Tuck grad boosts efficiency with TrailerTails
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.