Trailer Skirts, Why Not Seeing More Of Them

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Truck Operations IdeaHello Vicki and Mike

First, let me thank you for taking the time to help educate others in the industry. You are using the power of the internet in the best possible way.

My question: I am from the advertising field. I think that advertisers will pay to advertise on trailer wind skirts.

This allows me to sell skirts to owner/operators and fleets 33% more cheaply than they can buy the skirts today

But, I don’t see too many skirts on trailers; less than 5% of trucks I see on I-25 and I-70 (I live in Colorado).

The skirts I see are usually on fleet trailers.

Everywhere on the web it says wind skirts save about 5% in fuel costs, paying for themselves in a year or less.

So, if the fuel savings is so big, why are more owner/operators and/or fleets not using wind skirts? Are there other considerations I am not aware of?

And, more importantly for my idea, would getting a 33% discount be motivation enough for most owner operators to want to buy a wind skirt?

I really appreciate any insights or advice you can provide or other people you can direct me to.

Patrick O’Malley
{email address deleted}

Response from Vicki:

Hello, Patrick,

You have asked a very interesting question and frankly, we are as surprised as you are about why more truckers and trucking companies aren’t investing in side skirt (or trailer skirt or air fairing) technology.

As you may be aware, we have already addressed side skirts on our website. If you scroll about 3/4 of the way down the page, you will see a Trans West trailer with a trailer skirt that is advertising the trucking company itself.

We think that Trans West is brilliant for touting its own “Energy Savers” — which can be interpreted as a commitment to helping their customers save as much money as possible on shipping.

I think there is a tremendous opportunity for advertisers on trailer skirts since they are at “eye level” for many four-wheelers. Of course, the drawback is entering into a long-term advertising contract with a firm one would rather have a short-term contract with.

On the other hand, if the advertising paid for some or all of the cost, who could complain (as long as the advertisement was not for a competitor or some product/service/philosophy that the owners disagreed with). Some types of advertisements may be totally inappropriate there.

I think that the concept of using trailer skirts is becoming more widely understood and accepted. Part of the problem may be the upfront cost. However, if there was a clever person or business who could match advertisers with willing trucking companies, there could be a true win-win-win situation.

Owner-operators, would you help us out here? If you own your own trailer and currently do not have side skirts installed, would you please share with us the reason why? Also, would you please share what it would take to get you to install them on your trailer? What kind of a price break would you need to have to buy and install them? Please comment below.

Patrick, please keep in touch with us about this idea. We would like to know what the next step is to help professional truck drivers save money.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons