ATLANTA — Michelin North America is taking its research into fuel economy in the trucking industry one step beyond tires with the launch of the Michelin Energy Guard, a SmartWay-verified aerodynamic trailer solution kit.
Michelin claims using the Energy Guard kit — consisting of a resilient trailer skirt, trailer-end fairings, aerodynamic mud flaps and a wake reducer — on a 53-foot trailer can yield fuel savings at 65 mph of up to 7.4 percent.
While there are multiple aerodynamic kits available on the market, Michelin claims its integrated Energy Guard kit eliminates the need for "boat tails" or combining elements from various vendors.
Michelin is debuting the kit — along with a harsh-weather version of its X One wide-base single tire line — at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Atlanta.
The patent-pending Energy Guard kit features innovations such as a flexible skirt design that folds out of the way if it strikes an obstacle or debris. The kit's trailer-end fairings direct airflow to the back of the trailer, where a wake reducer minimizes the effect of the recirculation zone behind the trailer.