New Trailer Aerodynamic Device

Sept. 16, 2004
Sammamish, WA-based Freight Wing is launching a new aerodynamic system to help improve the fuel efficiency of trailers

Sammamish, WA-based Freight Wing is launching a new aerodynamic system to help improve the fuel efficiency of trailers. The company developed the device after recieving a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Called the Freight Wing Aerodynamic System, the device streamlines the profile of box-shaped trailers, enabling the tractor's engine to use less fuel, according to Patrick Bigatel, the company’s CEO.

The system is composed of three attachments, or fairings, designed to reduce wind drag: one on the front of the trailer, two identical wind deflectors attached to the underside of the trailer, adjacent to its side walls; and a fairing on the end of the trailer to streamline its shape similar to wings on an airplane.

Bigatel said that standardized Society of Automotive Engineers/Technology & Maintenance Council (SAE/TMC) fuel economy tests conducted on the Freight Wing at the Transportation Research Center proving grounds in Ohio demonstrated a 7% reduction in the fuel consumption of a fully loaded tractor-trailer. He noted that translates into a savings of up to 1,100 gallons of diesel fuel every 100,000 miles, a distance a typical Class 8 long-haul truck covers in a year.

“Nearly all goods used in this country are transported by large tractor-trailers, making trucking one of the most important sectors in our economy,” Bigatel said. "That’s why our system represents a tremendous opportunity for delivering cost savings to fleet operators, while reducing U.S. oil consumption and emissions.”

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