Since hitting the market in 2015, the main value proposition of TruckWings has been overcoming wind resistance to cut fuel costs and emissions. Made by TruckLabs, the aerodynamic device automatically blossoms out from the back of a Class 8 truck’s cab to close the gap between the tractor and trailer at highway speeds. By reducing drag in the gap, TruckWings have been shown to reduce fuel usage by 3 to 6% per truck. According to TruckLabs, this equates to a per truck annual savings of 1,100 gallons of fuel and reduction of 15,000 lbs. of CO2.
The company has won its share of sustainability awards and reached 250% year-over-year growth, but its size has been a drag on its true potential. On Nov. 2, ConMet, a longtime truck and trailer component manufacturer, acquired TruckLabs and its technology, which should streamline the company’s production and supply networks.
Through the deal, TruckLabs will become a wholly owned subsidiary and ConMet will retain “the whole team,” according to Daniel Burrows, Truck Labs founder and CEO, who will now be general manager and VP of TruckWings.
Burrows, who said he is “beyond thrilled to continue to lead the TruckWings product to new heights,” said this was the right move to make TruckWings more accessible to fleets.
“This really is a glove-meets-hand match,” Burrows said. “The TruckWings are vetted over 750 million miles and trusted by some of the largest fleets in the industry. This foundation can be built upon by ConMet’s world class manufacturing capabilities and deep OEM relationships. Together, we can do something special for the industry and the environment.”
He noted the idea “came directly from one of the major truck OEMs who wanted TruckWings technology, but wanted to work with ConMet as one of their existing trusted suppliers.”
For ConMet, which is getting more into eMobility, this is one more product in its portfolio to help customers reduce emissions and maintain a workable range.
“ConMet eMobility and TruckLabs are all about freight efficiency and minimizing fuel consumption, so we can accomplish a lot by joining forces,” said Marc Trahand, vice president of eMobility. “We have a similar customer base in large fleets that care about their environmental impact. We also both have customer trials to prove the effectiveness of our products based on actual data."
TruckWings already has its baked-in telematics solution that tracks real-time usage of the product, which deploy at highway speeds (around 50 mph), as well as emissions reduced. Since 2015, the product has kept 80 million lbs. of CO2 from being generated, according to TruckLabs. Burrows said carbon reduction tracing is increasingly important to shippers.
Trahand specifically cited the pairing of TruckWings and ConMets Nmotion zero-emission power generation system for trailers will help customers more effectively reduce carbon emissions and improve freight efficiency.
“For electric and other alt-fuels, [TruckWings] is a game-changer because it’s by far the cheapest way to increase range and decrease battery weight and cost," Burrows added. “Better range and decreased weight mean less charging infrastructure, too, so the value for electric is delivered from day one.”