Mack, Volvo find plenty of resistance under big-rig trailers
On the surface this story is from the "You mean you're just now figuring that out" file. Big rigs have never been known for aerodynamic grace. Anteater-type noses, roof spoilers and streamlined sleeper cabs have cleaned up the air flow over the tractors, but I'd never seen any significant effort to improve the airflow along the trailer. A recent study by Mack and Volvo shows that closing the gap between the trailer and tractor as well as installing side skirts and a boat tail on the trailer can improve fuel economy by up to eight percent. Apparently there is a hurricane of sorts under the trailer and the air trying to get around those huge axles and tires is creating significant drag. Results of the study will be shared with trailer manufacturers.
[Source: Adam Ledlow/TruckNews.com]
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