NASHVILLE. FlowBelow Aero Inc. is now going to bring it’s a version of its Class 8 tractor tandem axle aerodynamic kit back to the trailer, with a package designed to be mounted directly to the trailer suspension in combination with wheel covers.

“We’re not looking to replace [aerodynamic] trail products like side skirts or undertray systems; our device will complement them,” Josh Butler, president of FlowBelow, explained to Fleet Owner during an interview last year at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual conference in Las Vegas. “Our ‘bread and butter’ is managing the airflow around the wheels.”

Unveiled here at the 2017 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting, FlowBelow’s new Trailer AeroKit system, which should be available for purchase later this year, uses wheel covers in combination with patented fairings in front, between, and behind trailer wheels. 

The wheel covers and fairings work together as a system to address the complex airflow around the trailer wheels and suspension, Butler explained, while “complementing” other trailer mounted aerodynamic devices such as trailer skirts and tails – thus boosting the potential fuel savings, depending on the combination of devices deployed. 

FlowBelow also introduced a new tractor-mounted AeroFender at TMC as well; a patented aerodynamic replacement for standard “non-aerodynamic” Class 8 tractor quarter fenders.

Installed in front of the forward-most drive wheels of single-axle and tandem-axle tractors, it helps to direct airflow past the tractor drive wheels, Butler noted.

He added that the AeroFender – which will also be made available later this year – can be used by itself, but a higher total fuel savings can be realized when used in combination with wheel covers, center tandem fairings, and rear tandem fairings on the tractor. The device also helps reduce splash and spray as well, Butler said.