Texas Trucking Fleet Sets New Standard in Fuel Efficiency

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Will Save 300,000 Gallons of Diesel per Year with New Aerodynamic Technology

Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT), the largest trucking company in West Texas and New Mexico, is continuing to make advances in fuel efficiency by outfitting their entire fleet of 1,200 semi-tractors with new aerodynamic technologies produced by FlowBelow Aero, an entrepreneurial company based in Austin, Texas.

Since its founding in 1981, MVT has built a reputation in the trucking industry for operating the most fuel efficient fleet in the nation. MVT’s purchase of 1,200 FlowBelow Tractor AeroKits is expected to further reduce the fleet’s fuel consumption by over 300,000 gallons of diesel per year while providing savings to the company in excess of $1 million per year. As an additional benefit, the use of this technology will substantially improve air quality by reducing the emissions from MVT’s 1,200 trucks.

Each Tractor AeroKit consists of four wheel covers and four fairings that fill the gaps in-between and behind the semi-tractor’s rear wheels. The eight-component system reduces aerodynamic drag and saves fuel by guiding airflow smoothly along the side and past the rear wheels of the truck. Unlike similar products on the market, when maintenance is required, the AeroKit can be removed instantly without tools using FlowBelow’s patent pending quick release design. FlowBelow claims that the AeroKit provides 2.23% in fuel savings according to industry standard SAE J1321 fuel economy testing performed by the Texas Transportation Institute using MVT’s trucks.

Royal Jones, CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation, is serious about his approach toward the reduction of fuel costs and aerodynamic efficiency. According to Jones, “We started testing aerodynamic modifications back in 1984. We’ve always made a big push to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to fuel efficiency because any fuel savings we get goes straight to our bottom line.” A quick look at the MVT fleet reveals how many initiatives the company has taken to maximize the fuel economy of their trucks. In addition to the FlowBelow AeroKit, their entire fleet is equipped with wide-base tires designed to lessen weight and rolling resistance and a drivetrain that powers only one rear axle instead of two. On their trailers, MVT has made additional aerodynamic improvements by reducing the gap between the truck and trailer, installing trailer side skirts, and using a collapsible boat tail.

The result of MVT’s efforts to date is an unprecedented fleet average fuel economy of about 9 miles per gallon. In comparison, the national average for tractor-trailers is 5.8 miles per gallon¹. While a difference of 3 miles per gallon might not sound like much in a passenger vehicle, for a fleet of tractor-trailers (with each truck traveling 140,000 miles per year) the difference in fuel consumption is staggering. A fleet the same size as MVT getting 3 miles per gallon less will consume over 9 million more gallons of fuel than MVT every year. With the price of diesel fuel hovering at close to $4 per gallon, that translates to over $30 million in savings per year. MVT’s latest investment in FlowBelow’s aerodynamic technology will continue to set them apart from other trucking companies as a model of efficiency and profitability.

According to Josh Butler, President of FlowBelow, “Forward thinking trucking companies like MVT are making serious efforts to reduce fuel expenses, maximize profitability, and stay competitive. These efforts will substantially reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve the economy, and reduce the impact that freight transportation has on air quality.”

The fuel savings from FlowBelow’s product, 2.23% according to the company’s third party testing, could reduce fuel consumption in the US trucking industry by over 8 billion gallons of diesel per year while saving the industry over $2 billion per year.

About FlowBelow
FlowBelow is a Texas-based aerodynamics company founded by mechanical and aerospace engineers, Josh Butler and Kyle Walker. Their product development process includes advanced computational fluid dynamics modeling and extensive interaction with fleet mechanics and drivers to ensure the products provide utility, efficiency, and profitability for fleets.
FlowBelow’s products are manufactured in the USA and have fuel savings verified by third party
SAE Type II fuel economy testing. The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit includes Quick-Release Wheel Covers and a pair of Tandem Fairings that work together as a complete aerodynamic system to address the complex airflow around the exposed rear wheels of the tractor. The fuel savings provided by the Tractor AeroKit typically provides a return on investment for long haul trucking fleets in one year or less. For more information please visit http://www.flowbelow.com

About Mesilla Valley Transportation
Located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, Mesilla Valley Transportation operates a fleet of 1,200 tractors and 5,000 trailers. The company began as a small fleet of three trucks in 1981 hauling primarily refrigerated/perishable goods in the Southwest. Mesilla Valley Transportation is now the largest locally-owned trucking company in the West Texas and Southern New Mexico area. MVT specializes in time-sensitive freight transportation between major manufacturing areas in the US, and from border to border. Throughout its ongoing effort to improve efficiency, MVT has adopted numerous fuel-saving technologies and implemented driver incentive programs, among other efforts. The culmination of these efforts has resulted in MVT operating one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the US For more information please visit http://www.m-v-t.com

Sources:
¹ Bureau of Transportation Statistics (2014). US Department of Transportation.
Retrieved October 10, 2014 from http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_14.html

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Mario Bravo
mario@flowbelow.com
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