The square shape of a shipping container is ideally suited for it to be stuffed with large amounts of cargo and also betters their reuse as an eco friendly home. However, when doing the job they were actually built for, the square edges don’t really benefit truck operators as they simply aren’t aerodynamic and wind resistance doesn’t want to let something square slice through air easily.
While truck manufacturers are trying to better the aerodynamic credentials of their vehicles by adding curvy cowlings and wave-like fairings, the rear of a truck carrying a shipping container poses a great fuel economy challenge. Answering the issue, California-based ATDynamics has come up with TrailerTail – a box-kite-looking assembly of panels that can be permanently installed on an average shipping container in just an hour.
Core 77 states that costing about $2200 each, the TrailerTail unfurls and gives the rear-end of the cargo truck a more aerodynamic shape, letting it easily slice through the air and thereby saving about 6 percent of fuel in the process. While 6 percent doesn’t sound to be much, consider employing the design across the US big-rig trucking industry and you end up saving about 1.6 billion gallons of diesel and 14 million tons of CO2 annually.