Streamlining equipment, which could save national road haulage industries millions of pounds a year in fuel bills, was tested for the first time in Europe at a test track in Surrey, not far from London, yesterday (5 December).
SV Trucks across forecourt towards testing ground
CU Sign "Snake Mountain Course"
SV Lorries fitted with Airshield
SV Fuel being measured by official
SVs Officials watch as lorry is fueled (2 shots)
SV Lorry pulls cut onto test track as officials watch (4 shots)
GV Truck without Airshield followed by one with (2 shots)
SV Both trucks along track
Initials TH/DE/BB/1551 TH/DE/BB/1603
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Background: Streamlining equipment, which could save national road haulage industries millions of pounds a year in fuel bills, was tested for the first time in Europe at a test track in Surrey, not far from London, yesterday (5 December).
The equipment saves fuel by reducing drag -- air resistance that builds up to a vehicle in motion. A major research programme in the United States has already shown that only about half the total horsepower produced by a truck travelling at speed is used to move the vehicle and its load. The other half is wasted to combat air resistance.
For yesterday's tests, two trucks were used -- one a normal production version, the other equipped with the American Airshield drag-reducing equipment.
This takes the form of a curved rectangular wind deflector mounted on the roof of the cab.
Though it doesn't look very streamlined, it has effect of stream-lining the air currents passing over the truck. And in the States, it is claimed to make a saving of about II per cent on fuel costs for the 25,000 trucks fitted with the equipment.
Yesterday's carefully controlled tests had the effect of bearing this out, and proved that a truck fitted with the equipment could save something like one gallon of fuel in every 100 miles travelled.
SYNOPSIS: Investigation into ways of cutting transport fuel bills continues at a brisk rate. Outside London on Thursday, two lorries were used in the first European tests of new equipment that has already made an impact on the United States trucking industry. The makers claim that their equipment can effect savings of up of eleven per cent in fuel costs.
The device is called the Airshield. Despite the rectangular shape, it's subtly curved to aid the wind flow as it passes over the cab of the lorry. For Thursday's tests, two identifical lorries were used -- one fitted with Airshield, one without.
A major research programme in the United States has already shown that only about half the horsepower produced by a truck is used to move the vehicle and its load. The rest is wasted combating air resistance. The Airshield device works on the principle of streamlining the flow of air passing over the vehicle.
When the results of Thursday's tests were computed, it was estimated that Airshield can save about one gallon of fuel for every hundred miles travelled by this kind of truck.
In a country like Britain, with over one-and-a-half million commercial vehicles, this sort of equipment could literally save the industry millions of pounds a year.