Eco Flaps, the rapidly growing provider of ecologically sound splash guards changing fleet performance throughout the trucking industry, is proud to offer one of the most adaptable aerodynamic solutions on the market today. Although Eco Flaps are classified as SmartWay, CARB and GHG2 approved, these typically refer to 48- or 53-foot dry van or reefer applications. Eco Flaps recently completed an evaluation with Exa Corporation on the use of its aerodynamic splash guards on LTL equipment to demonstrate significant fuel savings, even when used with more than one trailer.
“The segment of the trucking industry that run with two or three trailers at a time, which includes most LTL carriers, is really limited when it comes to aerodynamic devices. Most are designed specifically for single-trailer application,” said Bren Marshell, vice president of sales for Eco Flaps. “Our recent work with Exa Corporation shows that when Eco Flaps are installed in all flap positions on multiple trailers, drag is reduced significantly, resulting in greater fuel savings and quick ROI.”
In the fall of 2017, Eco Flaps commissioned Exa Corporation to perform an aerodynamics and fuel economy analysis through computational fluid dynamics simulations (CFD). The analysis evaluated a day cab tractor with two 28-foot trailers connected by a dolly. This particular configuration runs with eight mud flaps and is known to have significantly more complicated aerodynamic issues due to multiple gaps and a greater area of flap wind resistance.
Exa Corporation created four different scenarios: a baseline with conventional flaps; changing out the truck and dolly flaps for Eco Flaps; a full swap out of all eight flaps for Eco Flaps; and an equipment setup with no flaps used. The results showed a 4.7 percent improvement in drag at highway speeds when all eight flaps were removed – even though the pup trailers already utilized aerodynamic skirts. The use of eight Eco Flaps – a full swap out – created the same results. The total fuel savings from this amount of drag reduction is estimated at 2.7 percent.
“The Exa Corporation simulations showed a major impact when equipping the dolly flaps in addition with the tractor and trailers,” said Marshell. “Not including the dolly greatly restricts the airflow and thereby significantly reduces fuel savings from the leading trailers.”
In addition to fuel savings and reduced maintenance, the use of Eco Flaps greatly reduce splash and spray from inclement weather and increase safety on the road. Fleets can purchase Eco Flaps from all major truck and trailer manufacturers through Eco Flaps’ distribution network. Eco Flaps are available in multiple sizes ranging from 18” x 24” to 24” x 36” to meet each truck’s dimensions and are backed by a full two-year warranty. They are also available in custom colors with custom graphics. For more information about Eco Flaps, visit www.ecoflaps.com.