06:32 PM

Lowering Weight Reduces Fuel Consumption

With fuel prices at record levels, reducing fuel consumption is an ongoing challenge for trailer manufacturers and their customers. Already proving effective on Great Dane trailers are several technologies that can measurably improve fuel economy.

On that list are lightweight design features, including aluminum components such as posts and crossmembers as well as composite materials such as doors, liners and floors. Aluminum wheels and hubs, and lighter weight brake drums and suspensions offered by Great Dane can also cut weight. Wide-base single tires in place of duals can lower a trailer's weight as well, while lower rolling resistance from these tires can also improve fuel economy.

Using lightweight components to reduce empty weight in a trailer is a direct path to improved fuel efficiency. Lighter trailers by design are also capable of carrying heavier payloads, and by boosting a fleet's utilization, are a means of reducing fuel consumption. At Great Dane, the recently redesigned Classic Truckload refrigerated trailer is a perfect example of how engineering and testing can trim excess weight to help save fuel without compromising strength and durability.

On the redesigned Classic Truckload, a bonded roof construction process is now employed to cut weight while maintaining optimal thermal efficiency. Also, now lighter as well as stronger is Great Dane's exclusive ThermoGuard thermoplastic liner. The reefer interior liner, while strong, durable and puncture-resistant, can save up to 200 additional lbs per trailer.

While cooling unit technology advancements present additional potential for improvement in reefer fuel efficiency, minimizing cooling losses from refrigeration units is also essential.

ThermoGuard, which employs a revolutionary multi-layer design, saves fuel by assisting in maintaining the thermal efficiency of the Classic Truckload and other refrigerated trailer models.

By helping maintain insulation performance over the life of the trailer, the cooling unit will not have to work as hard to make up for degrading insulation performance. This advantage helps maintain excess cooling capacity, saving fuel by lowering refrigeration unit run-time.

Lightweight components, designs like the Classic Truckload and innovative ideas like ThermoGuard are just some of the many ways that Great Dane continues to help its customers find cost effective ways to cut fuel consumption.