Con-way Freight to skirt its trailer fleet

April 14, 2014

Con-way Freight will outfit 16,000 linehaul trailers with the DuraPlate AeroSkirt to improve fuel efficiency. The DuraPlate AeroSkirt was developed by Wabash Composites, a division of Wabash National Corp., and improves trailer aerodynamics, reduces wind drag and contributes to improved fuel economy and trailer stability.

“Enhancing environmental sustainability, reducing operating costs and improving safety don’t have to be mutually exclusive goals,” said Tom Clark, senior vice president, operations for Con-way Freight. “We continually look to invest in technologies and adopt business practices that can accomplish these objectives. The addition of the DuraPlate AeroSkirt to our linehaul trailers will help improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, as well as improve trailer stability which will make our equipment safer for our drivers and the motoring public.”

Con-way Freight has contracted with Wabash to retrofit some 16,000 trailers used in the company’s linehaul operations. Installation of the skirts began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by August. Combined with the company’s other fuel-savings initiatives and technologies, the addition of the trailer skirts is expected to help reduce fleet carbon emissions by some 80 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

“We continually look for opportunities to help fleets lower their total cost of ownership,” said James Scarcelli, vice president and general manager, Wabash Composites. “As a leader in trailer aerodynamics with more than 100,000 DuraPlate AeroSkirts built and sold, our expertise translates into aerodynamic products that provide the greatest combination of durability and fuel efficiency, while contributing to reduced carbon emissions. Our team is looking forward to our new partnership with Con-way Freight and applying our past success to this 2014 installation project.”

The EPA SmartWay approved DuraPlate AeroSkirt is an aerodynamic solution made of structural composite material and consisting of two external steel skins thermally bonded to a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) core, for superior strength that resists damage. A proprietary spring-bracket design allows for inboard and outboard deflection, to further resist potential impact damage, leading to longer service life.

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