Tuck grad boosts efficiency with TrailerTails

By Winnie Yoe, The Dartmouth Staff | 10/6/11 12:49pm




Trailer tails is more than just an un-pc sound­ing party theme — An­drew Smith Tu’07 is im­pact­ing the freight in­dus­try with his award win­ning trans­porta­tion tech­nol­ogy Trail­er­Tails that started off as a piece of folded card­board.

While at Dart­mouth, Smith de­vel­oped semi-trailer rear-drag aero­dy­nam­ics tech­nol­ogy after dis­cov­er­ing that a folded card­board struc­ture could re­duce air­flow and in­crease fuel ef­fi­ciency on trucks 6 to 10 per­cent. The de­vice he cre­ated from his ini­tial de­sign, Trail­er­Tails, fits onto the back of trail­ers with swing doors. It can be folded up for stor­age and ex­pands to five feet long when extra drag is needed.

Smith’s idea, sim­ple but ef­fec­tive, won him a nearly $200,000 at a busi­ness plan com­pe­ti­tion at Rice Uni­ver­sity in Texas. Im­pressed by Trail­er­Tails, Babur Ozen, one of the judges in the com­pe­ti­tion, part­nered with Smith’s com­pany AT­Dy­nam­ics to help de­velop Trail­er­Tails’ busi­ness prospects. The com­pany was also in­vited to the Con­gress to in­tro­duce their fuel en­ergy sav­ing so­lu­tion.

AT­Dy­nam­ics has in­stalled over 2,000 Trail­er­Tails and has been work­ing on some­thing called Su­perTruck tech­nol­ogy, which could in­crease freight ef­fi­ciency by 50 per­cent.

Winnie Yoe, The Dartmouth Staff