Skirting Harm's Way
The new shape of Laydon Composites Ltd. TRAILERSKIRT W averts road damage
Anything but meek and tired, the new TRAILERSKIRT W from Laydon Composites Ltd. (LCL) breathes bold functionality and common sense into an old skirt fashion.
Ingenious in its design, this trailer aerodynamic device, both California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant and EPA SmartWay approved, mounts in the center of the underside of Great Dane dry van and refrigerated trailers, unlike two-sided skirts that sit exposed to road elements. The single piece wishbone shaped fairing is fitted in front of the slider where it is less susceptible to damage.
With the TRAILERSKIRT W, the center-mounted panel is independent of the rear deflector and will bend in either direction, always returning to the center position. The design employs stainless steel and zinc-plated hardware, including an injection-molded clamp and flexible spring to allow the panel to bend, flex and absorb impacts. Using newly redesigned mounting struts the panel is placed so it will not be contacted by the slider in its most forward position, or interfere with fuel tanks on refrigerated trailers or spare tire carriers.
TRAILERSKIRT W is made from a Crane Composites panel that uses a woven thermoset composite for strength and durability, and weighs just 129 lbs. Two technicians can install the aerodynamic device in less than one hour, cutting downtime and proving that TRAILERSKIRT W is more than just fashion forward, but a practical solution to the wear and tear of the road.
In response to fleet concerns about complexity, damage potential, and SmartWay and CARB compliance, according to the company, LCL took a new approach when designing TRAILERSKIRT W. Goals included meeting the five percent minimum fuel savings requirement for compliance and delivering the lowest installed weight and cost of any EPA or CARB certified device. CARB rules mandate trailer aerodynamics on all 2011 model year 53-ft trailers and a phase-in period for retrofitting older vehicles.