Inventor’s Fuel-Saving Mud Flaps Make Splash With Truckers
Andersen Flaps Inc.

Heavy-duty trucking fleets are using Andersen’s aerodynamically designed EcoFlaps as they look for any extra edge to conserve fuel consumption. The flaps allow 75% of air to pass right through it, reducing wind drag. This can save about 3% per year in fuel. That is not bad for an accessory that will cost a trucker about $100 for two flaps and take about 10 minutes to install, the supplier says.

When the nearby University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s SIM Center used virtual modeling to look at the effects that reducing aerodynamic drag would have for today’s heavy-duty Class-8 trucks, researchers found that for every percent of wind-drag reduction, there was a corresponding half-percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Retrofits are easy. “The EcoFlaps can be installed just like any other mud flap—there are no special requirements—just replace your old mud flaps with the EcoFlaps,” notes Rosemary Andersen, vice president of Andersen Flaps Inc. and wife of the inventor.

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  • The fuel efficiency afforded by such an installation can provide a payback in less than three weeks, and as the price of diesel fuel rises, the payback period shortens, according to the company.

    Fuel savings are optimal at speeds greater than 45 mph and for trips of 200 miles or more, with eight or fewer stops. This applies to trucks that haul a box load, flatbed, tanker or no trailer at all.

    Illinois-based Star Transport, New Century Transportation and other trucking fleets are now using the flaps. Andersen expects them to receive worldwide attention as the fuel crisis looms. “As the need to use less fuel is a worldwide concern, EcoFlaps should be well received in the international market,” Andersen says.

    or fleet managers, coping with today’s diesel-fuel crisis often requires creative thinking—right down to the lowly mud flap. The drive for fuel efficiency drove Barry Andersen of Chattanooga, Tenn., a 25-year veteran truck driver, to bring his idea of a perforated flap to market.