Semi-trailers to become more aerodynamic automatically at 35 mph

Oct. 21, 2013

ORLANDO, FL. Trailer aerodynamics moved from passive to active systems with the introduction of an automatically deploying version of the TrailerTail from ATDynamics.The company announced the launch of its new AutoDeploy TrailerTail system along with an AutoAware system yesterday at the annual American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition here in Orlando.

The new system, which will be commercially available next month, uses a proprietary, low-cost radar technology mounted under the semi-trailer to measure vehicle speed and automatically deploy the TrailerTail mounted at the rear of the trailer when the tractor-trailer reaches a driving speed of 35 mph.  The unit is designed to open slowly via a swing-arm dampening device.  It is fully retrofitable and transferable.

Speaking at the press conference, Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of ATDynamics told the audience that, “The new TrailerTail AutoDeploy systems launched today eliminate driver interaction with the TrailerTail devices altogether and ensures maximum fuel efficiency for the industry.”

The new AutoAware model adds a driver notification light on the front right corner of the trailer to the AutoDeploy system. The light is visible via the tractor’s rearview mirror and is intended to alert the driver when a TrailerTail is deployed and the vehicle is backing up. 

These two new additions to the TrailerTail product line give customers four choices, including the original Latchless system which is always open but cannot be held closed when parked and the EasyLatch system, which automatically opens and collapses plus offers push-to-close protection when parked.

According to Smith, there are now over 20,000 TrailerTail-equipped semi-trailers on the highway today, deployed across their entire fleet by more than 50 carriers.  Smith expects that number to top 50,000 in 2014.

In addition to helping fleets save money on fuel, the TrailerTail devices also reduce splash and spray around the trailer in wet driving conditions to help improve visibility for the truck driver and other drivers in proximity with the equipped trailer.

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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