Washington-based Gordon Trucking Inc. (GTI) will install 2,000 additional sets of Freight Wing Aeroflex trailer side skirts on its trailers, joining nearly 2,200 trailers already outfitted.

“Fleets are always looking for ways to control fuel costs, especially as fuel prices increase and fuel surcharge lags behind,” Kirk Altrichter, vice president of maintenance, said. “During our testing, we saw a 0.3 mpg improvement, and that gives GTI a payback of less than 18 months.”

Gordon, which runs 1,700 power units, began installing the side skirts on its trailers several years ago. With a diesel benchmark price of $3.80/gal., GTI will save approximately $2.2 million a year in fuel costs with the devices. If the fleet were completely outfitted, that number would rise to about $4.5 million per year, while saving more than 13,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Altrichter said Gordon expects a 10-year lifecycle for skirts, which the company began investigating seven years ago.

“Intuitively we saw the value in the Freight Wing concept and we were willing to work with them on testing,” he said. “The first prototype didn’t last long, but they took our input on improving the product’s durability. Eventually they came up with the Aeroflex, made of flexible automotive-grade plastic, that we feel really works well in our industry.”