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March 29, 2010 2:30 PM, EDT

Fleets Install Aerodynamic Truck, Trailer Parts

Two fleets said they are installing equipment intended to reduce drag and cut fuel consumption.

Truckload carrier Schneider National Inc., Green Bay, Wis., said it is installing aerodynamic wheel coverings on the drive positions of its 12,000 tractors.

Schneider so far has fitted 1,500 trucks with the wheel coverings, which are made by A de F Ltd., St. Paul, Minn., The wheel covering is made of fabric and is laid on top of wheel wells to reduce air drag.

Schneider said that the wheel coverings will cut fuel consumption by about 1% and estimated that the company would reduce its consumption by about 1.8 million gallons a year.

Meanwhile, a smaller fleet, Spirit Truck Lines of San Juan, Texas, said it ordered 300 trailers with Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co.’s newest trailer side skirts.

The Utility Side Skirt 160 will cut Spirit Truck Lines’ fuel consumption by 5%, the companies estimate.