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-   -   Aero modding an 18 wheeler!! with video!! (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/aero-modding-18-wheeler-video-17706.html)

wanna bECO 06-05-2011 03:01 AM

Aero modding an 18 wheeler!! with video!!
 
I couldn't believe this when I saw it. Thank god for camera phones. This was a semi truck going down the road with these big air dams on either side of his box truck. They were well made and looked very effective. If you consider that all his driving is freeway, every bit helps. As the former son of a former trucker I appreciate this guy.

http://youtu.be/n7GwKVw7ZqQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7GwKVw7ZqQ

jedi_sol 06-05-2011 03:34 AM

Those are getting more and more popular around southern California as well. Even buses is Los Angeles are getting in on the hypermiling action!

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...bus-10004.html

jime57 06-05-2011 08:32 AM

Just completed a 5 month 8,000 mile road trip. Saw lots of those side flaps all across the country. Apparently they are effective, or the truckers wouldn't use them.

I'm left wondering why they don't do more. Continuing the side flaps all the way to the rear of the trailer, covering the rear wheels, would seem to me to be very effective. A slight bulge would likely be needed for the wheel area. A simple hinged door, secured by Dzutz fastners would allow for tire changes.

In addition, I see no reason not to fair in the rear wheels of the truck itself. Surely that would result in an improvement. And, of course the hinged boat-tail offered here:

http://www.transtexcomposite.com/pro...ml?ProduitID=3

would offer considerable improvement, around 7-8 percent reduction in Cd, according to Hucho.

Apparently and industry is beginning to spring up around the need to have more aerodynamic long haul rigs. This site:

http://www.marama.org/diesel/frieght...DCAeroOvw2.pdf

Offers several options. Their aerodynamically optimized trailer picture is very interesting.

Floordford 06-05-2011 02:49 PM

Ive seen big modifications in the aero design of big rigs. They used to be very brick like. Now seams are tighter, curves are smoother, skirts and air dams are lower, and I dont see as many of those bulky outboard air filters. So they are doing things to improve. Plus the diesel engines have been getting more efficient.

winkosmosis 06-05-2011 03:04 PM

Budweiser trucks have had skirts forever... or maybe the whole box is low and the fenders intrude on the inside

http://www.zimmcomm.biz/images/misc/budweiser-truck.jpg

Joenavy85 06-05-2011 03:07 PM

I've seen a couple at truck stops with fold up skirts for the trailer wheels. they flip up to access the tires as required, then fold back down and latch to the side skirts like those in the video, i wish i had taken pictures, next time i see one i'll snap a pic or 2 and post them on here

euromodder 06-06-2011 11:09 AM

With MPGs in single digits or at best low 10s, trucking is where aero mods would give the most benefits in terms of fuel reduction and $$$ benefit.

instarx 06-06-2011 12:42 PM

It wouldn't be practical to add even a slight bulge to the wheels. It would change the trailer width, which is already as wide as is legally possible. Also, most people don't realize what a hard life trailers have. Skirts around entire trailers would be ripped off or damaged pretty regularly. Trailers have to deliver goods in some pretty tight places in less than perfect conditions.

Big Dave 06-06-2011 03:09 PM

I see these things all the time.

They must work.

With the miles a truck puts down even a tenth of an MPG can have a big effect on the bottom line.

Nice thing is they are cheap enough to put on almost every trailer or container flat.

Bill in Houston 06-06-2011 03:50 PM

I've seen trailer skirts here. Just a different piece of I-10...

Have not seen wheel covers or fender skirts.

Vekke 06-06-2011 04:17 PM

There arent many really working wheel covers for trucks, but I have ones which are best in user friendliness. If you like to help me with my companys US marketing efforts print few of these to your clovebox. Every time you see a stopped truck with trailer skirts and without wheelcovers give one press release to the driver.
http://www.tuneko.com/documents/Tune...Xcap_PR_US.pdf

This is not mandatory, but I would hugely appreciate it!

euromodder 06-07-2011 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by instarx (Post 243442)
Also, most people don't realize what a hard life trailers have. Trailers have to deliver goods in some pretty tight places in less than perfect conditions.

Come to Europe to see big trucks in tight places ;)

Sure, if it's not practical for what the truck/trailer is being used for, then don't use them.
But a lot of trailers spend most of their time on the highways between ports and loading docks. They'd benefit a lot from aero improvements.

