Is the fuel savings from truck aerodynamic devices worth it?

TMC releases reports on aerodynamic fuel savings, electromechanical brakes

The American Trucking Associations Technology & Maintenance Council, in conjunction with FPInnovations’ PIT Group, released a pair of reports detailing the effectiveness of the council’s aerodynamic fuel savings calculator and investigating electromechanical brakes for tractor trailers.

In its evaluation of TMC’s Interactive Aerodynamic Fuel Savings Calculator, PIT Group assessed a proposed update to the calculator, which provides equipment operators with an interactive mathematical tool to evaluate the potential fuel and economic savings of an aerodynamic device that has been tested using one of TMC’s fuel economy testing procedures for Class 6-8 tractors coupled to commercial trailers of all types.

After reviewing data from 87 tests conducted since 2007, which was separated into 11 categories of technologies and practices related to aerodynamic technologies for trailers, as well as data coming from other reliable sources that was judged to correlate with PIT Group test results, the PIT Group found the calculator: “helpful for fleet managers and owner-operators to evaluate the options for the adoption of aerodynamic technologies.”

The PIT Group also gave general indications and examples regarding the layout presentation of the elements of the calculator to provide users an optimum experience. These recommendations will be considered by the RP 1118 Update Task Force in finalizing revisions to the calculator during TMC’s Annual Meeting later this week.

In the second project, PIT Group investigated current developments around of electromechanical brakes for tractor trailers to support TMC’s work in the Future Truck program, specifically around the future of commercial braking

PIT Group researched and evaluated 43 original equipment manufacturers for EMB technology of which 16 OEMs known to be active in the trucking industry were approached, pertaining to their involvement in electromechanical brake development for Class 8 trucks. With the information provided, PIT Group assessed the state of design of the respective technologies based on current data of available technologies including how fur they have gone toward building any prototypes, as well as technical challenges, limitations, and obstacles anticipated or encountered.

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