By smoothing out their trucks, drivers can dramatically improve their fuel economy! That’s because much of the energy used by tractor trailers is for overcoming drag – aka wind resistance.
According to a study by Mack, truck drivers who make aerodynamic modifications to their tractor and trailers, such as adding “side skirts” and “trailer tails”, could improve their fuel economy by approximately 8%. A Volvo study has also shown a 2.3% improvement in fuel economy by using modifications to the tractor and trailer.
According to both studies, closing the gap between the tractor and the trailer and controlling the airflow is the key to making a truck more efficient. Modifications can also reduce the air passing over the axles and tires, reducing drag and turbulence.
If you truck didn’t come with these features, don’t worry; many aerodynamic options can be retrofitted! There are also a number of resources are available to help you make your truck more aerodynamic.
Are you currently using a modification on your truck to make it sleeker? Leave a comment below and let us know!