Interesting new idea

Discussion in 'Questions To Truckers From The General Public' started by tehazsub, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. tehazsub

    tehazsub Bobtail Member

    Jan 26, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    I am a high school student working on a project involving class 8 trucks. The following is an article that i submitted for a newspaper. If you guys could please read it and give me any comments on the project it would be greatly appreciated.

    All across the world, gasoline and energy costs are dramatically skyrocketing. Gasoline is not just rising in price; it is vanishing from the Earth. Based on the current trend of fuel usage, by approximately 2088, all fossil fuels will be depleted. There are limited green energy alternatives to increase the mpg of the millions of existing vehicles.
    The Fuel Economists, participating in the siemens we can change the world challenge have set out to fix a large portion of the problem.
    Out of all the sources of pollution in the transportation industry, the trucking industry, specifically the class 8 trucks are, by far, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases of any vehicle on the road today. An average 18-wheeler truck can emit as much nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide as about 150 passenger cars in the same driving time. Their fuel economy is also extremely low, hovering around 6 miles per gallon. This low mileage quantifies the extreme environmental problem that the inefficient trucks pose.
    This low efficiency explains why these trucks release nearly 1000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. This huge output of carbon dioxide will not just cause global warming, it will also contribute to air pollution issues.
    In a recent observations that the team did, around the Massachusetts highways, they noticed that almost half of the trucks driving around did not use any form of aerodynamic implements, such as fairings. Through optimizing a truck’s aerodynamics by 100% a truck’s milage can increase by over 65%. Obviously, for some high schoolers, 100% optimization was not plausible, but they could do something.
    Though truck mirrors may seem very insignificant and petty, there is actually a great cause of drag on the un-aerodynamic ones. In fact, the truck mirrors can cause up to 6% of the trucks drag. The team sought out to design a more aerodynamic mirror for trucks, thus improving the fuel economy, and thus helping the environment.
    In their preliminary design, the team ran a CFD, to see how good the new design was. The result was astonishing. They reduced the drag force by over 60%! Soon they plan on testing it in a wind tunnel.

    Thank you
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  3. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    You've done some very good research but I believe you're dealing with old facts. Also it appears that you're striking the trucking industry from what we call a "Tree Hugger" stance. The trucking industry has made great leaps and bounds recently and they have found that ULSD ( ultra low sulfur diesel ) combined with new engines generate lot less emissions. But no matter how you look at it, trucking is the lesser of two evils. Using a non-renewable energy is foolish and down right stupid. But wherever you look cost and making money is always the underlying factor. I'm sure if there were no cost involved we'd all be driving a vehicle that is the cleanest we could build.

    Big oil companies have their hands tied now because of tight environmental laws. They just can not afford to build new cleaner refineries. If you look the last major work or new refinery built it has been over 25+ years ago. The changes they have made have been forced upon them and very costly. Now since the government has beat the fuel issue to death the are started to focus on trucks again. California is the leader in cleaner standards. For example if you were an O/O (owner operator) and hauling containers from the Port of Los Angeles you would be required to either update your engine or buy a new truck. (There's a long story behind that too). There was no grace period, they just shut the gates on your and you went out of business.

    The trucking manufactures have been for years working on better aerodynamics for the class 8 truck. Again it's a money problem and they chose with building a better engine to fit the new fuel that came out. In fact I have heard that CA is soon to require all truck trailers to have skirts behind the drive axles to the front of the trailers axles.

    So it's good to view this problem and by no means do I have the answers but look at it from both sides. Just remember there is NOTHING you see or use that at one time or another was hauled by truck. Feel free to PM me anytime because I'm retired now and do not mind the time.
    Ducks Thanks this.
  4. dirtyjerz

    dirtyjerz glowing beard pouty kid

    Jun 7, 2011
    Playing in Traffic
    One note on the sideskirts. They are not always practical. Flatbeds going in and out of job sites, ltl guys going into tight spots with steeps dock ramps, ect and those skirts would be ripped off in a heartbeat. I go to one place where the enterance to the store is so steep with the landing gear all the way up they miss scraping by about an inch.
  5. Saddletramp1200

    Saddletramp1200 Road Train Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Houston Texas,USA
    Hi, my first thoughts were Go get it Yourself. My truck gets about 7.8 mpg on average. We haul a tremendous weight. 40 Tons. Takes a lot of fuel to get that moving. Little to keep it that way.
    Trains claim they can move xxx Tons of freight xxx miles on one gallon of fuel. I seldom see rail road tracks next to your local food market. We always welcome new ideas! Got one, bring it to life. We will run out of oil, the good part, I will already be worm food.
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