It may seem like a small product enhancement, but the “quick-release” option now available on FlowBelow’s Tractor AeroKit system could save fleets thousands of dollars.
Fleets that run the AeroKit with FlowBelow’s wheel covers can see a 2.23% savings in fuel usage. In fact, in the Run On Less event that just concluded last week in Atlanta, all seven of the vehicles were using a FlowBelow product. Collectively, those seven trucks – which were outfitted with a full array of aerodynamic products – achieved a 10.1 mpg average over 17 days of operating their normal routes.
However, fleets choosing to run the FlowBelow devices, which puts aerodynamic panels between the tractor’s rear tandem wheels, have been faced with another problem – they obstruct access to the tires and wheel end components. This is particularly troublesome for fleets that run in cold weather and must chain up in the winter, or technicians who need access to areas between the axles. FlowBelow’s announcement this week at the North American Commercial Vehicle show will alleviate those problems.
“With the exception of the Freightliner Cascadia with Aero package, which comes standard with our wheel covers, over 80% of our customers utilize the complete AeroKit as opposed to wheel covers alone,” explained Josh Butler, CEO and founder of FlowBelow. “Most fleets cannot even measure the fuel savings of wheel covers by themselves. By enhancing our AeroKit with quick-release fairings we are targeting customers that desperately want to achieve the maximum fuel savings possible without creating extra work for their mechanics and drivers.”
There are four quick-release fasteners on the center panel of the system – the panel between the tandem wheels – that quickly and easily release the panel in seconds, providing easy access to the tires.
Right now, the quick-release system is an available option; it can be retrofitted onto existing units.
The adoption rate of FlowBelow’s Tractor AeroKit has been steadily growing. Earlier this year, Kenworth announced it would be an available option on its T680 tractor and Peterbilt made it an option on the Model 579 in July. Freightliner installs the system as a standard item on its aero package at the factory for customers and just this month the 15,000th Cascadia with the system installed rolled off the assembly line.