Track-test Evaluation of Aerodynamic Drag Reducing Measures for Class 8 Tractor-Trailers
Air resistance, after gross vehicle weight, is the largest factor responsible for vehicle energy loss and has an important influence on fuel consumption. The magnitude of aerodynamic drag is affected by the vehicle's shape, frontal area, and travel speed. This study aimed to evaluate several aerodynamic drag reduction measures applicable to class 8 tractor-trailer combinations. The tested aerodynamic devices included trailer aft body rear deflectors (boat tails), trailer skirts, gap deflectors, fuel tank fairings and truck rear-axle fenders. It also assessed the aerodynamic influence of opened doors on an empty wood chip van trailer on the fuel consumption of the tractor-trailer combination. The tests were conducted according to SAE J1321 Joint TMC/SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure - Type II.