FlowBelow adds trailer aerodynamic slider system

A rendering of the FlowBelow Trailer AeroSlider system, which smooths out airflow around trailer wheels.

As its Tractor AeroKit continues to gain acceptance – it is now installed at the factory by three truck OEMs – FlowBelow has continued to look for new ways to improve aerodynamic performance of tractor-trailer units.

This week at the American Trucking Association’s MCE 2017 show in Orlando, the company is introducing its trailer AeroSlider system. The product is in production and available for order.

The AeroSlider is similar to the company’s AeroKit in that it features a center fairing that fits between a trailer’s tandem wheels. Add wheel covers and aerodynamic mudflaps – CEO Josh Butler said a partnership on that front might be coming next year – and trailer skirting and fleets could see a 1.2% fuel efficiency improvement with the system, Butler said, noting that might be a conservative number.

Each of the components work together as a system to address the complex airflow around the trailer wheels and the wake behind the trailer, the company explained.

A second stage of the system will be available in 2018 and that could add an additional 0.8% to 1.8% fuel savings.

“We believe that we have found the most practical way to address the aerodynamics of the trailer tandem without sacrificing durability or accessibility,” Butler said. “Our plan to bring this patented technology to the market at large is to focus primarily on working directly with leading trailer OEMs and suspension suppliers to make this system effectively part of the trailer.”

Because the AeroSlider is attached directly to the suspension, it will move with the axles as fleets adjust wheel positioning.

Butler said FlowBelow should have major trailer OEM announcements around the product next year.

The company also announced the launch of its Elite Dealer Program. Dealers in the program will be able to offer all available options and configurations of FlowBelow products on new or used trucks sold as well as trucks already in service. Benefits to fleets and owner-operators include increased access to products and replacement parts, support from their existing dealer, and in some cases economic benefits such as a residual value when trading in trucks with FlowBelow technology already installed, the company said.

Truck dealer groups already participating in the Elite Dealer Program include Truck Country/Stoops, I-State Truck Center, and Border International.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.