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September 12, 2021 6:15 PM, EDT

FlowBelow Leverages Aerodynamic Innovation for Sustainability

FlowBelow wheel covers on a truck FlowBelow has a target of saving 500 million gallons of fuel over the next 10 years. (FlowBelow)

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CLEVELAND — FlowBelow highlighted recent developments from testing to new products Sept. 12 as part of its mission to make a more sustainable planet.

The fuel-saving and aerodynamic semitruck kits developer made the presentation at American Trucking Associations’ 2021 Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

FlowBelow hopes to save 500 million gallons of fuel over the next 10 years.

“Our purpose is to positively impact people’s lives and the sustainability of the planet through aerodynamic innovation,” said David Black, vice president of fleet sales at FlowBelow. “In order to achieve that goal that we have, we know we’ve got to innovate and bring out new and exciting aerodynamic products.”

The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit is the primary product produced by the company and its main fuel-saving technology on the market. Black noted that in order to achieve the goals his company is aiming for, it will have to sell more of them in the near-term before the subsequent innovations.

“I want to also hit on a few improvements we’ve made in the past few years,” Black said. “We’re always trying to take costs out of the product. We know we have to get more fairing kits on the road if we have a prayer of meeting 500 million gallons of fuel saved by 2030. So our engineering team continues to work on improvements.”

FlowBelow said the two major upgrades it introduced this year were aluminum center fairing receptors and aluminum rear hangers. He noted the aluminum makes them lightweight and less prone to corrosion than standard painted steel. The center fairing receptors are available for new Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks. Both are divisions of Paccar Inc.

“We ran several of our products on track tests in late December,” Black said. “Our wheel covers saved significant fuel at 0.93% on tractors and 0.81% on trailers. The tests were done using Freightliner day cabs with FlowBelow wheel covers and trailer skirts. The results showed that fleets can save 2.61 gallons on every 1,000 miles driven.”

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Black added that the average truck runs 100,000 miles per year and pays $3 a gallon. The cost savings based on the track test would mean that the average truck would save $780 per year with the same setup.

“This data has caused a number of fleets to not only begin spec’ing more wheel covers, they’re adding them to their trailers as well,” Black said. “Tractor covers are a proven, durable, reliable and popular product, and we anticipate similar results for our trailer wheel covers in the coming years.”

Daimler Trucks North America began including the wheel covers as a standard option included on every newly spec’d Freightliner Cascadia in January. Navistar made the wheel cover standard on model year 2022 for its International LT and RH models in June.

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