Snow, heavy rain, and foggy weather can all be hazardous for truckers. But even sunny skies, open roads, and clear weather can be just as dangerous if strong winds are gusting.
Across North America, extreme winds are a major concern for truckers — especially when a trailer is empty or in an LCV configuration. Because the trailer provides a large surface area for impact, crosswinds can cause major stability concerns. A powerful gust can cause unavoidable swerving, potentially blow a tractor-trailer off the road, and in the worst-case lead to a rollover with equipment damage and critical danger for roadway drivers and those nearby.
According to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), there are an average of 660 truck rollover incidents in Canada every year. And the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reports there are well over 1,000 large truck crashes as a result of severe crosswinds annually.
Truck drivers often use Colorado as a shortcut to the west, taking on strong winds that induce driving stress, cause trailer wear and tear, and can lead to serious accidents. Similarly, Southern Alberta is one of the windiest regions in Canada.
When traveling across elevated roadways, bridges, and even the open road, truckers should use extreme caution whenever strong winds are present. If not, they could end up like these two trailers in Alberta and Colorado:
When it comes to ensuring roadway safety, driving carefully is paramount but aerodynamic equipment can make the difference. Extreme winds can strike at a moment's notice and topple even a fully loaded trailer. Conventional side skirts — like those seen on both videos — provide resistance to wind and contribute to instability. The Stinger, in contrast, redirects airflow, thereby promoting trailer stability.
The Stinger System is a one-piece aerodynamically designed trailer underbody device that helps shape and lower the wind drag around the rear tandem axle. EkoStinger's aerodynamic trailer device is third-party wind tunnel tested and verified. Unlike generic trailer skirts, the durable Stinger System not only increases stability, but also maximizes fuel efficiency, reduces driver fatigue, and minimizes hazardous roadway mist.
"When we first put the Stingers on, everybody raved about them -- saying the trailers go straighter down the road with a lot less wind resistance from underneath. I like that they're a lot more stable than the flimsy side skirts. Less drag, which means they climb hills better, they travel a straighter path, and when it's windy out, they tend to stay in line better."
- Robert Benuzzi, Transportation Manager, Adirondack Beverages in Scotia, New York.
"Wind stability is a real concern for trailers in severe weather conditions. We’re a full-service leasing company… we maintain everything. It’s extremely difficult to replace side skirts when there is an issue. The EkoStinger product holds up better – it’s very durable."
- Tim Shasserre, President/CEO, Cooling Concepts in Belleville, Illinois.
"Very stable driving - no pulls left or right. [The Stinger] handles very easy versus the regular trailer [skirts]."
- Terminal Manager at Black Horse Carriers, Inc. in Hopkins, Minnesota
The innovative EkoStinger products are proven to act as a safety aid in hazardous conditions. Coupled with skilled driving and preparation, the Stinger System's advanced design will reduce the risk of wind-related lost load accidents, truck rollovers, and accidents due to trailer instability.