TrailerTail said to improve fuel economy

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An aerodynamic add-on for the rear of trailers that features a collapsible, folding design can increase fuel efficiency by as much 5 percent in longhaul applications, according to ATDynamics, which introduced the device Wednesday, March 26, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Called the TrailerTail, the aerodynamic trailer extension reduces rear drag for improved fuel efficiency, the company said. The TrailerTrail, on display in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay exhibit, was mounted to the industry’s first certified SmartWay trailer, a Utility 4000D-X dry van.

“The least aerodynamic way to carry goods down the highway is in a large rectangular box,” says Andrew Smith, ATDynamics chief executive officer. “Forward-thinking fleet operators are now serious about improving the aerodynamics of their fleets. Starting with the TrailerTail and with other products now in the pipeline, our goal is to dramatically improve the sustainability of the global freight industry.”

TrailerTail, which weighs about 250 pounds, is installed over the existing doors of the trailer; a trailer can be retrofitted with the device by two people in about two hours, and it is virtually maintenance-free, the company said. Once installed, the trailer doors can be opened in about six seconds and closed in about eight seconds, according to ATDynamics.