Save Fuel - Think Aerodynamics
We often hear the phrase “size matters”. I won't go into all the potential meanings for that phrase, but I know for trucks that “drag matters”. Drag is wind resistance and reducing that drag could spell the difference between a profitable run and the break even point.
Fuel prices aren't going to decrease anytime soon so we might as well start figuring out every way possible to save fuel costs and that means decreasing drag whenever possible
Proper truck aerodynamics is one way to save as much as 15%- 20% on fuel costs. At 100,000 miles per year and $4 per gallon fuel that equates to as much as $10,000, perhaps more. That's real money in your pocket if you are an owner-operator.
How do you do it is the question? And obviously what follows is, “How much does it cost?”
Lets deal with the “how to” part first -
Trailer side skirts and moving the trailer as close to the cab as possible offer more efficient air flow and decrease the amount of fuel required. Air tabs on the back of a trailer are also a worthwhile investment. Flat bed trailers can gain aerodynamic efficiencies just by arranging the tarps to make air flow smoother. There's a lot of high paid “suits” that are studying truck aerodynamics and we would be smart to pay attention to them, at least in this instance.
How about cost?
Costs are hard to find on the Internet – seems that the manufacturers are not saying much. You can probably bet the cost is going up as the price of fuel goes up. I did find one site that quoted a cost of about $2500 dollars for trailer fairings.
How about helping your fellow trucker by providing some info on cost for these add-ons? The more that price is available, the less we will be charged as companies begin to vigorously compete with each other. Kinda like that broker thing that we all face!
Here's some links that might help.