MVT Solutions, a provider of fuel economy testing, and design and development services for the trucking industry, says its recent evaluation of Ex-Guard Industries’ LT series grille guards shows the guards provide front-end damage protection to trucks with “little to no negative impact” on the truck's fuel efficiency.
“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%, which is a smaller impact than the tractor’s side mirrors,” said Daryl Bear, lead engineer and COO at MVT Solutions.
The certified testing by MVT Solutions was developed from race car engineering and advanced vehicle test methods using sensors and recording systems that collect data on fuel consumption, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, driver behavior and other variables that affect fuel consumption, the company said. The data is analyzed using MVT’s proprietary methods.
“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,” said Dennis Geipel, a representative from Ex-Guard. “We chose MVT Solutions for these trials because of their reputation in fuel economy testing and wanted to eliminate any questionable variables that might have remained.
“These verified results will now allow fleets to make a well-informed decision about adding Ex-Guard grille guards based on their ability to prevent costly front-end damage.”
For the Ex-Guard 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-foot Hyundai dry vans equipped with Michelin Energy Guard aerodynamic systems, and both tractors and trailers were fitted with single wide-base tires.
“Typically, interfering with the airflow on a vehicle can impact fuel economy significantly,” Bear said. “However, Ex-Guard products minimize their effect 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.”