Wind tunnel trucking – Freightliner studies what slows big trucks down

Your big truck may look sharp and feature a powerful engine, yet your mighty big rig could be burning more fuel due to something as minor as drag from your side view mirrors.

Today’s Trucking web site features a story
about Freightliner’s study into aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. With the aid of the Department of Energy, Freightliner has just finished a two year study into how truck aerodynamics can affect how much of a driver’s paycheck goes into the fuel tank.

A wind tunnel used in the study tested different truck configurations. The study found that even the shape of side view mirrors made a difference in the speed and drag a truck produced, sometimes as much as 6 percent.

What’s the solution? Taking a hacksaw to your truck’s mirrors is probably not a good idea. The good news is the Freightliner study will be used to shape industry wide fuel efficiency standards and recommendations.

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