Fuel savings no tall tale

Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) in the USA has completed the retrofit of its entire fleet of 4000 semi-trailers with TrailerTail aerodynamic technology manufactured by ATDynamics.

TrailerTail is a lightweight, thermoplastic composite fairing installed at the back of semi-trailers to streamline airflow behind the trailer, therefore mitigating aerodynamic drag and reducing fuel consumption by a claimed 6.6 percent when the vehicle is travelling at 65 mph (104.6 km/h).

MVT began retrofitting its trailers with the aerodynamic devices more two years ago. With the fleet-wide deployment of TrailerTails, MVT said it expects to save in excess of 1 million gallons (3.78 million litres) of diesel fuel annually, resulting in a payback period of less than 14 months on the capital investment.

“We were an early adopter of this technology, when nearly two years ago many of our industry peers raised an eyebrow at our decision to retrofit our entire fleet with TrailerTails,” said Royal Jones, chief executive of Mesilla Valley Transportation. “But today virtually every sizable fleet on the road is evaluating or beginning to adopt ATDynamics’ technology.

“ATDynamics’ TrailerTails have been an integral part of our strategy to operate 25 percent more efficiently than the industry average in order to benefit our bottom line, our drivers’ compensation, the national economy and consumers’ wallets.”

TrailerTails are compliant with the US Department of Transport’s length restrictions for semi-trailers, which allow up to a five foot (1524 mm) non-cargo bearing extension for aerodynamic fairings.

According to the manufacturer, in addition to fuel savings TrailerTails deliver:

  • Improved trailer stability in high winds;
  • Increased visibility for drivers through reduced trailer spray in wet conditions;
  • Reduced injuries and vehicle damages from rear end collisions.
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