With the typical semi-truck averaging just 6 miles per gallon (mpg), it is important to look for ways to improve fuel efficiency in any way possible. Aerodynamics can play a role in this. Making it easier for the truck to move against the force of air can help to reduce the amount of fuel needed to propel the truck forward. Equally important are the quality and condition of the commercial tires installed on your semi-truck and trailer.
Let’s take a closer look at how all this works.
While the overall design of the vehicle matters, there are four specific areas most impacted by aerodynamics:
There are two key types of aerodynamic drag:
Pressure drag occurs as air particles are compressed at the front of the vehicle and then spread out at the rear of it. It occurs as layers of air move away from the surface and create turbulent flow. Skin friction occurs when air particles in the layer nearest the surface collide with the surface of the truck, causing it to slow down. This has a minimal effect on the truck, but it can worsen in colder temperatures.
There are generally a few ways to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle to help improve overall efficiency. Here are some recommendations:
A few additional solutions to consider include the use of roof fairings, side fairings, and air dams. Some trucks may benefit from vortex generators and nose cones. Also, consider the impact of your commercial tires. If they are not in good condition, the roll resistance is too high. That means the truck needs more pressure to move against the air.
STTC offers 24/7 emergency road service as well as commercial tire service. If you need guidance on trailer repair that could improve fuel efficiency, contact us. Give us a call now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online.