EPA's Sam Waltzer
Fleetowner 3956 Epa

SmartWay program to add refrigerated trailers, widen test procedures

March 12, 2014

NASHVILLE. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to add 53-ft. refrigerated trailers to the equipment covered by its voluntary SmartWay program, as well as authorizing new aerodynamic testing methods for gaining SmartWay certification.

During a presentation here at the 2014 Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting, Sam Waltzer, an environmental engineer with the EPA, said the agency is creating what it calls the “2014 interim SmartWay designation standard” that will for the first time include 53-ft. refrigerated trailers as well as 53-ft. dry van models, while created what he described as an “Elite” designation for tractor-trailers hat take a systems approach to aerodynamics.

“We’re widening the scope of the program with a ‘two tier’ approach,” he explained.

The first tier, said Waltzer, will continue current SmartWay requirements for low rolling resistance (LRR) tires that are lab tested to certify they provide 1.5% improvement in fuel economy in addition to trailer aerodynamic devices providing a 5% fuel economy improvement.

The new “Elite” category, however, maintains the 1.5% LRR requirement while adding a trailer aerodynamic systems target of 9% overall fuel efficiency improvement. “We’re trying to acknowledge the value of using a collection of [aerodynamic] devices as a single system on one trailer to further boost fuel efficiency,” he pointed out.

EPA also plans to widen the types of tests carriers and others can use to verify such fuel efficiency gains, from just test track tests to coast down tests, wind tunnel studies, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research.

“We’ll be rolling all of this out over the next three to four weeks,” Waltzer added.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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