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Transtex Trailer Aerodynamic Device Meets CARB Emissions Standards

Todd McGuire of Transtex touts the success of the Edge Topkit+. (Connor D. Wolf/Transport Topics)

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CLEVELAND — Transtex, a developer and manufacturer of trailer aerodynamic solutions, said it received preapproval for its Edge Topkit+, meeting California’s environmental standards.

The Edge Topkit+ is a redesign of the Edge Topkit, which reduces drag and requires no driver interaction for optimized trailer rear-end aerodynamics.

The company made the announcement Sept. 12 during American Trucking Associations’ 2021 Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

It talked about its trailer aerodynamic device and how it helps meet current and incoming California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards.

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“After a few years of research and testing, the Edge Topkit+ is now CARB Phase 2 Bin III preapproved,” said Todd McGuire, vice president of sales.

The product enables truck drivers and fleets to lower emissions and save on fuel.

“The success of the Edge Topkit+ didn’t happen overnight,” McGuire said. “Nothing of quality ever does. We first acquired the TopKit from SmartTruck back in 2019. And although it was a good performer, we wanted to make it better. We streamlined it to improve performance while keeping it lightweight, with zero moving parts.”

CARB implemented greenhouse emissions standards for trucks operating in the state in a series of rules known as Phase 1 and Phase 2. The agency is now preparing to implement stricter rules with Phase 3. The Edge Topkit+ approval means the agency sees the product as helping to meet those requirements.

“The Edge Topkit+ is also an alternative option for fleet managers who don’t want to add skirts or who can’t add skirts because they need access to the bottom of the trailer,” McGuire said. “Having a CARB Phase 2 Bin III preapproved device on a trailer is not just good at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, although that is important, but ultimately it’s about meeting compliance when traveling through California.”

McGuire added the product was driven by customer demands. He noted that customers were clear that a standalone rear aero device had to be CARB preapproved, it had to save a significant amount of fuel, reduce harmful emissions and always be deployed.

“I’m going to focus on the results of testing and who can benefit from the Edge Topkit+,” McGuire said. “We did our own rigorous testing, including computational fluid dynamics, as well as wind tunnel testing. And we also conducted road testing through Mesilla Valley Transportation Solutions.”

The third-party test vehicles were Hyundai 2020s with gross vehicle weight of 45,000 pounds. They were driven on a nine-mile circle track at 65 miles per hour. The Edge Topkit+ showed a 4.44% fuel savings improvement, or 511 gallons, for every hundred thousand miles traveled.

“Based on 125,000 annual miles, the savings equals 639 gallons per year with the Edge Topkit+,” McGuire said. “Doing a little math and taking the average retail price of gas in 2019 at $3.05 per gallon, that added up to $1,953 in fuel savings per year or an 8.6 months return on investment.”

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