Spraydown mud flap design increases fuel economy

Spraydown Aero Guard System, a uniquely designed three-dimensional mud flap brought to the U.S. commercial vehicle market in 2010 through a strategic alliance between Spraydown USA and Betts Spring, is showing positive results in fuel savings, spray suppression and reduced emissions during fleet road trials, track and laboratory testing in Europe, the company says.

Spraydown says the vertical aero vanes manufactured into its mud flaps redirect spray down through the pockets smoothing airflow and reducing drag, resulting in substantial fuel savings. Standard two dimensional mud flaps disrupt air flow, contributing to turbulent air flow patterns surrounding today’s heavy duty vehicle, according the company. Additionally safety is enhanced because with Spraydown flaps, 98 percent of spray is directed back to the road and out of the driver’s view, the company says.

Since Spraydown was introduced in Europe more than four years ago more than a million miles of vehicle on-road and track testing has been performed.  The results, supported by research and laboratory testing, indicate an improvement in fuel economy in the range of 1.5 to 3 percent by replacing standard mud flaps with Spraydown Aero Guards.

According to Spraydown, testing also showed 95 percent suppression of spray from vehicles outfitted with these mud flaps, resulting in a 43 percent improvement in visibility enhancing both driver and motorists’ safety.

After testing Spraydown on its vehicles, Cooperative Group (www.co-operative.coop), a U.K. company operating 700 trailers and 1,000 power units with a similar duty cycle to many U.S. fleets is now specifying the Spraydown Aero Guard System on all new trailers.

“We have seen how a small change to Spraydown mud flaps can make a significant impact towards improving safety and reducing operational costs,” says Nigel Sim, fleet service manager for Cooperative Group.

Today, Spraydown Aero Guards are installed on an estimated 4.5 percent of new trucks and 9 percent of new trailers built in the U.K. Spraydown Aero Guards are available in 24- , 27- and 30-in. lengths in both straight and angled down configurations.

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