ATLANTA — FlowBelow Aero, a Texas-based manufacturer of tractor-mounted aerodynamic products, is offering new “quick-release” fairing option for the company’s flagship fuel-saving Tractor AeroKit system.
With this new feature, fleets that may have been resistant to using drive wheel fairings on their trucks for accessibility reasons now have a solution, according to FlowBelow CEO and founder Josh Butler, who added that the new quick-release mounting system allows drivers to remove the fairings easily in seconds and without tools when installing tire chains, for example.
FlowBelow was founded by mechanical and aerospace engineers. Its product development process includes advanced computational fluid dynamics modeling and extensive interaction with fleet mechanics and drivers to ensure the products provide utility, efficiency and profitability for fleets. The company has built a reputation for incorporating driver and mechanic feedback into the design of its products, Butler said.
“This was first evident in 2012 when FlowBelow launched its patented quick-release wheel covers, which allowed the wheel covers to be removed and reinstalled for inspection or maintenance in less than three seconds without any tools,” Butler said. “FlowBelow’s wheel cover design is now the most widely used aerodynamic wheel cover by major trucking fleets and truck manufacturers.”
The company’s flagship product, the Tractor AeroKit, was launched in 2013.
The Tractor AeroKit maximizes the aerodynamic performance of the company’s wheel covers by also controlling the airflow between the wheels and behind the wheels, Butler said.
Based on SAE fuel economy testing, the fairings have demonstrated a significant fuel savings of 2.23 percent in combination with wheel covers, which is over three times the fuel savings of wheel covers alone.
Butler said that taking a system approach, addressing the driver and mechanic concerns and offering greater fuel savings has been the key to their success.
“With the exception of the Freightliner Cascadia with Aero package, which comes standard with our wheel covers, over 80 percent of our customers utilize the complete AeroKit as opposed to wheel covers alone,” Butler said. “Most fleets cannot even measure the fuel savings of wheel covers by themselves. By enhancing our AeroKit with quick-release fairings we are targeting customers that desperately want achieve the maximum fuel savings possible without creating extra work for their mechanics and drivers.”
The system is available as a data book option or standard equipment through all Freightliner, Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers nationwide. For more information, visit flowbelow.com.