According to Truck Info, the American Trucking industry uses 12.8% of fuel purchased in the U.S.A. In 2006, 432.9 BILLION gallons of fuel were used. With these large numbers, small savings add up quickly. One way to increase fuel economy on tractor-trailers is by installing skirts. Science Daily stated, “Creating an improved aerodynamic shape for truck trailers by mounting side-skirts can lead to a cut in fuel consumption and emissions of up to as much as 15%.” In a related Trucking Info article, Greg & Dannele Decker, who operate Alberta based Triple Decker Transport, were quoted saying they saved 8.94% in fuel after installing skirts. Greg drives a 2008 Volvo VN780 equipped with a D-16F 500 horsepower engine that pulls an ‘02 Utility 3000R reefer equipped with Windyne skirts. Other publications like, National Geographic, Trucker to Trucker, and Fleet Equipment Magazine, have shared similar results.
The current Diesel fuel price in the US is $3.85 per gallon. If installing skirts on trailers saved a total 8.94%, as it did for The Deckers, that’s a total savings of nearly 15 billion dollars annually in the US alone. This would impact our economy, trade deficit, and the environment. Sometimes the best ideas with the biggest paybacks are simple. The time has come for trailer skirts.
Are you a tractor-trailer owner/driver? Check out these ideas for saving fuel. Also, if you’d like to know how much skirting on your rig might save in fuel? Try this ROI calculator from Transtex.