Giving Big Rigs Wings to Help Save Fuel
by Bailey, PF Intern | 11:02 am August 7th, 2012 |
This week we hit the road to find out more about an idea to reduce the amount of pollution and fuel used by big rig trucks across the country.
At any moment, there are nearly three million trailers on American roads. These diesel-burning trucks only get about five to seven miles per gallon and research says they’re responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.
ATDynamics, a San Francisco-based company created TrailerTail, a device they say can increase fuel efficiency in these trucks by six percent.
Jeff Grossman of ATDynamics says one of the main problems lies in the fact that large, rectangular boxes, the shape of these trucks, is the worst aerodynamic design for trailers hauling freight down the highways. As a truck passes by, the air has nowhere to go, so it forms a vacuum behind the truck, pulling it backwards. The truck’s engine then has to compensate for this by using more fuel. Grossman says TrailerTail prevents this problem from occurring by giving the air somewhere to go.
The device comes with a heavy price tag, about $2,199. However, they only take about an hour to install and trucking company in the southwest is already planning to retrofit its entire 4,000 truck fleet with TrailerTails.
TrailerTail: Fuel-Saving Aerodynamics Technology