After a year-long test, Seattle-based Freight Wing has introduced fuel-saving chassis side skirts for intermodal haulers.
Truckers, including Dionbilt Trailers, who have tested Freight Wing’s device, have reported fuel savings of 5 percent to 7 percent, according to a company press release.
The skirts are aerodynamic, environmentally friendly devices that are more common on van trailers, according to the company. Freight Wing has engineered skirts for trailers spanning as long as 46 feet. The devices can either be made of dense matrix polyethylene, which makes the skirts resilient and heavy duty, or from a composite material.
“Side skirts have been around long enough where there is no longer a question on how well they perform and the fuel economy improvements,” Freight Wing’s president, Sean Graham, said in a statement. “The payback is in months — as few as 35,000 miles in trailer utilization. And that’s caught the attention of intermodal haulers who run a lot of interstate miles. They too are looking for ways to improve fuel economy, and side skirts are low-hanging fruit.”
Trailer skirts are one way to meet the strict carbon emissions regulations laid out by the California Air Resources Board legislation. By the end of 2012, truckers operating 53-foot vehicles were required by law to install aerodynamic devices on their trucks that saved 5 percent in fuel emissions. - Jon Ross