Mesilla Valley Transportation Solutions (MVTS), known for its innovative fuel-economy research and transportation-industry product-testing processes, recently tested FlowBelow tractor and trailer wheel covers as well as the Tractor AeroKit, finding each of these technologies provided significant fuel savings. FlowBelow offers a line of aerodynamic technologies that provide fuel-saving solutions for both tractor and trailer.
“FlowBelow aerodynamic technologies are well-proven. Our parent company fleet has acquired hundreds of millions of miles with the Tractor AeroKit and wheel covers,” said Daryl Bear, lead engineer and COO of MVTS. “This is the first time we 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, then the tractor wheel covers and, lastly, the Tractor AeroKit. Testing was conducted at 65 miles per hour on 2018 Freightliner Cascadia day cab models with 48-foot refrigerated trailers and a gross vehicle weight of 72,000 pounds.
The certified test results showed significant fuel savings for each of the FlowBelow technologies. The tractor wheel covers showed a savings of 1.38 gallons/1,000 miles, or 0.93 percent; the trailer wheel covers had a savings of 1.23 gallons/1,000 miles, or 0.81 percent; and the Tractor AeroKit had a fuel savings of 3.16 gallons/1,000 miles, or 2.13 percent.
“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,” said Bear. “However, the savings are very real and the 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 traveled annually and an average diesel fuel price of $3.056 per gallon.
About MVTS Solutions
MVT Solutions, a subsidiary of Mesilla Valley Transportation, provides fuel-economy testing based on race-car engineering. This high-tech methodology can obtain accuracy up to 0.25% and accounts for such variables as wind, driver behavior and duty cycle. With over 500 fuel-economy tests conducted to date, the company’s proven approach provides reliable and consistent data that enables trucking companies to make more informed choices and manufacturers to design and develop products backed by accurate fuel-efficiency information that customers trust. MVT Solutions also provides consulting services to fleets looking to implement the right fuel-savings technologies for their operations.