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Team Quebec invents fuel-saving trailer

POINTE-CLAIRE, QUE. -- A team consisting of Manac Trailers, Cascades, and FPInnovations has developed a standard van trailer that can reportedly cut your fuel consumption by six percent.

FPInnovations is the Quebec-based, private-sector, not-for-profit research center. Manac is one of Canada’s most respected trailer manufacturers and Cascades is of course the paper-products-and-recycling giant.

This week, they announced that thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from Quebec’s Ministry of Transport, (MTQ), they have introduced a 53-ft trailer that boasts a 12-percent reduction in aerodynamic drag.

The trailer doesn’t appear radically different from standard vans. FP Innovations’ Director Yves Provencher told that Cascades set the design criteria.

“We wanted to keep the same volume, the same door sizes and the capability to back up to the docks so that the trailer can be easily loaded. To save cost for the prototype, we used an existing trailer.

“The front top corner of the trailer is rounded. The modifications were only made in the top part of the trailer. If the performance of this trailer proves to be positive, a new design would be totally redone, including the suspension."? 

Other advantages: The new trailer meets American and Mexican as well as Canadian regulations and offers a possible 14-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.


The wedge design means the floor is sloped by five inches but capacity remains the same.

FPInnovations estimates the North American trailer market for this sort of van is about 64,000 units per year, worth over $1.5 billion.
According to Marc Berthiaume, Manac Engineering Department Manager, "Manac is always interested in participating in initiatives leading to the development of eco-energy technologies, especially with a team of partners as dynamic, painstaking and inspiring as this."

In the words of Jean-Yves Delisle, Executive Director of Cascades Transport Inc., "Cascades' involvement in the aerodynamic semi trailer project is in keeping with a long series of green transportation initiatives. This partnership was therefore totally natural for us."
Adds FPInnovation’s Provencher: "Our team has put together the best knowledge and cutting-edge technology for the benefit of the transportation industry — in this case, the trucking sector.

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