As trucking fleets seek out ways to squeeze more miles out of every gallon of diesel fuel, there is no piece of equipment that should be overlooked. For example, Mesilla Valley Transportation Solutions is projecting to see a significant return on their investment in Eco Flaps aerodynamic splash guards. The splash guards are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program and are the only splash guard or mud flap product on the list of EPA SmartWay verified aerodynamic devices.
Mesilla Valley’s test was conducted at 65 mph on a 9-mile track in Texas, using two 2015 Navistar ProStar trucks and Great Dane dry van trailers. The fleet took numerous measures to ensure the accuracy of its study, including setting tire pressure in the morning prior to incurring any effect of daytime heat and configuring both vehicles to represent real-world trucks.
The BearMPG test method was used, which accounts for variables and their effect on fuel savings. The method uses a measurement of gal/1,000 miles rather than MPG because the latter is more prone to errors from changing variables.
Mesilla Valley found a savings of 0.99 gallons/1,000 miles and 0.77% on a modern Class 8 truck and 53-foot van trailer using the 24-inch guards fro Eco Flaps, compared with conventional flaps. In the real-world, that means a truck traveling 125,000 a year would save 123.75 gallons over 12 months. At $3 a gallon for diesel fuel, that equals $371.25.
The study also determined the fuel savings was 0.86 gallons/1,000 miles and 0.73% on the same truck and trailer with trailer skirts.
“It does not take a large investment in new electronics for fleets to realize major savings.
Eco Flaps definitely save fuel and can be considered a valid fuel saving options,” Mesilla Valley said. “Fuel savings from Eco Flaps were clear and precise.”
The key to Eco Flaps’ fuel saving benefits is the patented airflow design, which greatly reduces the drag and inefficiency a traditional mud flap normally would create. The size of the change of a conventional flap may be relatively small in comparison to the overall vehicle, but the improvement is a valuable one.
“The test proves that Eco Flaps save fuel and that savings can be expected in a carrier’s real-world, daily operations,” Mesilla Valley said.
THE FULL STUDY:
Click here to read more about the details of the Mesilla Valley fuel economy test featuring Eco Flaps aerodynamic splash guards.