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Aerodynamically efficient semi trailer van from Montracon

Following the launch of its curtainsider FST (fuel saving trailer), Montracon has lifted the wraps on an aerodynamically efficient semi trailer van that tests indicate will return fuel consumption savings of up to 8%. This has been achieved without any change to overall height (4.2m), capacity or load placing flexibility.

The first FST van has already entered service with a UK based operator, with series production now getting underway.

Key to the design is a curved roof, trailer sides that taper 40mm at the back plus the application of a line of vortex generators at the rear edges of the roof and sides. This combination serves to divert the attached air flow from the trailer roof/sides into the immediate trailer wake, so reducing the partial vacuum or base pressure drag (suction) that develops progressively in this location with vehicle speed, to the benefit of fuel economy.

Matched to the curved roof is a gently sloping trailer bed (front to rear), the two features coming together to provide the optimum ‘attached flow’ roof profile that appears flat at the front before curving gently down to the rear from about the mid point.

An aerodynamic front bulkhead promotes attached air flow onto the roof, the bulkhead being profiled to provide some tolerance to cater for incorrectly set cab roof deflectors and to minimise turbulence in the cab/trailer gap, especially if incorrectly set.

Aerodynamic side skirts that channel air flow along the trailer sides – away from the underside – complete the aerodynamic envelope.

Some or all of the design features and operating benefits of the new trailer also read across to other models in the Montracon range, notably the reefer. They also apply to both standard height and high roof versions and longer 14.6/15.65m trailers.

Speaking of the FST van, Montracon’s sales and marketing director Paul Mead said: ‘We have been looking at various designs but decided on this one as it provides all the fuel economy benefits without any operational drawbacks in terms of load capacity or positioning of pallets.’

‘Equally, when applied to high roof versions, we would expect savings of approaching 10%,’ he closed.

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