Over-the-Road Trucks Need Boattail to Be Sleeker and Greener
We live near an interstate and often jump on exit 26 near our house and run down to exit 24 to avoid low-speed traffic. We also like to go to Nashvegas fairly often on the interstate.
And you have wondered the same thing when you are sharing the road with the behemoths of the roadways…
Why aren’t over-the-road trucks more aerodynamic?
Some truck makers and after-market dealers have tried to make the truck more aerodynamic with body panels that knife through the air or swoop it up over the trailer.
But the trailer is the drag, literally!
Just look at all that open space under the bed of the truck to capture the air, causing the truck to work harder to drag the wheels along. Tool boxes and air tanks and fuel tanks are never aerodynamically.
I know the trailers are swapped around and tugged by different trucks, so a driver never knows what he will be hooked up to, but since trailers are made only by a couple manufacturers, why haven’t they invested in some R & D to make units more efficient?
It can’t be that tough to design a trailer that won’t need a trucker to invest in a new hauler to enjoy better efficiency.
Here’s simple and highly effective way to reduce trailer drag by 7.5%. It’s called the Boattail and was tested in Europe.
The fuel savings, which also means a cut in emissions, were realized by the boat tail dramatically reducing the drag caused by the lower-pressure effect that occurs in the wake of a vehicle.
This will significantly reduce my opportunity to bump-draft the trucks on the interstate, so their 7.5% fuel savings will probably be reflected as a 7.5% cost increase to me.
I’ll make the sacrifice.
Man, that aerodynamic truck is slick. Kind of eliminates the sleeper cab end of things for long haulers though. Guess you’d have to lose some trailer space to accommodate it.
The boat tail’s a nice idea but there would have to be an easy way of collapsing the “tail” against the sides or something once you got off the highway. Adding 6.5 feet to the end of your typical rig would most of them illegal. Can you imagine one of those 53′ rigs with a 6.5′ boat tail hanging off the end trying to turn a tight corner in small town USA?
Yup, I agree with all you say, certainly wouldn’t work in cities, but if terminals or docks could make it easy to add and drop boattails, that would be cool.
How about the driver comes to the end of an exit ramp, pushes a button on the dash and the boat tail separates and folds neatly to the sides and top of the trailer. The bottom piece slides into a special compartment underneath. As long as no one is to either side that is.
.-= Kirk M´s last blog pithAll sick and accounted for =-.
I agree with all the technology out there today we should be able make long haul truck rigs more fuel efficient. I think they are second to airplanes in fuel consumption.
.-= paul@ alltruck lift kits´s last blog pithReadyLift 3? Lift Kit =-.
Man oh man that rig is sweet! I would be more than happy to haul something like that if it meant some significant fuel savings.