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ATDynamics unveils auto deploy system for TrailerTails

Aerodynamic drag is costing trucking companies $2-3 billion annually in unnecessary fuel expense, ATDynamics CEO Andrew Smith said Sunday as the company announced AutoDeploy that automatically opens a Trailer Tail on the back of a trailer. (Courtesy: ATDYNAMICS)

The Trucker News Services

10/21/2013

ORLANDO, Fla.  — ATDynamics, a Silicon Valley-based transportation technology company and a  global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics technology, Sunday revealed the launch of TrailerTail AutoDeploy systems.

“For over-the-road trucking fleets, who now have almost universally adopted aerodynamic trucks and skirted trailers, the single most important fuel efficiency upgrade is the integration of ATDynamics TrailerTail equipment to eliminate drag at the rear flat surface of the trailer,” Andrew Smith, ATDynamics CEO told reporters at a news conference at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition here.

“This aerodynamic drag is costing trucking companies $2-3 billion annually in unnecessary fuel expense,” Smith said. Standard TrailerTail systems seen on highways nationwide require minimal driver interaction.  The new TrailerTail AutoDeploy systems launched Sunday eliminate driver interaction with TrailerTail devices altogether and ensure maximum fuel efficiency for the industry, he added.

There are currently some 20,000 trailers nationwide equipped with TrailerTails, he said.

The TrailerTail AutoDeploy systems utilize a highly durable, low-cost, compact radar technology mounted under the semi-trailer to measure vehicle speed and automatically deploy TrailerTails when a tractor-trailer reaches a driving speed of 35 mph.

Once the 35 mph highway speed threshold is met, the TrailerTail deploys slowly, regulated by a swing-arm dampening device.  The AutoDeploy system ensures that fleets investing in rear-drag trailer aerodynamics equipment receive the fuel efficiency gains delivered by TrailerTail equipment for every highway mile driven.  

Also announced Sunday was the TrailerTail AutoAware system, which is similar to the AutoDeploy system with the addition of a driver notification light on the front left corner of the trailer.  The notification light is visible in a driver’s rear-view mirror and alerts the driver when a TrailerTail is deployed and the vehicle is moving in reverse.

“Our job is to listen to customers and make the most durable, simple-to-use and lowest cost trailer aerodynamics equipment in the industry,” said Court Hinricher, ATDynamics New Product Development Manager.  “Any concerns about driver interaction with TrailerTails or potential damage from rear-end collisions are eliminated with the AutoAware system.”

Both the AutoDeploy and AutoAware systems utilize automotive radar technology found in adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems. The driver notification light in the AutoAware system is similar to the alert lights commonly used by tire pressure inflation systems and trailer refrigeration units to notify drivers of significant air pressure loss to tires or temperature inconsistencies.

TrailerTail AutoDeploy systems are available on both new and used trailers and standard TrailerTails can be upgraded with AutoDeploy systems at any time.

ATDynamics also recently announced a new Deployment Sensor that is available to refrigerated trucking fleets operating satellite tracking systems that utilizes a modified door sensor to detect when a semi-trailer’s TrailerTail is properly deployed by a driver.

The new AutoDeploy sells for $349.

“Trucking is an asset based industry looking for ways to save money,” Smith said, adding that Trailer Tails are the lowest capital investment a carrier can make with respect to saving on fuel costs.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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