New versions of aerodynamic side skirts were on display at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. Among them were these:
Raised skirt — Utility Trailer has shortened its trailer skirt by four inches to provide better ground clearance over road obstacles. It still is tucked in behind the landing gear bracket and is angled back to the outboard so it clears the rear tandem. The flexible bracing behind the skirt has been beefed up for better support. The shortened skirt still provides an EPA-SmartWay certified five percent fuel saving. (www.utilitytrailer.com)
Formed skirt — Vanguard National Trailer Corp showed a formed shape that provides skirt stiffness and smooth aerodynamic treatment. Mounted all the way outboard under the trailer sidewall, it is curved inboard at the front to partially cover the landing gear brackets and scalloped inboard at the rear tandem. Purpose of the rear scallop is to smooth the air flow around the rear wheels when the tandem is slid to the rear, thus widening the gap between the aero skirt and the wheels. The shape was developed by wind tunnel testing at CIMC Reefer Trailer Co, LTD. (www.vanguardtrailer.com)
Curved skirt — Hyundai Translead mounted a proprietary thermoplastic curved panel under its new EcoCell dry van trailer. The EcoFairing skirt starts inside the landing gear bracket, and then is curved outboard to line up flush with the trailer sidewall. It could also be formed to provide access to lift pads or a reefer fuel tank. (www.translead.com)
Segmented skirt — The Aero Tech trailer skirt can be assembled using modular panels two feet long, each containing its own molded-in “stanchion” that is bolted to one of the van trailer crossmembers. The panels interlock together. The effect is a long panel that can extend from the landing gear to the rear tandem. Individual panels can be purchased on-line at BetterTrucker.com. (www.bettertrucker.com).