Hauki 06-07-2011 11:51 AM

Side skirts been around for years in Europe. Volvo have had tear-drop trucks out for a few years now aswell. DHL - biggest courier company in Europe has truck load of them ;)

http://www.dp-dhl.com/content/dam/pr...hybrid_600.jpg

http://www.verkehrsrundschau.de/fm/3...rdrop1-290.jpg

euromodder 06-07-2011 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hauki (Post 243639)
Side skirts been around for years in Europe. Volvo have had tear-drop trucks out for a few years now aswell. DHL - biggest courier company in Europe has truck load of them ;)

That may be a Volvo truck, but the box and trailer are patented designs by Don-Bur UK - who happen to post on Ecomodder occasionally :)


They're just missing Vekke's FlexCaps on their wheels ;)

instarx 06-07-2011 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by euromodder (Post 243622)
Come to Europe to see big trucks in tight places ;)

Sure, if it's not practical for what the truck/trailer is being used for, then don't use them.
But a lot of trailers spend most of their time on the highways between ports and loading docks. They'd benefit a lot from aero improvements.

Don't misunderstand me, I think it is a great idea when practical, but I just wanted to point out that mods can't be universal nor be really aggressive. A company-owned truck could probably use moderate aero with little trouble since they go from warehouse to developed dock, store to store - but a general duty trailer that can go anywhere and deliver anything would be impractical for most aeromods. Many independent truckers in the US don't know from day to day what sort of load they will have or even where they will be going tomorrow.

I come from a trucking family and have been around tractor/trailers all my life, so I'm not just guessing that they lead a hard life. I've never backed one myself, but I've seen skilled truckers put trailers in places you wouldn't believe possible, but they still often get damaged.

md7989 06-08-2011 09:22 AM

I see these every morning and afternoon on my trip to work. Also I've been seeing a few "boat tail" type deals that bolt onto the back of the trailer to bring the rear down to a tail or point. They're only 5 feet long or so and appear to fold up to open the trailer doors, but very interesting.

Diesel_Dave 06-08-2011 10:52 AM

My understanding is that one issue is, in many cases, the tractor and the trailer are owned by different people. The cost of fuel is on the tactor owner so why would the trailer owner spend money on mods to help the tactor owner.

cleanspeed1 06-08-2011 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave (Post 243818)
My understanding is that one issue is, in many cases, the tractor and the trailer are owned by different people. The cost of fuel is on the tactor owner so why would the trailer owner spend money on mods to help the tactor owner.

The other aspect is simply $$$$$$$. When you have to spend anywhere from 110-135k for a new tractor that is emissions compliant and another 30-50k for a trailer, it's not cheap. That and the fact that many truckers simply don't know what else is out there.

The Euro designs would solve a lot of problems, but cutting through the mindset about what looks good versus what can mpg the best is a constant battle. Peterbilt built a cabover that was very aerodynamic back in the '80s, but it never sold well because diesel was cheap and most truckers wanted a rig that was styled old school. I made the same mistake with the W900 you see in my avatar.

euromodder 06-08-2011 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave (Post 243818)
My understanding is that one issue is, in many cases, the tractor and the trailer are owned by different people.

That's a serious issue regarding maintenance, too.
Rented trailers can be towed by company X today, and Y the next day, and basicly nobody is really taking care of them.

Independent truckers have the best maintained rigs - because it's theirs and they'll look after it properly.


Quote:

The cost of fuel is on the tactor owner so why would the trailer owner spend money on mods to help the tactor owner.
Ask more money for an aeromodded trailer that the tractor owner can tow cheaper - if he feels it's worth the extra, depending on what he wants to use it for.

instarx 06-08-2011 11:38 AM

Not aero and perhaps off-topic, but here is an idea for anyone out there with venture capital enough to make trucking more efficient.

Load tractor-trailers onto special rail cars and carry them cross-country by rail. The trains can travel 24-hours a day and can get the truck coast to coast in less time than it would take to drive, and for MUCH less fuel (not to mention wear and tear on the trucks). When the truck gets to a destination near where its load is to be delivered it drives off the train and delivers locally. It picks up another local load and then gets on another train going to the next destination. Drivers can hang out, eat and sleep in special passenger cars of the train and arrive alert, awake and with fatter wallets. This would also save huge amounts of fuel which is good for the country.

Doing this would preserve the benefit of trucks to deliver door to door and also leverage the benefits of trains in long-distance efficiency. It would keep independent truckers in business, put more money in their pockets, benefit the railroads, and save millions of gallons of fuel.

