Robert Heath Trucking Inc. and ATDynamics Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, jointly announced that the refrigerated fleet has installed fuel-saving aerodynamic trailer tails across its entire fleet of trailers. ATDynamics says its aerodynamic TrailerTails will achieve 6.6 percent fuel savings at highway speed, according to SAE J1321 testing.
“While TrailerTails are in use by refrigerated carriers across the country, Robert Heath Trucking has moved further,” says Andrew Smith, chief executive officer and founder of ATDynamics. “The company is setting a new precedent for shippers of temperature-controlled products.”
Robert Heath pulls more than 300 temperature-controlled semi-trailers serving Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, as well as other regional markets across the United States. TrailerTails are designed to reduce the low-pressure suction drag behind the large rear flat surface of trailers. Robert Heath already has addressed the aerodynamic drag underneath their trailers with aerodynamic trailer skirting.
“By reducing the aerodynamic drag behind our trailers, we offer our customers a more environmentally sound way to move their cargo and reduce U.S. oil dependency,” says Jody Heath, president of Robert Heath Trucking. “Rather than just meeting requirements, we are now exceeding all SmartWay requirements for trailer aerodynamics and further reducing our customer’s carbon footprint.”
ATDynamics says each TrailerTail installed on an average refrigerated trailer will offset the oil used and carbon emitted of about two passenger vehicles on an annual basis. Robert Heath Trucking says it invested in TrailerTail technology after testing the durability and operation of the technology. “Our company prides itself in carefully evaluating technology and then acting quickly when a new idea makes sense,” Heath says.
Verified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, TrailerTail technology is designed to be compatible with all major refrigerated and dry van trailer configurations and is available factory-installed. TrailerTails were approved for operation on U.S. highways by the Department of Transportation in 2008 and is in compliance with California Air Resources Board trailer aerodynamics requirements.
“We expect many more refrigerated fleets to pursue full fleet retrofits over the next six months,” Smith says. “The TrailerTail aerodynamics technology is addressing the largest area of aerodynamic drag still taxing the industry at the rear end of their trailers. With TrailerTails, skirts and other aerodynamic modifications to trailers, one fleet can burn 12 to 14 percent less fuel than another fleet pulling the same cargo.”