How is it that the DOE and Volvo poured resources into research and development of SuperTrucks but did not bother to (as far as I can tell, though I am not done looking into this yet) include improved underride protection as a goal of this project?!
- http://www.truckinginfo.com/ channel/fuel-smarts/news/ story/2016/09/volvo-s- supertruck-exceeds-epa- freight-efficiency-goals.aspx
- I have not been able to get Wabash to return my communications. I am trying to find out if they did any crash testing with their full-length skirts or what material it is made out of: http://news. wabashnational.com/wabash- national-demonstrates- concepts-for-next-generation- aerodynamic-solutions-on- navistars-supertruck
- DOE’s Navistar : http://www.truckinginfo.com/ news/story/2016/09/navistar- supertruck-beats-doe- efficiency-goals-hits-13-mpg. aspx
- Aerodynamic improvements that reduce the trailer’s drag coefficient by more than 30%. The vehicle is part of the DOE’s SuperTruck program – a five-year research and development initiative aimed at improving freight efficiency, based in the measure of the payload carried while burning less fuel.
Its objective is to develop and demonstrate a 50% improvement in overall freight efficiency on a Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle as measured in ton-miles per gallon of diesel fuel.
Could they not have combined resources with DOT to accomplish such a thing?
Again, cost-savings over life-savings.
Can we use the potential fuel efficiency cost-savings of side guards advantageously to win the cost/benefit analysis battle?
Super Truck II is announced! Let’s get DOT to be involved with this project! $20,000 fuel savings/year could go to safety research!!!!!!!!!!!!
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was present for the unveiling of Volvo’s SuperTruck concept/demo rig in Washington, D.C. Here’s what he had to say about reaching the DOE’s next step in the fuel economy/freight efficiency project: SuperTruck II. http://www.truckinginfo. com/video/detail/2016/09/on- the-spot-reaching-for- supertruck-ii-video.aspx
More information on this SuperTruck project and random frustrated reactions:
$20 million in federal funding for the Super Truck II project and we can’t get diddly for side guard research?!?!?!!?!
Volvo Group said its team of researchers and engineers will use alternative engine designs and an integrated system approach to build a lightweight tractor-trailer concept that will exceed the freight efficiency goal of 100% improvement on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis compared to a 2009 baseline. The team is also tasked with demonstrating powertrain capable of 55% brake thermal efficiency. Volvo Group and its partners will match the development funds dollar-for-dollar.
To achieve these goals, the company plans to leverage its experience in vehicle development along with established partnerships with advanced technology and trailer equipment vendors.
Those partners include Michelin Americas Research Company for tires, Wabash National for trailers, Metalso for lightweight frames, Johnson-Matthey for exhaust aftertreatment systems, and Peloton Technology for platooning and connected vehicle tech. . .
Daimler Trucks North America will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination using a suite of technologies including active aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, hybridization, and the electrification of accessories. . .
For more information on the DOE’s alternative fuel technology investment, click here. https://energy.gov/eere/
Yet more disturbing information:
This gives links to multiple articles on the SuperTruck project: http://www.
Trailer aerodynamics have become increasingly important in recent years as truck operators see that they can save fuel money. They’re so important that the federal government is paying several teams of truck and trailer makers to design concept rigs that show what’s possible in this area of science.
As far back as the 1980s I’ve written about various types of trailer aero fairings, from Nose Cones to TrailerTails and many brands of skirts and other appendages in between.
Here’s one I don’t recall writing about, at least not lately: the UnderTray and other products from SmartTruck. The company has posted a YouTube video depicting a tractor-trailer moving through the air at highway speed, with streamlines showing how the devices smooth air flow over the vehicle. Check it out here.
Also note the Diffuser, SmartTruck’s device mounted ahead of the rear underride guard that redirects air away from its vertical and horizontal members. These otherwise grab at the air and create drag. (Old timers still call this the “ICC bumper” because the old Interstate Commerce Commission required them, something I definitely don’t recall being a fact, but it’s part of trucking vocabulary.)
The trailer portion of Freightliner’s SuperTruck of course got large panels that improve air flow around corners, deep skirts to keep air away from the Strick van’s undercarriage and tandem, and a boat tail similar to a Trailer Tail, but home-made. One would expect all of those.
What?!?!?!?!?!?! All of this government money going into research & development for fuel savings but not a word or project related to underride protection/SAFETY?!