LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Mesilla Valley Transportation Solutions (MVTS) recently tested FlowBelow tractor and trailer wheel covers and the Tractor AeroKit and reported that each of these technologies provide significant fuel savings.
“Our parent company fleet has acquired hundreds of millions of miles with the Tractor AeroKit and wheel covers,” said Daryl Bear, lead engineer and chief operating officer of MVTS. “This is the first time we at MVT Solutions have tested the wheel covers separately, and the savings proved to be very appealing.”
MVTS conducted sequential tests on the FlowBelow technologies, starting with the trailer wheel covers, followed by the tractor wheel covers and last, the Tractor AeroKit. Testing was conducted at 65 mph using 2018 Freightliner Cascadia day cab models hauling 48-foot refrigerated trailers, with a gross vehicle weight of 72,000 pounds.
The certified test results showed marked fuel savings for each of the FlowBelow technologies. The FlowBelow tractor wheel covers showed a savings of 1.38 gallons/1,000 miles (0.93%); the trailer wheel covers had a savings of 1.23 gallons/1,000 miles (0.81%); and the Tractor AeroKit resulted in a fuel savings of 3.16 gallons/1,000 miles (2.13%).
“The trucking industry has traditionally underestimated the benefit of aerodynamic wheel covers due to their fuel savings being difficult to measure with other test methods or in-service testing,” Bear said. “However, the savings are very real, and the return on investment (ROI) is often quite fast, especially on the tractor that is not affected by the trailer-to-tractor ratio.”
MVTS calculated that the use of FlowBelow’s tractor wheel covers would result in 173 gallons of fuel saved annually, which would equal $529 in fuel savings each year. The fuel savings for the trailer wheel covers equated to 154 gallons annually, calculating to $470 saved in fuel costs. FlowBelow’s AeroKit showed even more significant fuel savings, resulting in 395 gallons and $1,207 saved annually. Calculations were based on 125,000 miles travelled annually and an average diesel fuel price of $3.056 per gallon.
To review full versions of MVTS’s FlowBelow test reports, click here.