As vehicle owners, you understand how important aerodynamics are when it comes to fuel economy,. According to Volvo, for long-haul heavy-duty trucks, overcoming resistance contributes to around 10% to fuel consumption, but there are a couple of ways to help with aerodynamics:
For trucking vehicles, the higher the cab, the greater the air resistance is, and the roof angle also plays an important role. Adding a roof spoiler can save you up to 5% In fuel when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds. The roof spoiler needs to be set according to the vehicle’s height, but we recommend it be factory fitted from the beginning. Also, side fairings and side skirts can save another up to 3% each.
Retrofitting Your Vehicles with Additional Equipment
There are also certain add-ons that are designed to enhance aerodynamics, such as side mirrors, wheel covers, side extenders, and chassis skirts. There are also measures to be taken to improve aerodynamics on the trailer, like keeping the gap between the trailer and the cab as small as possible. Volvo mentions that a trailer with covered sides will also have lower fuel consumption. Also making sure the fifth wheel is installed with enough clearance to allow the trailer to swing to both sides without touching the cabin.
One of the most interesting parts of this topic is to consider the future of aerodynamics and fuel economy. As the automotive and transportation industry continues to grow, new technologies are emerging that have the potential to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel efficiency even more.
There has been talk about using sensors to automatically adjust the vehicle’s aerodynamic features in real time. This can be useful in the different driving conditions that drivers face while out on the road, like high speeds or windy weather. Vehicle manufacturers are also advancing their vehicle designs; a relatively new technique they’re using to test aerodynamics in vehicles are virtual air tunnel simulations, where computer simulations model the aerodynamic performance of vehicles, this allows vehicle manufacturers to test and refine their designs without building physical prototypes. 3D printing is playing a huge role in the future of aerodynamics, because this technology can be used to create complex aerodynamic features or add-ons that would be difficult to manufacture using traditional methods.