September 18, 2015 | Published by Eddie Stobart

Eddie Stobart, in their continual effort to reduce the environmental impact of its transport & logistics business, has partnered exclusively with Wirth Research to pioneer the use of their WR AeroKit drag reduction technology on their LGVs.

The WR AeroKit was developed by Wirth Research, who are better known for their involvement in motorsports and most recently their work with Honda Performance Development Inc., two of whose drivers finished in the top ten at May’s 99th Indianapolis 500 race driving cars fitted with WR IndyCar Speedway AeroKits. They began developing the system on LGVs in 2010, using computational fluid dynamics analysis to measure airflow and study how best it may be applied to reduce the aerodynamic drag. More than half a million miles’ worth of real world testing was completed and the team found that when fitted to an unkitted LGV the kit can reduce drag by 33%, a 10% improvement on Eddie Stobart’s previous drag reduction technology.

The AeroKit may be tailored to any type of LGV, and includes roof and chin spoilers, bumper turning vanes and trailer kits, all of which reduce aerodynamic drag and thus CO2 emissions. These efficiencies reduce costs, and with Eddie Stobart’s flexible costing mechanisms, savings may be passed on to their customers.  

William Stobart, Executive Chairman, said: “We have pioneered several environmental initiatives in our industry over the years, such as modal shift from road to rail, in biomass renewable energy and now in drag and carbon reduction on the road. It really excites me that this is championship-winning motorsport aerodynamic technology applied to the road, and I’m proud that we are the first to use it as we roll out the kits to new trucks coming on to the fleet.”

Nick Wirth, President of Wirth Research, said: “In many ways, enhancing the drag performance of LGVs is the ultimate aerodynamic challenge. The results have been such that we have committed to invest heavily in the research and tooling to develop and bring the WR AeroKit to market, so convinced are we of the technology’s benefits to drag reduction and the lowering of carbon emissions.”

In September Wirth Research was named a winner in the Low Carbon Champions Awards for its WR Aerokit for LGVs.