Wind Tunnel and Track Tests of Class 8 Tractors Pulling Single and Tandem Trailers Fitted with Side Skirts and Boat-tails
A 1:10-scale wind tunnel development program was undertaken by the National Research Council of Canada and Airshield Inc. in 1994 to develop trailer side skirts that would reduce the aerodynamic drag of single and tandem trailers. Additionally, a second wind tunnel program was performed by the NRC to evaluate the fuel-saving performance of boat-tail panels when used in conjunction with the skirt-equipped single and tandem trailers. Side skirts on tandem, 8.2-m-long trailers (all model dimensions converted to full scale) were found to reduce the wind-averaged drag coefficient at 105 km/h (65 mi/h) by 0.0758. The front pair of skirts alone produced 75% of the total drag reduction from both sets of skirts and the rear pair alone produced 40% of that from both pairs. The sum of the drag reductions from front and rear skirts separately was 115% of that when both sets were fitted, suggesting an interaction between both.