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Aerodynamic Drag and How it Affects Commercial Tires

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Aerodynamic Drag and How it Affects Commercial Tires

Imagine walking on a smooth, paved surface versus walking through water. It’s harder to walk through water because the fluidity creates more resistance. This force is called drag.  Drag is one aspect of aerodynamics, the study of how an object moves through its surroundings. When you’re driving a commercial vehicle, drag is the force that pushes back when you’re on the road. When there is a lot of drag, say from headwinds, it takes more energy to keep the truck at the desired speed. Reducing drag improves fuel efficiency and can contribute towards helping your commercial tires last longer. 


Aerodynamic Truck Features 

Trucks are not typically known for being aerodynamically designed. They’re boxy and bulky, much different than a sleek racer that is designed for speed. Incorporating aerodynamic features on your truck can deliver significant ROI. Changing the surface of the truck to make the air flow more smoothly around the truck will save fuel costs. Fairings, air dams, vortex generators, nose cones, and gap reducers, all work to change a truck’s shape so that air flows more smoothly around the truck for better fuel usage when on the road. 


How the Condition of Commercial Tires Impacts Drag

Tires are the only item on the truck that touch the road, making them another contributing factor for drag. New tires, with good tread, move across the surface of the road easier than tires that aren’t balanced or have uneven tread. The materials that a tire is made of can also impact drag. Low rolling resistance (LRR) commercial tires are designed to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency. LRR tires can be retreaded for use in drive or trailer positions, and you can enjoy more savings by reusing tire casings. Tires that are properly inflated have less drag. Your drivers should be checking tire pressure before each trip. 


Drag Impacts How a Truck Handles 

Reducing drag impacts fuel efficiency, but it also has other benefits. Less drag makes a truck handle better and safer. Aerodynamic features that reduce airflow around the truck mitigate the effects of strong headwinds or crosswinds that can cause the truck to sway or skid. Design elements that manage airflow through the truck can also reduce drag on the truck, improving how a truck rides on the road and how it stops. Because each aerodynamic truck uses less fuel, it reduces your carbon footprint. Reducing drag across a fleet of trucks can directly impact your bottom line by using less fuel, but don’t forget that you’re also increasing driver safety and decreasing emissions in the environment. 


STTC – Your Partner in Commercial Tires 

The STTC team of commercial tire experts can help your fleet find the lowest cost-per-mile tires with aerodynamic features, retread tires, and tire asset management programs. We have a vast network of mobile tire service providers to take care of all your tire needs, no matter where your trucks are located. Ask us to help you find solutions to all kinds of tire problems.   


Give us a call now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online to learn more about our installation, repair, and maintenance services for commercial tires.

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