Have you ever seen flappy panels at the rear side of trucks? For instance, did you wonder how aerodynamic devices work? If you’re looking for answers, you have come to the right place.
The device that you can see at the back of the trailer is truck panels. These are trailer tails, rear trailers, or skirts. As a result, it reduces fuel consumption, driver fatigue, and splash and spray.
In this article, we will discuss how trailer tails work, the benefits, and the downsides. We will also discuss the common truck strategies and other aerodynamic devices. Read on to learn more.
How Does Trailer Tails Work?
Trailer tails focus on the improvement of the truck’s aerodynamics. To clarify, the purpose of this device is to reduce the vehicle’s drag. Drag is pressure surrounding the front and back of the semi-truck.
The trailer tails alter the airflow from the trailing edges. The function helps increase the fuel efficiency of the semi-truck. You can save more fuel if you equip this for your truck.
Aerodynamic panels were first patented in the late 1930s for railcars. So, the device undergoes redesigning and streamlining from different brands. After that, the enhancements of trailer tails made it portable. You can now load and unload the truck without any problem.
Benefits of Using Trailer Tails
Many advantages you can gain by installing trailer tails at the back of your semi-truck. Here are some of them:
Save up on fuel consumption
You can control fuel consumption depending on the device and brand. Using it allows you to save from 1% to 10% on your fuel.
Reduces spray and splash
You can improve its airflow by installing tails and skirts on your semi-truck. It helps reduce the spray and splash on your vehicle.
Improves rollover and stability
Using aerodynamic devices alters the wind pressure on your trailer. We found out that crosswinds can reduce the truck’s balance. By using this device, you can ensure the stability of your truck and prevent rollover.
Reduces driver fatigue
Semi-trucks with trailer tails help drivers maintain their position in the road lanes. So, it reduces taxing with less frequent steering corrections.
Of course, nothing is perfect so we also listed the downsides you’ll experience when you buy trailer tails for your semi-truck.
Downsides of Using Trailer Tails
Trailer trails have disadvantages you should take note of. For instance, the aerodynamic device sometimes becomes a burden to the drivers. To lessen the drawbacks, make sure to know the pros and cons.
Adds weight to your semi-truck
Installing trailer tail devices in your semi-truck can add tare weight. Before you buy, assess the added weight first. Secondly, test it from the improved aerodynamic performance.
Information provided by aerodynamic manufacturers
The manufacturer’s information makes it difficult to find suitable aerodynamic devices. Certainly, they often sell different styles, weights, and information about these. In other words, you should contact your semi-truck manufacturer to guarantee the device fits your trailer.
Difficult in getting comparisons from aerodynamic devices
Different manufacturers provide a variety of comparisons. Thus, it makes analyzing and testing different aerodynamic devices difficult.
Learning to optimize tractor-trailer ratios
You should learn how to optimize the tractor-trailer ratio. Of course, it’s one of the vital factors in choosing the best device. It aims to measure your truck’s actual annual mileage. You can determine the return of investment for the device.
Questions about reliability and durability
Different aerodynamic manufacturers have their own reliability and durability tests. Every manufacturer provides different data on usage and information. As a result, it’s hard to find comparisons for the devices.
Some of these devices rely on the drivers’ involvement which means it has to retract. So, improper usage of the device can sustain damages. Likewise, it leads drivers not to use it and disregard its efficiency.
Common Truck Strategies
Reducing drag on your semi-truck doesn’t only work on the back part of the truck. Most importantly, installing aerodynamic devices help your trailer to cut drag and improve airflow.
All aerodynamicists suggest equipping a trailer tail, sealing the tractor-trailer gap, and its underbody. Also, they found out that the most aerodynamic improvement comes from these combinations.
Adding aerodynamics to several parts of your trailer increases your truck’s performance. Moreover, each device can change the airflow reducing its drag and enhancing fuel efficiency.
Other Aerodynamic Devices
Trailer tails are not the only devices that you can use to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. In short, the different parts of a semi-truck need suitable types of aerodynamic devices.
Wheel covers and mudflaps
This reduces drag and turbulence around your truck’s wheels, which increases fuel efficiency.
This aerodynamic device reduces drag under your trailer. It is where the air hits the trailer’s rear axles. So, the device guides the air at the back and sides of the trailer.
Nose fairings and gap reducers
This fills the space between the front of your dry trailer and the tractor. Above all, it shields the truck from severe crosswinds and reduces drag.
What to Look for in an Effective Aerodynamic Solution
Improving your vehicle and fuel efficiency is crucial for a semi-truck. Meanwhile, aerodynamic devices can enhance your vehicle’s performance. As a result, you should remember the ideal characteristics before buying.
- Life expectancy: How long does an aerodynamic device remain functional?
- Functionality: Will the device be reliable functionality?
- Compatibility: Is the device compatible with your vehicle?
- Driver interaction: Is the device dependent on the driver or can it work without it?
- Support: Does the manufacturer offer customer support?
- Aesthetics: How does the device impact the look of your company and semi-truck?
- Maintenance: How much time and money would it cost if the device got damaged? Is it possible to fix it?
The trailer tail is found at the back section of the semi-truck that aids in the vehicle’s aerodynamics. To sum up, installing this controls the airflow and fuel efficiency. That is to say, there are several devices you can equip to achieve most vehicle efficiency.
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