Timon Singh

Trucks Get 'Winglets' To Make Them More Fuel Efficient

by , 07/25/11
filed under: Green Transportation

truck fuel consumption, truck fuel efficiency, EPA truck fuel efficiency, ATDynamics, ATDynamics TrailerTail, TrailerTail winglets, TrailerTail truck fuel, TrailerTail fuel efficiency

In order to make them more fuel efficient and aerodynamic, airplanes have winglets (curved structures) at the wing tips to reduce drag. ATDynamics are hoping that this same engineering trick will also work on the ground. The company has outfitted trucks with a TrailerTail to do exactly that. The clever device simply protrudes about four feet from the back doors of a tractor-trailer and reshapes the vortex left behind it while its in motion, and it decreases a truck’s fuel consumption by 6 percent.

truck fuel consumption, truck fuel efficiency, EPA truck fuel efficiency, ATDynamics, ATDynamics TrailerTail, TrailerTail winglets, TrailerTail truck fuel, TrailerTail fuel efficiency

Andrew Smith, the founder and chief executive of ATDynamics, designed the product after studying the dynamics of wind of trucks.  The 6 percent decrease in fuel consumption is equal to eight gallons per 1,000 miles traveled. Considering that your average logistics or haulage truck can travel more than 200,000 miles a year at six or seven miles a gallon, the savings could equate to a car driver’s yearly fuel supply.

Made from ordinary-looking plastic composite and metal tubing and springs, the TrailerTail is able to pushed flat against the back of a truck. When the door is open, the device simply lies flush against the truck’s side.

Considering that the EPA is set to issue fuel economy standards for trucks mirroring those that have been in place for cars since the 1970s, any device that can make them for efficient is sure to be embraced.

Click here to see the TrailerTail in action.

+ ATDynamics

via The New York Times

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


2 Comments

  1. caeman July 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    The weight of the trucks is needed to handle the trailer they are pulling, just like a train needs to weight tens of tons to work effectively.

    Maybe OTR trucks should go the way of trains, being diesel-electric hybrids. The rear section would be a traction motor just like trains. The diesel motor producing the electricity can then be much smaller and, thus, more fuel efficient.

  2. lazyreader July 26, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Neat, still the whole thing should to convince companies like Oshkosh, Peterbilt, International, Navistar, Mack, Ford, GM, and Volvo to make trucks that are lighter and stronger. As well as convince the diesel engine makers to work towards improving engine efficiency. We’ve seen years of development and money poured into better gas engines why don’t we see it in diesels?

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home