets-hand match," Burrows said. "The Truck Wings are vetted over 750 million miles and trusted by some of the largest fleets in the industry. This foundation can be built upon by ConMet's wConMet'sss manufacturing capabilities and deep OEM relationships. Together, we can do something special for the industry and the environment."
He noted the idea "came directly from one of the major truck OEMs who wanted TruckWings technology but wanted to work with ConMet as one of their existing trusted suppliers."
For ConMet, which is getting more into eMobility, this is one more product in its portfolio to help customers reduce emissions and maintain a workable range.
"ConMet eMobility and TruckLabs are all about freight efficiency and minimizing fuel consumption, so we can accomplish a lot by joining forces," said Marc Trahand, vice president of eMobility. "We have a similar customer base in large fleets that care about their environmental impact. We also both have customer trials to prove the effectiveness of our products based on actual data."
TruckWings already has its baked-in telematics solution that tracks real-time usage of the product, which deploys at highway speeds (around 50 mph) and reduces emissions. Since 2015, the product has kept 80 million lbs. of CO2 from being generated, according to TruckLabs. Burrows said carbon reduction tracing is increasingly important to shippers.
Trahand specifically cited the pairing of TruckWings and ConMets Nmotion zero-emission power generation system for trailers will help customers more effectively reduce carbon emissions and improve freight efficiency.
"For electric and other alt-fuels, [TruckWings] is a game-changer because it's by far the cheapest way to increase range and decrease battery weight and cost," Burrows added. "Better range and decreased weight mean less charging infrastructure, too, so the value for electric is delivered from day one."
A version of this article originally appeared on Fleet Maintenance, a FleetOwner affiliate and Endeavor Business Media publication.