I see many trucks and trailers with all of the available aerodynamic aids commercially as I travel the highways of our nation . The one observation I have made is that in many cases the aerodynamic devices are often mounted in a manner that does not take full advantage of the potential gains which could have been realized . It is imperative to have each aerodynamic addition line up with the one that comes before it . I have put together a little sample of how I had approached each aerodynamic addition on my Cascadia AeroX and 53 foot dry van trailer.

 Freightliner started the air flowing correctly at the very front of truck with the correct shape and the flexible AeroX air dam . The front of the mirrors along with many other details continues all the way to the back of the tractor.
Notice the filler piece that fills the gap between the chassis side skirts and the cab . These filler pieces stop the air from bleeding in between the skirts and the cab to keep the air flowing smoothly.
By having a tight trailer gap and a Nose Cone any disruption of the air flow is minimized . This is quickly realized as a benefit by how clean the rear facing surface of the cab remains after a rain storm due to the reduced vacuum in this critical area .
Not every piece is complicated . For example the top rubber piece of the quarter fenders is angled back at a 45 degree angle to reduce air drag . Is a item such as this big in the grand scheme of things ??? No it is not . But if this process is followed all the way through the truck and trailer it adds up rather quickly.
The Cascadia AeroX drive wheel fairings guide the air smoothly as far as the engineers at Freightliner can control. There is more items than I posted so far which make up the AeroX package , however this blog is more about making the trailer aero add on items work in conjuction with the tractor. The next items on my list is where it starts to get tricky when trying to win the battle against aerodynamic drag .
Take note to how the Fleet Engineers brand of trailer side skirts are mounted straight and are only tipped in enough to line up with the Cascadia AeroX wheel fairing . This mounting reduces the amount of turbulence that will be realized as the air flow transitions from the tractor to the trailer .

The cross members of the trailer are covered with Fleet Engineers protectors . This addition serves three purposes . 1- protects cross members from being bent from a failed tire tread . 2- smooths air flow from the turbulence created by the decidedly non aerodynamic I - beams . 3- Reduced rain spray .

If you look close behind the rear tire the flow thru Aero Flaps from Fleet Engineers is also visible. Take Note to how the mud flap is is properly lined up with the outside edge of the tire even though it has a flow thru design .

The aero package on my truck and trailer is completed at the rear of the trailer with Flow Below brand of wheel covers , Stemco Trailer Tail , repositioned license plate and the covering of the rain gutter on the top of the trailer .

The point I am trying to convey is to look at how each piece of this aero puzzle has been added to enhance the next piece . If the aerodynamic pieces had not been added properly they can even cancel out the benefits to be gained each of them . By careful planning the battle against aerodynamic drag can be won . After all we have enough battles to fight without picking a fight with the air !

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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