LOUISVILLE, KY. With some 8,000 of its TrailerTail rear-door trailer aerodynamic products expected to be in highway operation by this summer, ATDynamics believes it is on track for fulfilling one of its strategic missions: getting 50,000 of these fuel-saving systems into active trucking use by 2014.
“We’re ahead of schedule for getting 50,000 TrailerTails in U.S. highway operation two years from now,” said Andrew Smith, ATDynamics’ founder & CEO, during a press conference here at the 2012 Mid-America Trucking Show. “This is technology that’s here to stay.”
The fuel-saving potential of the TrailerTail is what’s driving the rapid increase in orders, he noted, with a 53-ft. dry van trailer equipped with one of these units and logging 120,000 mi. annually expected to save $3,840 per year in fuel expense, with diesel costing $4/gal.
Over the typical 10-year life expectancy of a dry van trailer, a fleet thus saves nearly $40,000 in fuel per unit, Smith noted.
“Roughly, the TrailerTail saves 8 gals. of fuel per 1,000 mi. So the more miles that are driven, the more fuel that gets saved,” he explained. Typically fleets with the most mileage and operating with a 1:1 or 3:1 tractor-to-trailer ratio will reap the most benefit, typically earning back the cost of the TrailerTail in fuel savings within six to 18 months.
Smith noted that ATDDynamics is working to bring a version of the TrailerTail to the European trucking market called the “EcoTail” as well. “We expect that Europe will follow the U.S. in allowing a four-foot extension off the back of truck trailers,” he added. “We expect that to happen within the next two years.”
The company now also offers an automatic deployment system for the TrailerTail, so when a tractor-trailer exceeds 35 mph, the driver can open the device – which covers the rear door – with just the touch of a button.