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October 31, 2019 10:15 AM, EDT

Rocketail Tweaks Aerodynamic Trailer Wings With Hinge

Bren Marshell Bren Marshell by Anneliese Mahoney/Transport Topics

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ATLANTA — Rocketail announced it will be making its two side wings, attached to improve a trailer’s aerodynamic flow, flexible upon contact.

Bren Marshell, vice president of sales for Rocketail, said the new “Contact Response Hinge” was devised after Rocketail’s initial offering in the spring of 2019. Marshell spoke to reporters Oct. 30 at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show.

Rocketail of San Diego manufactures an aerodynamic system for reducing rear drag on trailers. The system comprises three components, which include two side wings attached to the rear corner posts of dry vans and reefer trailers, and a top element attached at the top rear of the trailer.

Marshell has previously told Transport Topics that the system is verified by a third party to save 3.36% of fuel.

Marshell said the company soon realized that a fixed wing hinge did not close. Many carriers needed to close the wings for various reasons, Marshell said, including when they had to secure high-value loads, or when they backed trailers up to buildings or other parked trailers, or backed into certain docks lacking the necessary space required by the deployed wings.

“Therefore, the engineering team designed a new dynamic hinge that immediately responds to any form of contact to the surface of the wings,” Marshell told reporters. “When you pull away, they immediately redeploy.”

Marshell said if carriers back into another trailer, dock door, or any other surface, the wings collapse against the trailer. Marshell said the automatic component of the wing hinge was important, as fleets did not want their drivers constantly adjusting the wings.

Marshell said the system adjusts the wings each time the doors are opened, allowing the doors to swing up to 270 degrees without being blocked.

Marshell said Rocketail has so far taken about 16,000 orders for 2020. The company has a “few thousand” deployed on fleet trailers now, he said.

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