WABCO Holdings Inc. has announced the North American premiere of OptiFlow AutoTail and Tail, two new aerodynamic products for trailers. The first aerodynamic tail in the U.S. to feature automatic deployment and retraction, WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail is also the first product to earn EPA SmartWay verification from the Canadian government’s National Research Council, the company reported.
WABCO’s OptiFlow AutoTail (pictured above) deploys and retracts tail panels based on driving speed as determined by sensors linked to WABCO’s Trailer Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS). The device automatically deploys at vehicle speeds of 45 MPH, ensuring it is consistently used at speeds that maximize aerodynamic fuel savings. The tail panels automatically retract at a vehicle speed of 10 MPH.
OptiFlow AutoTail delivers fuel savings of up to 4.3% at highway speeds based on SmartWay test protocol, and reduces CO₂ emissions by up to 4.8 tons per trailer per year, according to WABCO. Automatic retraction also improves maneuverability and enhances safety by ensuring panels are folded in city centers, loading docks and other areas where trailers are in close proximity to pedestrians or objects, the company said.
The WABCO OptiFlow Tail provides identical fuel savings as OptiFlow AutoTail, according to WABCO, and features a lightweight design that is straightforward to install and retrofit.
Both OptiFlow Tail and AutoTail are made from automotive grade thermoplastic, an extremely lightweight, durable and long-lasting material that WABCO says resists wear from weather, vibration and everyday hazards of the trucking industry.