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Ideally, a study could be conducted whereby a variety of gap fillers, side skirts and boat tails are sequentially added to the LCV in order to determine if the effects of these devices on LCVs is similar to their effect on conventional vehicles.Canadian Motor Vehicule Safety Standards (CMVSS) compliant mirrors are responsible for approximately 2% of the overall drag on a conventional tractor and trailer.It is estimated that one LCV would burn approximately 23,200 fewer litres of fuel when compared to two conventional vehicles, assuming an annual distance of 100,000 km at highway cruising speeds.Large reductions in pressure drag can be achieved by using LCVs and these reductions are well documented and understood using European vehicles with fixed yaw angles.

Therefore, adding a second trailer to form an LCV, and thus doubling the freight capacity, results in a very modest increase in drag coefficient of approximately 10% at zero yaw angles and 22% at five degree yaw angles when compared to the single trailer vehicle.A study concluded that if a tractor’s two side mirrors were removed, the tractor would burn 938 fewer litres of fuel annually based on current fleet wide average fuel consumption values.Some manufacturers are currently designing prototype vehicles that use rear facing cameras and in-cab video screens that replace the side view mirrors.And if so, what configuration would be best suited to optimize drag reduction between the two trailers of an LCV.This study could be performed at both gaps to quantify the incremental effect of add on devices, compared to the large reductions that are achieved via the removal of one of the tractors.

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