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Putting a tail on it

March 27, 2008
ATDynamics announced here yesterday the commercial launch of its aerodynamic TrailerTail

LOUISVILLE, KY. ATDynamics announced here yesterday the commercial launch of its aerodynamic TrailerTail, a rear-drag reduction device the company said is proven to increase fuel efficiency of long-haul tractor-trailers by more than 5%. ATDynamics said it developed the collapsible TrailerTail extension to meet the durability and usability requirements of long-haul trucking fleets, while also dramatically cutting emissions and fuel costs. In addition, the company said the TrailerTail improves vehicle safety by providing additional stability and reduced spray at the rear of the trailer.

"The industry is in transition,” said ATDynamics CEO Andrew Smith, speaking at a media briefing ahead of the Mid-America Trucking Show. "Diesel prices are at record highs and concern over global warming will lead to even stricter emissions standards. At this critical time, we are providing long-haul fleets a trucker-tough technology that can reduce fuel consumption and pay for itself in less than a year."

According to Smith, third-party SAE J1321 testing conducted by Robert Transportation at Energotest 2007 in Montreal showed the TrailerTail boosts fuel efficiency by 5.1% at 62 mph. And, he said, at 68 mph the TrailerTail yields potential efficiency gains of greater than 6%. Based on average long-haul trailer mileage, the TrailerTail can deliver more than a billion dollars in fuel savings annually to the North American trucking industry, stated Smith.

The TrailerTail is constructed of lightweight, rugged panels designed to endure daily wear and driver abuse, yet ensure smooth opening and closing. A patented hinge system allows truckers to operate doors and access loading bays normally. The TrailerTail collapses from four feet to three inches in length in less than eight seconds.

"The least aerodynamic way to carry goods down the highway is in a large rectangular box," said Smith. "Forward-thinking fleet operators are now serious about improving the aerodynamics of their fleets. Starting with the TrailerTail and with other products now in the pipeline, our goal is to dramatically improve the sustainability of the global freight industry."

The TrailerTail will be on display here this week during the show at EPA’s SmartWay booth, where it will be attached to the rear of the industry's first EPA-certified SmartWay trailer--a 4000D-X dry van built by Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co.

"The aerodynamic TrailerTail will provide our customers with significant added fuel savings," stated Craig Bennett, senior vp of sales & marketing for Utility. "Our 4000D-X has redefined the lightweight standard in the dry van category, enhancing fuel efficiency. We're excited about making this best-in-class trailer even better."

ATDynamics is an affiliate of EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary program that aims to accelerate the trucking industry's efforts to conserve fuel and reduce emissions.

For more information, visit the ATDynamics web site.

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