ATDynamics retrofits fleet's trailers with aerodynamic tails

Braun's Express trucking company will install the TrailerTails to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Braun’s Express and ATDynamics Inc. jointly announced that Braun’s Express will be the first trucking company based in New England to install aerodynamic fuel-saving TrailerTails on semi-trailers to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Braun’s seeks to operate one of the most fuel efficient trucking and logistics companies on the east coast,” said Stephen Normandin, Director of Strategic Initiatives.  The new aerodynamic shape of our high mileage trailers demonstrates Braun’s commitment to reducing oil dependency.  It’s great to see innovation which began in New England return to New England to help save fuel.”

TrailerTails are supplied by California based ATDynamics, Inc. but have their roots in New England.  Massachusetts-born entrepreneur Andrew Smith founded ATDynamics while at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in New Hampshire and Jeff Grossmann, now the company’s Vice President of Engineering, prepared the initial designs of the TrailerTail as a student at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth in 2007.

Based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) verified fuel economy track testing, reducing the aerodynamic drag behind tractor-trailers has the potential to decrease freight industry fuel costs in the United States by $20 billion over the next decade and eliminate the emissions of 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

“Over 5,000 TrailerTails have been ordered by dozens of trucking companies over the last 12 months as the industry realizes the fuel saving potential,” said Andrew Smith, Founder and CEO of ATDynamics.  “But the adoption of TrailerTail technology by our first New England based fleet customer is an important milestone.  It proves that TrailerTails were designed to operate easily even in the harshest New England winters.”

TrailerTails reduce the low pressure aerodynamic drag experienced at the back of tractor-trailers and have been shown in SAE Type II J1321 testing to reduce fuel consumption of tractor-trailers by 6.6% at highway speeds.  To date, early fleet adopters of TrailerTails have saved over 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel from being unnecessarily consumed.

Braun’s installed 10 TrailerTails on their most utilized trailers operating on average over 50,000 miles annually up and down the East Coast.  The TrailerTails were installed on trailers already equipped with aerodynamic trailer skirting.  “At highway speeds, our trailers with tails and skirts are expected to save over 10% of every gallon of fuel used by traditional trailers,” said Normandin.

In addition to its recent installation of TrailerTails, Braun’s Express has been an early adopter of other green trucking technologies such as low roll resistant tires and idle reduction equipment.  Braun’s Express received the EPA 2010 Environmental Merit Award for its ongoing commitment to sustainable transportation technology.

“People are often surprised at the forward looking strategy of our company given that we are a small family owned and operated business,” commented Cynthia Normandin, Vice President of Braun’s Express.  “Small entrepreneurial businesses, however, will be at the heart of the country’s economic recovery.”

TrailerTails extend four feet from the rear of a semi-trailer to streamline airflow and collapse automatically when the trailer doors are opened.  In addition to fuel savings, TrailerTails provide the safety benefits of increased trailer stability and reduced spray behind tractor-trailers in wet weather.   Verified by the EPA SmartWay™ program, TrailerTail technology is compatible with all major refrigerated and dry van semi-trailers and was approved for operation by the DOT in 2008.

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