For heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailer combinations, the drag coefficient increases significantly with yaw angle.
In cold Canadian climates, the aerodynamic drag in winter can be nearly 20% greater than at standard conditions, due to the ambient air density.
However, it is clearly still more beneficial to reduce pressure drag, regardless of vehicle configuration.
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Where applicable, any barriers to entry within the Canadian trucking community were explained to separate those technologies which could likely be used to those that would likely never gain widespread acceptance due to operational barriers For heavy vehicles such as tractor-trailer combinations and buses, pressure drag is the dominant component due to the large surfaces facing the main flow direction and due to the large wake resulting from the bluntness of the back end of such vehicles.
Although friction drag occurs along the external surfaces of heavy vehicles, particularly along the sides and top of buses and trailers, its contribution to overall drag is small (10% or less) and is not a strong candidate for drag-reduction technologies.
Ideally, a study could be conducted whereby a variety of gap fillers, side skirts and boat tails are sequentially added to the LCV in order to determine if the effects of these devices on LCVs is similar to their effect on conventional vehicles.
Canadian Motor Vehicule Safety Standards (CMVSS) compliant mirrors are responsible for approximately 2% of the overall drag on a conventional tractor and trailer.
However, there are very little data pertaining to North American LCVs experiencing variable wind yaw angles corresponding to a yearly wind averaged drag.