DHL Exel Supply Chain and TK Maxx have teamed up with manufacturer Don Bur to design and develop an aerodynamic front bulkhead air deflector for double deck trailers, to help reduce fuel costs and carbon dioxide emissions, without lessening vehicle volume.
Trials undertaken last year showed that the air deflector can provide up to 3.5 per cent fuel savings and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20kg per daily trip (5.25 tonnes per vehicle per year).
The deflector has now been fitted to ten of TK Maxx’s new double deck trailers and will be retrofitted to the rest of its fleet throughout the year.
The streamlined shape of the air deflector, designed by Don-Bur, reduces the quantity of air being forced into the gap between the tractor and the trailer, minimizing turbulence and the resultant drag force on the vehicle.
Simon Barker, vice president Logistics at TK Maxx, said: “The integration of lifting double deck trailers into our fleet has already significantly reduced the number of road miles and deliveries to stores, due to the vehicles’ increased capacity, therefore we did not want to have to increase our fleet size again by introducing aerodynamic trailer designs that may have also reduced load capacity.
“Thanks to intelligent design innovation by DHL and Don-Bur the fuel savings will provide a payback within the first year – even after taking into account the cost of fitting and production for each trailer.”