Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Schneider National Expects Huge Fuel Savings From Innovation

Leads the Ways with Aerodynamic Wheel Covers
Shipping News Feature

USA – U.S. freight and logistics group Schneider National have announced that they are leading the industry by fitting Deflecktor Aero Wheel Covers to their entire tractor fleet. Once the covers are fitted to the entire 12,000+ strong fleet, Schneider National expects to be saving around 1.8 million gallons (8.17 million litres) of fuel per annum.

“The portion of the fleet already running with the Deflecktor is performing just as we expected,” noted Steve Duley, vice president of purchasing at Schneider National. “We spent over two years testing this device, and the results we got were consistently positive in regard to fuel savings: almost 1 percent per tractor. We’re pleased – yet not surprised – to see the same results now as we expand to the rest of the fleet.”

Currently 1,500 of Schneider’s tractor units have been fitted with Deflecktor’s. Once the entire fleet is fitted with the new devices, which improves fuel efficiency by smoothing wheel contours and reducing drag, the company is considering running trials on its trailer fleet to see if even more savings can be made.

“The Deflecktor helps environmentally conscious truckload carriers like Schneider reduce fuel consumption and operate more efficiently,” said Jon Fleck, inventor of the Deflecktor. “Since the deep-inset wheel creates aerodynamic resistance when the tractor is in motion, I knew that smoothing wheel contours with a simple, lightweight device would reduce the overall coefficient of drag and thereby increase energy efficiency.”

Schneider claim to be the first in the industry to use aerodynamic wheel covers to save energy, which is consistent with the company’s old reputation as an industry leader in sustainable operations, with the company pioneering incentives to drivers for idle reduction and fuel management from as early as 1978.

Schneider National is also one of only two carriers to win the SmartWaySM Excellence Award for leadership in energy conservation and emission reduction practices every year since the award’s inception.

“Saving energy by harnessing the latest in technology is a hallmark of Schneider National, and the Deflecktor is a perfect example of that,” said Duley.

“We knew it was the right thing to do – both fiscally and environmentally. The fuel savings we generate will allow us to pay for the devices in just under one year, but more importantly, it’s enabling us to reduce our fuel consumption even more than before.”