Potsdam’s LaValle Transportation to save up to 6.5 percent on fuel using device developed with Clarkson
Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 7:41 am

POTSDAM -- LaValle Transportation's fleet of semi-trailers will soon be sporting TrailerTails, a device developed with Clarkson University that can achieve fuel savings of 6.5 percent.

Andrew Smith, CEO of ATDynamics, says the extensions his company makes extends four feet from the end of a trailer. Davis says the device also reduces spray in wet weather improving visibility for all drivers.

LaValle Transportation, based on Madrid Avenue, is retrofitting trailers to accommodate the TrailerTails.

ATDynamics says fleets with their technology can save hundreds of thousands of dollars of fuel savings in advance of new trucking industry fuel efficiency standards announced by the federal government in October of this year.

The company says it has pioneered the use of rear aerodynamic fairings for trailers as part of an industry-wide emphasis on greater fuel efficiency. The TrailerTail has been proven in SAE J1321 third-party testing to reduce fuel consumption of tractor-trailers by 6.6 percent at 65 mph, the company says.

“As a tractor-trailer moves down the highway, the large flat back surface of the trailer creates a large area of low-pressure suction that pulls back on the trailer,” said Dr. Ken Visser, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems at Clarkson University in Potsdam.

“For the U.S. trucking industry, tails on trailers will reduce the oil burned to overcome this suction drag by billions of gallons,” Visser says. “After a decade of tractor-trailer aerodynamics research, I am thrilled that Santa has the option to deliver presents more efficiently in trailers with tails.”

The TrailerTails installed by LaValle Transportation are part of an ongoing research and development project between Clarkson University and ATDynamics, Inc. which is partially funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.