SemiTruck Upper Wheel Skirts
Wheel Skirt Shielding Upper Tire Sidewall: Pat. US 10,399,612
Following the logic presented for shielding the uppermost wheel to minimize vehicle drag, the same solution can be applied to the open wheels of semitruck tractors to minimize drag. US Patent US 10,399,612 discloses an embodiment of this related invention, shielding only the critical faster-moving uppermost portion of the wheel sidewalls on the tractor of a semitruck. Road tested in 2017, this invention was shown to save fuel.
First Fuel Economy Road Test of Upper Wheel Skirt Invention for Semitruck Tractors (Pecos, Texas in 2017).
Road tested twice in late 2017 in controlled tests in Pecos, Texas by Messilla Valley Transportation Solutions, a non-optimized prototype upper wheel skirt were shown to increase fuel efficiency for a fully load semi-truck (with trailer), averaging a measurable fraction of one percent real fuel savings. Properly configured, we expect fuel savings to reach more than a half percent savings in windy conditions, thereby offering substantial cost-effective fuel savings to transportation fleets that operate in windy areas of the country.
Confirmed trends demonstrated in bicycle testing for increasing effectiveness under higher headwind conditions, has also been confirmed in testing of our upper wheel deflectors for semitrucks. Even when facing relatively light headwinds, the fuel savings achieved was about double that measured against no headwinds in road testing in Pecos, Texas.
This further demonstrates that our upper wheel skirts indeed offer the potential to dramatically increase fuel efficiency against stronger headwinds. Thus, for fleets operating in the mid-western states where headwinds can be quite strong, our upper wheel skirts can become even more fuel efficient.