How green is your trailer?

From the July 2014 issue.

After the implementation of the much talked-about Euro VI legislation, it was only a question of time for the green transport movement to reach the trailer manufacturing sphere. A dedicated eco-label could be just around the corner.

The idea of ‘greening’ the non-motorised part of a commercial vehicle is not new. At the 2012 IAA, Schmitz-Cargobull revealed a sleek concept vehicle designed in collaboration with Mercedes Benz to improve on fuel consumption and CO2 output; while MAN and Krone teamed up to create the equally impressive Concept S study.

Both initiatives would have never happened if the companies involved didn’t already sense where European legislation was headed. In fact, the industry’s environmental consciousness had already been growing for a while at the time they were presented to the public in Hanover.

A team of students from a Dutch university had been developing special side skirts to improve the airflow underneath a common semi-trailer since 2010; and Californian start-up ATDynamics was already working on a so-called boat tail, a device designed to smoothen the airflow around the trailer and decrease drag.

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