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Trucking Efficiency Publishes Confidence Report on Tractor Aerodynamics

“Tractor aerodynamics pay for themselves—don’t buy a tractor without them. If you do, you’ll regret it!”—Mike Roeth, Operation Lead, Trucking Efficiency

May 4, 2016, Long Beach, CA—The latest Confidence Report released today by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Carbon War Room explores the benefits and challenges of a variety of tractor aerodynamic devices.

During the past 20 years, truck manufacturers have done a good job of improving the aerodynamics of sleeper tractors, saving up to 10% in fuel costs. Tractor aerodynamic devices improve fuel efficiency by reducing drag so that it takes less fuel to move down the road, especially at higher speeds.

Even though day-cab tractors operate at lower miles per hour, they benefit from the installation of tractor aerodynamic devices and many of these features are well worth the investment.

This Confidence Report details devices for improving aerodynamics, including changes to hood, fender, bumper, mirror, and roof fairing design. It also looks at chassis and tractor/trailer gap devices such as chassis and drive wheel fairings and cab and roof extenders. Finally, other items such as fifth wheel settings, part removal relocation such as horizontal exhaust, wheel covers, and vented mud flaps are investigated.

The report describes each device’s unique challenges such as added weight, increased cost, and accessibility for maintenance and repair. The study team found that tractor aerodynamic technologies and strategies are constantly and rapidly evolving. The options detailed in the report are all currently available on the market today, and most are mature with a good track record of functionality, though they may be more or less economical depending on the specifics of a fleet’s operations.

Download the executive summary here.

Download the full report here.

About Confidence Reports

This report is part of our Confidence Report series, intended to help end users and manufacturers determine whether to adopt a specific technology or set of solutions. The series also includes reports on tire pressure systems, 6×2 axle configurations, idle reduction technology, electronically controlled transmissions, programmable engine parameters, low rolling resistance tires, lightweighting, and downspeeding, and upcoming reports on lubricants and platooning. Promising technologies for additional Confidence Reports are currently being identified.

Trucking Efficiency created an interactive information platform at to help users make more confident adoption decisions by providing detailed information on efficiency technologies, including data from across a variety of fleets and best practices for adoption.

About Trucking Efficiency

Trucking Efficiency is a combined effort of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Carbon War Room to double the freight efficiency of North American goods movement through the elimination of market barriers to information, demand, and supply.

About North American Council for Freight Efficiency

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to doubling the freight efficiency of North American goods movement. NACFE operates as a nonprofit in order to provide an independent, unbiased research organization for the transformation of the transportation industry. Data is critical and NACFE is proving to help the industry with real world information that fleets can use to take action.

About Carbon War Room

Carbon War Room (CWR) was founded in 2009 as a global nonprofit by Sir Richard Branson and a group of likeminded entrepreneurs. It intervenes in markets to accelerate the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale and advance the low-carbon economy. CWR merged with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in 2014 and now operates as an RMI business unit. The combined organization engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.

Media Team

Mark Grundy
Managing Director of Global Marketing & Communications

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Nick Steel