FlowBelow™, an Austin, TX, manufacturing company, has announced the release of a new version of their Tractor AeroKit™, designed for use in pulling flatbed and tanker trailers. Its original design, made for pulling refrigerated and dry van trailers, has been proven through third-party, independent SAE Type II (J1321) fuel efficiency and wind tunnel testing to reduce the fuel consumption of trucks by 2.23%. The new system is purported to improve fuel efficiency when pulling flatbed and tanker trailers by 3%.
The FlowBelow AeroKit system consists of special, patented wheel covers and a pair of fairings placed on each side of the truck tractor that work together to reduce aerodynamic drag, especially around the rear set of tractor wheels, thereby improving fuel efficiency. The manufacturer estimates that, with the savings realized in reduced fuel consumption for long-haul trucks, the ROI for the AeroKit system should be approximately one year or less. These savings are applicable whether the kit is being used on just one truck or on a whole fleet of trucks.
Such significant performance is possible because the AeroKit redirects the complex airflow involved with tractor-trailers, especially that of the tractors’ fully exposed rear wheels. The additional efficiencies achieved when pulling flatbeds and tankers is because these types of trailers are typically even less aerodynamically efficient than box vans and reefers on their undersides, plus they present a larger tractor-to-trailer gap, making them naturally less streamlined.
Cutting-edge engineering and high-quality manufacturing ensure long-term durability of the fairings and wheel covers, both made from rustproof polyethylene (thermoplastic polyolefin). This material is designed to remain flexible and to withstand high impact, weather and temperature extremes. The four wheel covers included with each kit are instantly accessible after being installed using a patented system called push-and-turn latching. This allows for removal easily and quickly without the use of tools. Initial installation of a complete system takes only about an hour.
Because the AeroKit deals directly in reducing the amount of drag usually experienced around the tractor wheels, especially tandems, the system is effective in reducing fuel consumption regardless of what type of trailer is being pulled. It’s also fully compatible with other types of aerodynamic devices that may be in use such as boat tails or side skirts. The AeroKit will work with just about any type of tires and wheels, including super singles.