Removing the fender or hood-mounted mirrors, grille guards, bug deflectors, sunshades, quarter fenders, and other features in the main air flow can lower resistance while the truck is in motion. Each individual part can have a minor effect on drag and fuel economy; combined, they can add up to reduced fuel efficiency by as much as a few percent. Each 1% in fuel efficiency can be up to $700 in annual fuel savings, decreasing the value of these add-on parts and making them good candidates for removal.
For more information on the effectiveness of removing parts, we recommend contacting your tractor builder.
Due to lower drag
If a fleet removes mirrors, it is harder for the driver to see cars, and other vehicles on the road. alongside the tractor-trailer. Collision avoidance “radar”-based systems can replace mirrors and lower drag and fuel expense.
“We continue to update our fleet with more fuel efficient post-2014 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission compliant engines, install aerodynamic devices on our tractors, and equip our trailers with trailer blades, which all lead to meaningful improvement in fuel efficiency.” — Knight Transportation
“Appearance and detail of our equipment means a lot to our drivers. Drive wheel fairings don’t just save us money, but our drivers like them too.” — Brad Pinchuk, Hirschbach
“Sleeper tractor aerodynamics have been finely tuned by all OEMs. Eliminating various features can add 10% to a fleet’s fuel expense,” — Chief engineer at a major truck builder.
The Confidence Matrix has been issued to help fleets make decisions about tractor aerodynamic devices.