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Aerodynamic Mud Flaps That Reduce Drag and Improve Fuel Efficiency

When you think about semi-truck technology designed to improve fuel efficiency, the last thing you'd guess is that a mud flap could do the job. The truth is, however, one company has created a product called Eco Flaps that not only improves fuel efficiency by reducing drag, but it also improves visibility and they have been designed to last longer than their conventional counterparts. This is a big step forward for the trucking industry, and it's garnered the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an eco-friendly innovation.

Design Is Key

Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of semi-truck fuel consumption understands that aerodynamically designed features help reduce drag. This reduction leads to a decrease in the amount of fuel the truck consumes, effectively increasing the MPG rating, and reducing costs for the company. According to experts, when a truck is traveling at 45 MPH, or faster, wind resistance and drag make up a third of the vehicle's fuel consumption. When solid mud flaps are used, they contribute around 8% of this figure. That's a substantial number. However, due to the design of Eco Flaps, they reduced resistance and drag and channel the air more efficiently. In tests, these flaps have improved fuel efficiency up to 3.5%, thus, reducing fuel usage and costs.

Improved Visibility

Riding behind a semi can be a harrowing experience for the average motorist. Many people are afraid of the size of the truck and trailer, and when it's raining out, the problem is worse. The reason is the spray that is created when a truck travels along wet roads using conventional mud flaps. These hard rubber flaps often channel water outward, and right into the path of those driving within close proximity, thus reducing their visibility, and increasing the odds of an accident. On the other hand, Eco Flaps are designed to channel the water through the flap and into a dead air space on the back surface of the guard. The water is then dropped harmlessly to the road surface, rather than being kicked up into the line of sight of a vehicle following close behind.

Durable Construction

Most conventional mud flaps are made out of a hard, somewhat flexible rubber material that's molded into the appropriate shape. The problem is this rubber has a tendency to crack and break over time, meaning they lose their effectiveness. Eco Flaps, however, are made with a high-impact, durable nylon that is injected into molds. The end result is a mud flap that can withstand impacts in temperatures as low as 200 degrees below, or above, zero Fahrenheit as well as mitigating the effects of strong cross winds that would damage conventional flaps. Switching to Eco Flaps, therefore, will save trucking companies, fleet owners and independents alike, in the long run.

While mud flaps might not be the first thing that you think of when you're looking at ways to improve your company's margins, perhaps they should be. In reality, this simple change can have a dramatic effect on the fuel efficiency of your trucks and trailers, create a safer environment for your drivers and other motorists, and decrease your overall fleet maintenance costs. That's a win-win-win situation.