Aerofficient, a company that designs and builds aerodynamic solutions for the heavy duty trucking industry, has announced that production of its Slider side fairing for on-highway trailers will begin in April.
The unique, patent pending system, automatically expands or contracts when the trailer's axles are moved, filling the gap between the trailing edge of a standard “fixed” trailer side fairing and the trailer’s tires.
“In TMC Type IV testing by a prominent fleet using an independent fuel economy testing expert, our Slider fairing boosted fuel savings by 80 percent over trailers using standard fixed fairings in a zero wind condition when the trailer’s tandems were set at the 41 foot setting,” said Jim Reiman, CEO of Aerofficient.
“Assuming 60,000 miles of highway driving and $4.00 per gallon fuel cost, the Aerofficient Slider will save $1,235.00 more than a standard side fairing.”
There are several reasons standard side fairings do not consistently achieve the high savings generated in test conditions when used in revenue generating driving over a long term period, said Marty Fletcher, Aerofficient’s executive director of product development and fuel economy testing expert.
“One of the most significant is that in revenue generating driving the trailer’s tandems are often set rearward from their maximum forward position,” he said. “Since a standard side fairing cannot extend rearward of the trailer’s front tire when the trailer’s axles are at their most forward setting, a gap is created between the trailing edge of the fairing and the front tire when the trailer’s tandems are set rearward of their maximum forward position.
“The greater the gap between the trailing edge of the fairing and the trailer’s front tire, the less efficient the side fairing becomes.”
According to Fletcher, filling this gap and preserving and enhancing the fixed fairing’s efficiency by effectively lengthening it is the aerodynamic goal of the new Aerofficient Slider.
At a typical 41-foot axle setting, a gap of 30 to 40 inches exists between the fixed fairing’s trailing edge and the trailer’s front tire, he noted. Testing with a 35-inch gap against multiple competitors’ standard fixed fairings in highway SAE Type IV tests, the Aerofficient Slider generated 7.2% savings compared to 3.8% to 4.2% for competitors’ standard fixed fairings.
The Aerofficient Slider, and all Aerofficient side fairing products, has been verified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership as an Advanced Trailer Skirt.
The Aerofficient Slider is affixed to the trailer’s sliding axles and moves forward/rearward with the axles. No driver involvement is required and the Slider does not interfere with operations.
If maintenance is required beneath the trailer, the Slider is easily detached from the axles and slid forward for quick and easy under-trailer access.
All Aerofficient trailer fairings are made with an engineered, automotive grade injection molded plastic panel material, making them “extremely durable,” Fletcher said. The company’s patent-pending hinged technology permits the fairings to bend in or out 90 degrees to pass over obstructions without being damaged.
The fairings are also designed to hold their shape in extreme temperatures and to resist ice and snow packing.
All Aerofficient side-fairing products utilize a patent-pending clamp system for fast installation without the need to drill holes in the trailer.
The new Slider fairings can be installed with the company’s fixed fairings on new trailers, or added to units with existing Aerofficient fixed side fairings.
Aerofficient Slider fairings will be manufactured in Livonia, Michigan and will be available from the manufacturer and through trailer dealers nationwide.