Wabash National Corp., participating in the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck program, has developed a trailer that reduced drag coefficient by more than 30%. The SuperTruck program, a five-year research and development initiative, focused on improving freight efficiency (the amount of freight hauled per gallon of fuel used) by 50% compared to 2009 base model heavy-duty tractor-trailer vehicles. Navistar unveiled its SuperTruck in September, reporting a 104% improvement in freight efficiency and a 13 MPG average.
Working with the Navistar SuperTruck team, Wabash recently revealed the details of the trailer it developed for the project, including the aforementioned reduced drag and the reduced weight of the trailer by more than 2,000 lbs. compared to its 2009 dry van. All components used to reduce the weight of the trailer, such as wide-base single tires and a variety of aluminum componentry, are commercially available.
“Each of the trailer components selected for the SuperTruck combination vehicle were designed as concepts of what the next generation of aerodynamic devices will look like from Wabash National,” said Brian Bauman, vice president and general manager of Wabash Composites. “On the heels of the GHG2 rule being finalized, the industry will need to innovate in order to meet fuel efficiency standards in the future. The SuperTruck initiative allowed us to leverage our fleet-proven aerodynamic technologies and years of aerodynamic research and development to innovate with our customer in mind.”