MVT Solutions, a provider of fuel economy testing and design and development services for the trucking industry, has determined that Ex-Guard LT series grille guards, manufactured by Ex-Guard Industries, have little to no negative impact on trucks’ overall fuel efficiency.
The guards provide front-end damage protection to trucks. For the evaluations, two test vehicles ran simultaneously at 65 mph on a 9-mile circle track. The 2019 International LT models were specified with Cummins X15 engines and Eaton 10-speed automated manual transmissions. The tractors pulled 53-ft. Hyundai dry vans equipped with Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic systems, and both tractors and trailers were fitted with single wide-base tires.
“Our testing found the Ex-Guard LT-325 grille guard had no discernable effect on fuel economy, while the LT-350 had only a small negative impact of -0.51 percent, which is a smaller impact than the tractor’s side mirrors,” states Daryl Bear, lead engineer and chief operating officer at MVT Solutions.
“The results are what we expected based on feedback from fleets that already use our product, but we asked MVT Solutions to quantify the fuel consumption impact of our grille guards in an attempt to completely alleviate any concerns about MPG loss with our guards,” Dennis Geipel, a representative from Ex-Guard, says.
“Typically, interfering with the airflow on a vehicle can impact fuel economy significantly,” adds Bear. “However, Ex-Guard products minimize their affect on aerodynamic drag because they are mounted several inches away from the front of the vehicle and are designed with round tubing, allowing air to continue flowing. Ex-Guard grille guards are not a fuel-saving product, but our testing should provide fleets with the confidence to consider their use based on maintenance and operational costs as opposed to fuel economy losses.”