The drive-on/drive-off train and terminal systems would be essentially the same as those being used in the Channel Tunnel where all truck traffic is driven onto trains in England to pass through the tunnel and then driven off in France (and vice versa). So it wouldn't even require designing totally new systems. All the hardware is already designed and proven to work.

wanna bECO 06-08-2011 12:49 PM

Instarx... that is a great Idea, and it wold make being a dispatcher a really technical job.. figuring it out and scheduling it all.

Some companies are doing something similar already. My friend just moved across country. The moving company came to his house with normal size u=haul type vehicle. They loaded all their stuff into it very tight and neatly. If you have ever seen professional mover pack you know that there is no wasted space at all. Then they take it to there warehouse and offload this perfectly packed u haul onto an 18 wheeler, that has other families possessions on it also. They can fit quite a few families possessions on these larger big rigs. The Semi is then used to transport these loads across country where it will be delivered to the owners homes. It may even be packed onto smaller trucks again in the various states and delivered from there.

Diesle has so much energy in it, and it's wasted every day. My buddy just bought a 2001 ford f-350. This monster has a huge diesle engine it. (is it a 4.7 I think?) Anyway, he gets about 12 mpg. So a gallon of diesel takes him 12 miles. He doesn't haul much but occasionally pulls a care behind it. Now that same gallon of diesel fuel can take a 18 wheeler about 8 miles. with 25-30 tons of stuff on it. To me, him owning that diesel is really wasted energy, as far as the potential energy from a gallon of fuel is concerned.

euromodder 06-08-2011 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by instarx (Post 243828)
Load tractor-trailers onto special rail cars and carry them cross-country by rail.

It's being done in Switzerland and Austria to get trucks over - or rather under - the Alps and on the Channel tunnel between Britain and France.

Rickd 06-08-2011 05:15 PM

It is being done everyday in America, Google "intermodal" and you can see all the companies that use multiple modes of transportation to get your freight goods across the country.
There is a huge savings benefit to being able to ship by train, unfortunately you have to add about 10 days for a trailer to get across the country by train

euromodder 06-10-2011 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rickd (Post 243898)
It is being done everyday in America, Google "intermodal" and you can see all the companies that use multiple modes of transportation to get your freight goods across the country.

Found this innovative piece of equipment :
Terminal Anywhere Solution

The trailer doesn't go onto the railcar, it becomes the railcar.

I wondered about chassis strength, but it seems they can cope with 6000' train lengths as well. Trains don't get that long here in Europe.

Rickd 06-10-2011 04:18 PM

I saw a train of those once in Albuquerque NM. I haven't seen them since

slowmover 06-12-2011 11:36 PM

UP ran a 3.5-mile long train from Dallas to Long Beach a while back. 6000-sea-cans double stacked (and nine power units).

I drove a pair of 40' and 20' containers out of the Port of Houston the other day on a 60' stretch trailer. It's impressive up close how fast those can be moved around by specialized handling machinery; on & off special trailers for local and middle distance delivery.

The trailer aero tricks are common enough now that they're the norm for big fleets that I see in Texas.

user removed 06-13-2011 03:20 PM

With the congestion here they are using barges to carry the containers to Richmond before they are loaded on trucks or container capable trains. I think it was Norfold Southern that just increased the ceiling height on every tunnel on their routes so they could carry containers stacked two high on rail cars. Probably half of the trucks on I64 here are containers from the ports where they come in by ship. Not sure how mnay the largest ship can carry but they are in the thousands. The coal trains here from WVA are 168 cars. They run one more frequently than one every hour.

regards
Mech

ICEBOX 02-27-2012 05:12 AM

wow people really dont know trucking

JasonG 02-27-2012 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ICEBOX (Post 289525)
wow people really dont know trucking

Au' contraire'

Some here are truckers themselves !

Others are train engineers (right term for operator/driver?)
We have heavy diesel mechanics, owner operators, fleet drivers, class B drivers and I think a logistics manager.

ICEBOX 02-27-2012 06:07 AM

Here...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Mechanic (Post 244917)
With the congestion here they are using barges to carry the containers to Richmond before they are loaded on trucks or container capable trains. I think it was Norfold Southern that just increased the ceiling height on every tunnel on their routes so they could carry containers stacked two high on rail cars. Probably half of the trucks on I64 here are containers from the ports where they come in by ship. Not sure how mnay the largest ship can carry but they are in the thousands. The coal trains here from WVA are 168 cars. They run one more frequently than one every hour.

regards
Mech

what I was talking about


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