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Old 09-17-2012, 02:25 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Maybe the trailers have flat fronts because the people who run that business are lazy and not too bright. This is a very common problem, I regret to say.

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Old 09-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Maybe the trailers have flat fronts because the people who run that business are lazy and not too bright. This is a very common problem, I regret to say.
There is always a certain amount of 'in-breeding' in every industry which inhierently slows down the 'outside the box' creativity.

I have seen this in several different industries. The worst (believe it or not) was attorneys. I was at a conference of 400+ attorneys (specializing in one area of expertise) at one point I was so frustrated that I stood up and said "WTF....xxxxxxx" About 30 attorneys converged on my table at break to find out how I knew what I knew. THey were worse than sheeple! THe next yr at the same conference, they actually addressed the topic (briefly)
(oh, and I'm not an attorney)
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:46 PM   #103 (permalink)
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While I think doing things a certain way just because its how it was always done explains alot (like why all truck cabs don't look like the airflow bullet truck, for example), there is actually a legitimate reason for the shape of the trailer:
The actual metal box, the "container" is not permanently attached to the frame and wheels. It can be detached with a crane. And then loaded onto ships, trains, hauled around the world, and then put onto a different truck in another country.

So they all need to be standardized worldwide, and they need to be able to fit tightly side-by-side so that 1000 of them can be packed onto a single cargo ship, which has a holding bay with racks and rails designed to fit standard sized trailers.
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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:50 PM   #104 (permalink)
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When I drove a school bus, most of our fleet did not have air conditioning, unless they were for Special Needs or sports, but if we had it, we usually kept the bus running while waiting. One day pamphlets from the AZDOT showed up telling us that an idling engine consumed as much fuel as one powering a vehicle traveling seventy miles an hour.

None of us believed it. One driver said that he had idled for two hours recently and it had not used anything.

I believe that is called perpetual motion or magic.

One GPH sounds reasonable, even for a large engine.
For a large diesel 1 GPH is somewhat reasonable. If I can believe my Scangauge, the VW idle consumption is closer to 0.1 GPH, 1.9 liter displacement, about 1/4 what a gasser consumes (I think, others here may know this exactly).
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:41 PM   #105 (permalink)
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re: squared off corners


The issue is in loading, even for non-intermodal trucks. picture a pallet or other container stacked to the height of the truck, and the width. With a flat/squared off front you can have the first pallet you load just bump up against the front of the trailer and load them in until they're right at the tailgate. Imagine how much more complexity you've added for the warehouse people (or alternatively how much space you've wasted by saving them time) if they have to figure out how to load the same load into something with a parabolic front, or even just one that was a foot lower and narrower at the front. Suddenly you're trying to stack tvs, beer kegs, bananas, etc. in a shape that conforms to the front of the trailer, or just waisting that space. Oh yeah and most of the loads are too tall for you to actually see the front of the trailer from the inside once loaded, so even trial and error is a pravneet and a half. The more difficult logistics, expensive containers, etc. would kill a LOT of any gains from fuel savings.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #106 (permalink)
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What i got from the idea of the half-round trailer front was that the trailer could remain the same inside (flat front), and the rounded nose was just added on. this would mean no in the way it was or could be loaded.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #107 (permalink)
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JacobAziza, it seems that all of the world calls those "shipping containers" or something like that, but where I have worked we always call them "conexes." I never paid attention to the until I worked with them, but it seems like more trailers have integrated storage than a flat bed and connectors.

jaylhouse, I was thinking the same thing, just putting a round shape on the outside.

Otto and mcrews, working with people I often think of working with children. If I ask a grown-up a thinking question they either give me a standard answer or "I don't know." If I ask a child to do something they have not done before, like a math problem, they say "I can't."

I hate being told "I can't."

A guy buying a soda from a machine pointed to the bits of ice on the can depicted on the front of the machine and pointed out how one looked like a raptor head, others looked like other things, and the ice on top looked like a woman laying down, but if I try to share this with people they insist that it is just ice.

Many people just do not like thinking. We should pity them, until the Heinlein law is enacted and they are executed.

Last edited by Xist; 09-17-2012 at 07:34 PM.. Reason: someone's iPhone miscorrected my spelling
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:03 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Aero Trailer

Seems as though MB has released their own aero-trailer.

Ugg - can't post links. Anyway, there is an interesting article on greencarcongress.com

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012...o-2010918.html

(link added by admin... FYI, you can add just the part from the "www" forward in future, until you have enough posts to include links.)

Here is the lead in

"At the 64th IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, Daimler is unveiling the latest result of its “Aerodynamics Truck & Trailer” initiative, the new Mercedes-Benz Aerodynamics trailer and separate Aerodynamics rigid truck.

Trailer. Designed and developed by Mercedes-Benz, the new trailer lowers the air resistance of the entire tractor/semitrailer combination by approximately 18%. According to the engineers’ experience, this results in a fuel consumption reduction on long-haul journeys of approximately four to five percent in real conditions. Intensive measurements in the wind tunnel with a 1:2.5-scale model confirmed the arithmetic assumptions."
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #109 (permalink)
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Interesting, but Shepherd777's truck is way better!

Their boat tail is only about one foot long!

Something that I noticed when I was overseas, it seemed like their semis almost always had two axles on the truck itself, while I had invariably seen three here. Does anyone know anything about that?
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:52 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Granted, intermodal shipping containers must be given sizes and shapes to mate with shipment hardware on trucks, trains, and ships.

Still, a simple removable lightweight fairing would be easy to attach and remove, such as clip-on nose cones and/or boat tails. Inflatables are an option, with easy shapes like those kid's pool toys that look like killer whales or sharks.

As for group-think, keep in mind that most schooling and professional credentials are essentially conformity badges, i.e., one gets to be an automotive engineer by proving in years of school that one can do it the way it's always been done, with not necessarily much thought to how it might better be done.

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