Now Bringing True Aerodynamic Innovation to the Trucking Industry!
NULL WINDS Technology is now bringing our patented method for minimizing vehicle drag to the trucking industry. New Upper Wheel Deflector panels shield only the most critical uppermost portion of the rear wheel on LTL trucks and semitrailers to simply save fuel. And class 6 box truck drivers are even reporting a noticeably smoother and faster pull up familiar hills.
Surprisingly, as taught by our numerous patents, all open-wheeled vehicles (like most LTL cargo trucks) needlessly waste fuel. Exposing the much faster forward-moving uppermost portion of the wheel directly to oncoming headwinds simply wastes fuel. Instead, only the very top portion of the wheel should be shielded from headwinds, since the lower wheel very easily pushes any headwind aside (like bumps in the road).
Being exposed to wind speeds often exceeding twice the vehicle speed, this critical drag-inducing top portion of the wheel dissipates far more energy in drag (typically more than 8X) than is commonly understood. And it must be shielded from oncoming headwinds in order to actually minimize vehicle drag from exposed wheels.
However, many vehicles already shielding lower portions of the wheel also waste fuel, since in order to actually minimize vehicle drag lower wheel portions should actually remain exposed to headwinds. The lower wheel actually pushes air out of the way quite easily.
(Think of rolling against lower-wheel headwinds being almost equivalent and as easy as rolling over bumps in the road. So it is only logical to allow the lower-wheel surfaces to divert any headwinds, instead of placing a vehicle body panel in front of the lower wheel to plow the air out of the way to create substantial vehicle drag. The body panel is effectively attached directly to the axle, and therefore has no inherent mechanical advantage over lower wheel surfaces, which actually push air out of the way far more easily.)
Since the lower wheel more easily diverts headwinds than any faster-moving fairing panel attached to the vehicle frame, the highly drag-advantaged lower wheel portions should remain exposed to oncoming headwinds. (Yes, Formula One and IndyCar actually have it backwards on the front wheel. But they must 'look' fast, and so are not actually interested in more fuel efficiency.)
Recognizing the significance of these non-obvious mechanical drag-effects on open-wheeled vehicles has yielded numerous patents since 2017 (more than 20 issued to date), including the very first utility patent issued for a simple upper wheel fender (AERODEFENDER), as well our Upper Wheel Deflector Panel, Inner Wheel Skirt, Upper Wheel Side Skirt and Laterally Inset Trailer Skirt inventions.
Slanted outward at a 45° angle directly in front of the rear wheel on class 6 box trucks or semitrailers, our simple economical Upper Wheel Deflector panels divert headwinds to flow laterally to the outside and around the much faster upper wheel surfaces that move forward directly against oncoming headwinds at up to twice the vehicle speed.
Extensive road testing has shown that lowering the panel wind-shielding surfaces to extend even slightly below this critical uppermost portion of the wheel quickly becomes counterproductive, largely eliminating most of the fuel saving potential of our optimally sized deflector panels.
Summary demonstration Video: Typical side-by-side Triathlon bike downhill coasting test yields 7 second advantage in a single kilometer. Demonstrates the potential for dramatic gains in fuel efficiency under windy conditions by minimally shielding only the upper wheel.
So don't wait to check out our innovative products for your fleet. Introductory pricing will not last. Drivers, please forward our summary flyer to your fleet manager. A few featured products are listed immediately below.
And interested engineers might want to check out our detailed Aero Technology Discussions, explaining the physics of this surprisingly simple technology. Inspired by our Southern California aerospace background (control systems engineering at Raytheon), this upper wheel-shielding technology becomes increasingly effective either when facing punishing headwinds in windy conditions or at higher vehicle speeds (or both).