1982 - Volume #6, Issue #6, Page #34[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Truck Of The Future
The FEV2000, an aerodynamically designed tractor-trailer, developed by the Fruehauf Corp., Detroit, Mich., features a new design that reportedly improves fuel economy 40%, increases cargo capacity 39% and reduces aerodynamic drag 57% compared to conventional tractor-trailer combinations.
Company officials say the FEV2000 is strictly an experimental vehicle designed to increase the cargo tons per gallon of fuel rate.
The experimental FEV2000 is 60 ft. long and 8 1/2 ft. wide. The trailer itself is 50 ft. long. The cab features a fiberglass fairing on top and a frontal air dam at the front bumper that cornbine to push air up and over the cab rather than underneath the trailer.
A 3 section aluminum "gap seal"between the cab and trailer closes at highway speeds, stopping crosswinds and turbulence between the cab and trailer. The gap seal opens up at slower speeds for turning.
Hanging from the sides of the trailer toward the ground are retractable aluminum sidewall skirts. They extend from behind the cab to the back of the trailer and reach to within 8 in. of the ground to reduce air flow under the trailer body. At slower speeds, these raise up out of the way.
The back of the trailer has a 5 ft. long "boattail" extension that narrows to 72 in. at the back of the trailer. This development streamlines the trailer and increases cargo capacity.
Mechanical drag is reduced by the following features: integral wheels for single tires at the back axles rather than duals; aluminum floor and crossbar in the trailer; aluminum upper coupler and rear frame.
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