A motorhome — particularly a Type A coach — pushes the air in front of it rather than slipping through it like a more aerodynamically designed Corvette. This column of air com-presses and becomes more difficult to push as the speed of the vehicle increases. In addition to pushing air, a motorhome also pulls along a column of air that has less pressure than the ambient pressure on each side or above the coach. This column of air acts like an anchor, requiring additional power to "pull the air along. Since more power requires more fuel, finding a way to eliminate this "drag' effect can reduce fuelconsumption.

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How I Improved My Mileage, While Towing

When we picked up our new trailer I was instantly aware that it was about 18” taller than my motor home. It was proof of some poor planning on my part but now we had to deal with it. The roof of the trailer stuck up above the roof line of the motor home and it was far enough back that it was going to catch a lot of wind. We towed with it for about three months without doing anything special. The Trailer Toad weight-bearing hitch moved the trailer back 24” and we had ordered the trailer with the longer tongue option (50” from trailer front wall to coupler). This longer distance let the air to come off the roof of the motor home and get between the coach and the trailer. This created a lot of wind resistance and robbed power due to the increased resistance. The end result was that the mileage was worse than we had expected.

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Albertville Minnesota. LongHaul Trucking is a medium sized fleet hauling high value specialty loads using flat bed trailers with Role-Tite™ covers. Mr. Bob Ward, Equipment Sales and Service Manager heard about Airtabs™ from some of his O/Os who had installed them. "They were all saying the same things about the Airtab® they saved fuel and stabilized their vehicles. They also noticed how the tarps behaved...much less flapping than normal. We investigated their claims and after a trial, the decision to buy was not difficult. LongHaul found that Airtabs™ perform exactly as claimed. They provide our drivers with a more stable and safer ride, better visibility in rain and an impressive 3% fuel savings when mounted on the tractor farings alone. We look forward to savings in the 4 to 5% range with all units equipped."

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Aerodynamics beat rising fuel costs
And improve stability and visibility

Specialist fleet operator Displayco is a designer and manufacturer of display and advertising materials that handles its own distribution via a fleet of seven rigid pan techs, mainly on the Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Brisbane routes. Their first trials of Airtabs in 2000, showed a fuel consumption improvement of 2.7% and that "was enough for me to make the decision to fit-out our fleet then and there," said Denis Walker, Managing Director. "But to be honest now that we've used Airtabs for some years, the big improvement in stability at highway speeds, the better rearward visibility in the wet and the cleaner tail lifts would have been good enough reasons themselves to take on Airtabs."

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Tilmech Mechanical Enterprises - A Typical Story

Small Operator Shows Savings by Using Innovative Aerodynamic Devices

Tilmech (Tilbury Mechanical Enterprises) has proven that use of Airtab® vortex generators can save money for long-haul highway fleets. Today, the company is saving more than $1,000 per year per vehicle in fuel and tire costs through the use of this newly introduced device. Aerodynamic drag has long been a target for fuel economy on trucks. Streamlined cabs and fairings have made improvements, but there is still the problem of the large flat area at the back of the vehicle and, for tractor trailer units, the gap between the tractor and trailer. The large area at the back of the vehicle is an area where the air has to rush in, creating a lot of drag and turbulence. The gap between the tractor and the trailer can also create drag when air swirls into this space. The drag from both areas takes engine power to overcome, and therefore fuel. Tilmech, located in Southern Ontario has a niche market in the automobile sector. All of it's driving is done on the 401, between Toronto and Tilbury. It has a small fleet and nearly identical load patterns.

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