ATDynamics introduces TrailerTail technology for roll door trailers


ATDynamics, Inc., the largest global supplier of TrailerTail rear drag aerodynamics technology, has announced the launch of a new aerodynamic system for roll door semitrailers that is capable of saving the transportation industry some $3 billion in fuel over the next decade.

The TrailerTail Roll, or RollTail, will be the first commercially available aerodynamic tail fairing designed specifically for trucking fleets that operate trailers with roll doors rather than swing doors. 

More than half of the top 10 largest for-hire and private trucking operations in the United States depend on roll door trailers to ship freight, said Andrew Smith, CEO and founder of ATDynamics. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service requires its contract carriers to utilize roll door trailers for long-haul mail delivery.

“We look forward to working with the leading roll door trailer fleets, in addition to our existing swing door trailer customers, to save the industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually,” he said.

Through the use of Air Flow Control (AFC) technology, TrailerTail Roll will improve tractor-trailer fuel economy by 4-5% at highway speeds by streamlining the airflow at the tail end of the trailer, said Smith.

ATDynamics optimized the technology through comprehensive rolling-road wind tunnel testing at the Automotive Research Center in Indianapolis, IN and through on-road SAE Type II J1321 fuel economy testing.

More than 500,000 roll door trailers are estimated to circulate on US highways, reaching speeds over 40 mph where rear suction drag significantly diminishes vehicle fuel economy.

In addition to fuel savings, the TrailerTail Roll will increase vehicle safety by reducing spray in wet weather and decreasing trailer instability in high winds, he noted.

The patent pending, spring-loaded design requires zero driver interaction and can be installed by two people in 45 minutes. 

It is available now for retrofit, and will be available for factory installation at a later date.

The technology, which will be available this summer, weighs about 160 pounds.

The TrailerTail Roll retracts automatically along the sides and top of the trailer when a trailer is backed into a loading bay and deploys automatically as the vehicle pulls away.

The TrailerTail Roll will qualify as an EPA Smartway Verified Advanced Rear Fairing and will allow stand-alone compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations for trailer aerodynamics, said Smith. 

The device does not impact trailer loading or cube capacity and is compliant with Department of Transportation dimension and visibility requirements, he added.

“Compressed freight rates are a continuing challenge to trucking fleets,” said Bren Marshell, ATDynamics Regional Sales Manager. “TrailerTails provide an immediate way to reduce costs. 

“The TrailerTail Roll will save over 6 gallons of fuel for every 1,000 miles a trailer is pulled at highway speed - that’s two to three cents savings per mile.”

Smith founded ATDynamics in 2006. Since then, the South San Francisco, CA-based company has grown to be the leading supplier of semitrailer rear aerodynamics technology in the US. Its flagship rear drag reduction technology, TrailerTail was first released in 2008, and is part of a suite of products engineered to reduce the fuel consumption of the freight transportation industry.

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