Even though large trucks have been on the highways for decades, they have continued to evolve and change just like any other vehicle on the road. Stagnation is not an option for an industry that wants to prosper, so new improvements are always in development. These are just a few of the ways that trucking has continued to innovate:
- Lightweight truck walls are probably the most exciting new development on the horizon. One of the most costly parts of the shipping process is the fuel needed to transport the weight of the cargo; however, the weight of the truck itself is also a factor. If the truck can be lighter, fuel costs will drop dramatically. New lightweight walls made of polypropylene and fiberglass with resin and gelcoat coatings can provide the same strength and durability of current truck walls without the additional weight.
- Another considerable problem for trucking companies is drag produced from underside components. A trailer undertray system allows for the compressing and accelerating of incoming air flow, but it also injects high energy air into the trailer wake. This undertray system has wheel and suspension fairings, rear fairings, and aero rain gutters. By reducing drag, truck manufacturers can also reduce fuel costs and repair costs.
- An odd but incredibly valuable development in truck design is side skirts. New skirts made of aluminum and steel with sixteen inches of flexible rubber prevent side and bottom impacts caused by road obstructions or bad weather. New developments in the technology help to prevent damage to the skirts caused by road design and road obstructions that can cause damage to traditional truck skirts. These new designs feature more flexible and durable materials that can withstand a wide variety of harsh conditions.