TMC: New aerodynamic devices launched

A number of aerodynamic trailer devices have been launched at the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council's (TMC) Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee.

Belgian company WABCO introduced two models of its OptiFlow thermoplastic boat tail device to the North American market, which aim to redirect the airflow at the rear of the trailer in order to reduce drag and thus create fuel savings in the region of 4.3 per cent.

The manually operated OptiFlow Tail also comes in an AutoTail version, which is reportedly the first aerodynamic tail in the US to feature automatic deployment and retraction of the tail panels based on driving speeds.

“We are proud to introduce an array of innovative aerodynamic solutions in North America that will improve efficiency of commercial vehicles for fleet operators and transport companies alike,” said Jon Morrison, WABCO President, Americas.

“WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail and Tail represent our first product integration in North America after we acquired aerodynamic technology leader Laydon Composites in April 2016. Based on our combined world-class aerodynamics expertise, design and manufacturing capabilities we deliver aerodynamic solutions that will help our fleet customers meet US greenhouse gas emission regulations to take effect in January 2018.”

Meanwhile, US company FlowBelow has revealed a trailer version of its Tractor AeroKit (pictured below), a suspension mounted fibreglass wheel covering with fairings in front, between and behind the wheels to manipulate the air flow in combination with trailer skirts.

FlowBelow also announced AeroFender, a truck mounted replacement for non-aerodynamic fenders which mount to the front drive wheels of single and tandem-axle prime movers to direct airflow past the drive wheels.

No fuel savings numbers are ready to be reported yet, with testing and engineering work still reportedly underway.

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