Laydon Composites Ltd., (LCL) the oldest truck and trailer aerodynamic device manufacturer in North America, has successfully certified two additional trailer fairings to comply with EPA/California Air Resources Board requirements under California’s rule AB32. This greenhouse-gas rule, which requires new 53 foot van trailers to be fitted with aero devices that reduce fuel consumption by a minimum 4 percent for refrigerated vans and 5 percent for dry vans, went into effect Jan. 1, and cover any trailer that is designated a 2011 model year.
These TrailerSkirts include Laydon’s new Hybrid and the seven-panel Classic version. This brings to a total of five LCL aero devices that have been certified to comply with the rule. Of these, three are for dry vans and the other two for refrigerated trailers. The five products include four trailer skirt offerings and one tractor-trailer gap fairing, offering fleets different opportunities for meeting the provisions of the California regulation.
With its range of trailer side fairings fully certified, LCL has a stand-alone solution for all types of vans and reefers subject to AB32 for new trailers and for phase-in of further regulation for existing trailers in future. Additionally, fleets with older trailers not subject to the current greenhouse-gas rule, LCL aerodynamic devices provide superior fuel economies for quick payback while providing a fleet evidence of its greening effort.
Older van trailers that are going to run in California post 2013 will have to comply with AB32. Meaning, fleets will have to retrofit to comply. Laydon has the CARB-compliant answers for these fleets in the future.
The fairings are available on new trailer orders so that fleets are in compliance with their 2011 model-year trailers. LCL president Brian Layfield says that trailer customers should verify the performance of the aerodynamic devices being offered. “It is essential that the fairings be EPA SmartWay approved to deliver the level of fuel economies required under the regulation,” he said. “At LCL we use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to design the optimum shapes, clearances, profiles and surface finishes complete with full-scale and 1/8th scale wind-tunnel testing. Then we verify that the computer models deliver the real-world savings we anticipate using SAE Type 2 tests, usually at the Goodyear proving grounds.
“But there’s more to it than that,” says Layfield. “The decades of experience we have with aerodynamic devices have shown us that whatever the device, whether on the tractor or trailer, it has to survive in real world conditions. Our trailer side skirts are made from automotive/tractor-grade plastic for long life in all temperature ranges. The material offers a low coefficient of expansion and contraction so it doesn’t matter whether trailers operate in Alaska or California, the skirts are highly durable.
“We also choose a material with a good UV package for color retention, offering standard gray or white. More importantly, the side skirts are the most resistant in the industry to curbing or railroad-track damage. The full-flex struts made from Exxon Santoprene allow up to 90 degree bending of the panels over obstructions and a full, totally undamaged return to the original shape and position after deflection even in cold-weather situations.”
Older van trailers that are going to run in California post 2013 will have to comply with AB32. Fleets will have to retrofit to comply with the new regulations over time. LCL has the CARB-compliant answers for these fleets in the future.
Brian Layfield’s long experience with aerodynamic devices extends back to the tractor roof fairings that were pioneered by UPS back in the early ’80s. These were created by Rudkin-Wiley (Airshield) where he was president. Soon tractor manufacturers were offering aero packages that competed with the aftermarket products and the Kenworth T600A launched in 1985 that started the aero buzz. Not known by many, but a trailer side skirt developed by Layfield has been running for more than 16 years and has accumulated over a million miles before the unit was retired.
Many fleets, dealers and drivers were skeptical of early aerodynamic tractors. However they all use, sell and drive them today. Layfield says aerodynamic trailers will be as commonplace in a few years.
LCL was formed in 1994 to produce the first-ever composite side skirt and today is a major supplier to Class 8 truck manufacturers, medium duty import truck chassis and trailer manufacturers. Fully ISO 9001/2008 compliance, whether purchasing new on a trailer or retrofitting, fleets are assured of the product quality and supplier reliability. For more information go t www.laydoncomp.com.
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