FlowBelow Aero has announced that in addition to offering its fuel-saving tractor AeroKit to dry van and refrigerated fleets, it has developed a new system for use in flatbed and tanker fleet operations. On-road fleet usage has shown average fuel savings of up to 3% on tanker and flatbed tractors, the company claims, compared to 2.23% when pulling dry and refrigerated van trailers.
The new AeroKit includes quick-release wheel covers and a pair of tandem fairings installed on the tractor that work together as a complete aerodynamic system to address the complex airflow around the exposed rear wheels. The patented system reduces aerodynamic drag and improves fuel efficiency of the tractor, the company says, “typically providing a return on investment for long-haul trucking fleets in one year or less.”
Increased fuel efficiency of the AeroKit in tanker and flatbed applications can be attributed to the reduced aerodynamic performance of these specialty trailers as compared with standard dry van and refrigerated types, making the aerodynamic improvement from the AeroKit even greater.
Specific aerodynamic deficiencies of tanker and flatbed trailers include a larger tractor to trailer gap, a less aerodynamic underbody on a flatbed trailer, and significantly less opportunity for connecting and streamlining the airflow from the tractor to the trailer and then along the trailer’s body for both tanker and flatbed applications.
The AeroKit fairings are made of what the company calls “extremely durable and flexible thermoplastic polyolefin material commonly used in automotive applications.”
Each kit includes four quick-release wheel covers, which provide instantaneous access to the wheel end via a patented ‘push and turn’ quick-release latching system. The AeroKit can be installed in less than one hour.