Sunday, December 30, 2012


I've started to see these "TrailerTails" on the back of tractor-trailers on the interstates. A NYT article suggests that the devices, which cost about $2k each, have a 100% IRR when installed.

I also see the "TrailerBlade" side skirts along the sides of the trailers.

Why haven't these gained wider adoption yet? Trucking is a commodity business so you need to cut costs to earn economic profits. Besides better logistics (and someday driverless vehicles!), increasing fuel efficiency is an obvious lever to pull.

Is it the same reason no gas-to-liquids plants are being built, despite the massive $/BTU spread between oil and gas?


Paul Hegdahl said...

Our company first commercialized trailer aerodynamics working of off a DOE grant in 2003.

Lots of snake oil in the truck industry around fuel savings, so it has taken a very long time for trucking companies to believe that skirts and tails actually work.

Check us out -

CP said...

What makes a bigger difference, the tails or the side skirts?