Volvo Trucks says it recently made the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit, which includes a system of wheel covers and fairings designed to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, a factory-installed option starting in the second quarter of 2020.
“The aerodynamics of our trucks have a significant impact on fuel efficiency and our customers’ bottom line,” said Allison Athey, product marketing manager for Volvo Trucks North America. “The new FlowBelow package offers our customers an enhanced aerodynamic option, providing up to an additional 1% increase in fuel efficiency when combined with our most aerodynamic truck spec, including the Xceed fuel efficiency package, and a dry van with trailer skirts, further reducing environmental footprints.”
The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit is a complete system designed to minimize turbulence and improve aerodynamics by surrounding the drive wheels to better manage the air that moves around the tractor while in motion. The system consists of wheel covers, a center fairing between the wheels and a rear fairing behind the wheels. These pieces work together to maintain control of the airflow from end to end, keeping the air running along the side of the truck and around the wheels, Volvo said. The air is then funneled out when it reaches the back of the truck, jumping the gap between truck and trailer.
“Heavy-duty trucks experience a great deal of turbulence and drag due to their sheer size and speed at which they travel down the road,” said Josh Butler, president and founder of FlowBelow Aero. “The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit significantly decreases the impact of those factors, optimizing the surface along the side of the truck to make it more aerodynamic, leading to better fuel mileage and real savings for customers.”
The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit also provides a variety of styling options with wheel covers available in black, white and chrome, and fairings available in black and white, the company said. The wheel covers and fairings are both durable and flexible, enabling them to better withstand road conditions, debris and contaminants, while also providing easy access for drivers and mechanics.
Volvo Trucks said it will begin offering factory-installed FlowBelow wheel covers and fairings separately, as well as the full FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit included with its Xceed fuel efficiency package as a customer option for truck orders in 4x2, 6x2, and 6x4 axle configurations by the end of 2019.
The manufacturer will offer factory installation of the FlowBelow system for all VNL and VNR models starting in the second quarter of 2020.