According to Airflow Truck Company, “Saving fuel is the new going fast.”
I tend to agree with them. All speeding ever got me was a bunch of tickets and a fast lane to a traffic class. Conserving gas does nothing but save you money and help the environment. It is win-win! The problem is, vehicles with these new fuel efficient engines tend to be a bit pricey and don’t have the proven track record of other popular engines and cab designs. That doesn’t mean they are not assembled from quality components. The Airflow Truck Prototype uses a modified Cummins ISX engine fitted with a Horton fan system in a custom engine housing. All of the connectors are custom fabricated, including the unique hood design. There is a very interesting writeup of how the truck was created here. Make sure to check it out, there are plenty of pictures.
During the truck’s inaugural paid run it was able to achieve 13.4 miles per gallon. This was over the duration of the entire trip while facing a headwind for the better portion of the haul. The shape and ultra efficient hybrid air system were responsible for most of the savings. This sort of news can really energize the fuel efficiency model for future semi trucks. Gas is the biggest expense for owner operators and the more they can save the more they can pocket and reinvest into their fleets. What really surprises me about this vehicle is it is not a hybrid. It is just streamlining existing engine components and materials. The hood is made of foam and fiberglass, the engine Cummins, the alternator Delco Remy, and the wheels are Alcoa. These are all brands any truck operator would recognize in a heartbeat.
Fuel saving can be accomplished in other ways than building a prototype vehicle from the ground up. There are high flow Peterbilt exhaust manifolds, intelligent route truck gps systems, and trailer skirts and extensions. Some people say the skirts turn your truck into a kite but we can hopefully assume this is a gross exaggeration. There is always going to be show trucks and luxury rides that won’t care about anything but speed, style and power but for the more frugal customers it is refreshing to see such a huge stride in fuel efficiency without the use of a hybrid or natural gas engine. Apparently they need investors too, so here is your chance to get in on the ground floor of the next major make of truck.