Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) introduced three new solutions designed to significantly improve trailer aerodynamics and fuel economy at ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council Exposition in Nashville, Tenn.
The company’s exhibit, located in booth #856, features a new trailer drag reduction system and aerodynamic tail device that, when used together, provide over nine percent in fuel economy improvement (certified by an independent, third-party in accordance with SAE J1252 Wind Tunnel Test). Together, the devices are verified as an EPA SmartWay Elite aerodynamic device combination, a new category for the SmartWay program that recognizes devices providing the highest levels of fuel savings. In addition, the company introduced a new lightweight trailer side skirt product.
“After extensive research, development and testing, we’re pleased to introduce the latest advancements in trailer aerodynamics,” said Brian Bauman, vice president and general manager, Wabash Composites. “When used in combination with low rolling resistance tires, these devices can improve fuel economy by more than ten percent. We’re driving fuel savings to new levels to help reduce fleet fuel consumption, operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Ventix DRS drag reduction system utilizes a patent-pending segmented design to manage air flow across the entire length of the trailer and eliminate drag points. Each of the system’s aero panels are engineered and mounted to direct airflow under and around the trailer, maximizing aerodynamic performance. In SAE J1252 Wind Tunnel Test comparisons, the Ventix DRS provides 50 percent more fuel savings than trailer side skirts when used as a stand-alone device.
The aerodynamic tail device, named the AeroFin, manages airflow across the rear of the trailer to reduce aerodynamic drag. The compact device deploys and retracts automatically with swing door operation, requiring no additional interaction from the driver and does not interfere with trailer loading and unloading.
Wabash National also introduced its commercially available AeroSkirt CX – a trailer side skirt that, like its predecessor, provides up to 6.0 percent in fuel economy improvement (SAE J1321-Type II Track Test) in a design that weighs approximately 25 percent less.
“Our engineers are readily available to advise fleet managers on Wabash National’s new aerodynamic solutions as well as the new device testing protocols,” said Gus Sumcad, director of engineering, Wabash Composites. “The new testing protocols provide fuel savings estimates that better correlate with actual results. It’s important that carriers understand aerodynamic testing methods and the questions that need to be asked when specifying these types of devices.