Welcome to the FTS Plus+ Blog: The Highway Wire

You Might Have a Mud Flap Problem...

Posted on 11/30/2016 by in maintenance

Thousands of commercial vehicles make their way across the nation's highways every day, but not all of them run with the same equipment. One piece of equipment that you probably don't think much about is your mud flaps, but it's one that shouldn't be overlooked. The right flaps can extend the life of your truck, save on fuel expenses, and directly affect your driving experience.

The Mud Flap Problem

Wind resistance can negatively impact one-third of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Traditional mud flaps cause added drag and decrease fuel efficiency. In inclement weather, water spray caused by traditional mud flaps can compromise a driver’s line of sight. Not to mention, they have a nasty habit of tearing off and breaking in tough driving conditions, causing equipment downtime, driver delays, and costly non-compliance fees. Other low-cost “aerodynamic” flaps are imitators and don’t have the testing or SmartWay verification to back their performance claims. What’s more, they’re not made from durable materials and break easily in inclement weather or tough driving conditions. 

Unfortunately, many fleet owners are not aware they have a “mud flap problem,” and don't realize the benefits their fleet can receive by making a change to their mud flaps.


The Eco Flaps Solution

Eco Flaps splash guards offer a simple solution to three of the greatest challenges in the transportation industry today ---reducing fuel costs, improving performance and efficiency, and making roads safer for drivers.


Fuel Savings

Molded, wing-shaped channels move air and water directionally through the Eco Flaps ventilated surface to reduce drag. Less resistance equals more efficiency. In fact, Eco Flaps can improve fuel economy up to 3.5%—saving 500 gallons of the 14,000 gallons of fuel a truck will use annually. This has been backed by over 6 SAE tests and countless fleet tests. Eco Flaps have one of the quickest ROI’s in the industry. For less than a $200 investment for a truck and trailer, you can gain a savings of up to $1,000 in the first year. Todd Holt, president of transportation at National Freight Industries, had this to say, “The quick ROI of fuel and maintenance savings of Eco Flaps made it impossible for us to not retrofit our entire fleet.”

Plus, Eco Flaps are the only splash guards to have the distinction of being SmartWay verified.

Increased Durability for Enhanced Performance

There's no way to avoid the daily wear and tear that occurs from traveling cross-country, but there are ways to help minimize the additional damage caused by the elements and changing weather. A trucking company normally replaces at least 15% of their mud flaps every year. The problem is that most of those are replacements are done over the road and that cheap mud flap quickly becomes a very expensive mud flap. 

Eco Flaps are made of high quality, impact-resistant nylon polymer, making them virtually indestructible and tolerant of extreme road and weather conditions. They have been impact-tested to withstand temperatures from -200 F to +200 F without cracking, breaking, or melting. “We’re so confident in the product, that we offer a 2-year warranty. We are the only company to offer a warranty on any splash guard or flap.” – CEO of Eco Flaps, Russell Stubbs. 

Also, one of the biggest benefits of Eco Flaps is the ability to use a shorter flap. Since Eco Flaps don’t sail, you can go with a shorter flap and still be compliant with states regulations. This results in less tear offs because you no longer hit the curb with Eco Flaps. Also, when you have a shorter flap, you have less drag and gain even more fuel efficiency.


Increased Safety

Eco Flaps were first designed by a former fleet owner and driver to make highways safer for motorists. “We take the utmost pride in knowing that our product has the ability to save lives and reduce the risk of accidents on the road.” – Director of Sales, Asa Hazelwood. When water moves through the wing-shaped channels, it passes through a “dead air zone” on the back of the Eco Flap and then falls to the road surface. This flow-pattern significantly reduces road spray by up to 75% when compared to traditional mud flap design. 

By directing water to the pavement instead of into the air, Eco Flaps drastically reduce the dangerous cloud of road spray that impedes a driver’s line of sight on wet roads. CEO and Chairman, Max Fuller, of US Xpress saw the safety aspect of Eco Flaps, besides the fuel and maintenance savings. “We would spec Eco Flaps just for the safety aspect alone.” US Xpress will be completely retrofitted with Eco Flaps this year. 


Stay Safe, Save Time, and Improve your Bottom Line

As you can see, a change in your mud flaps can mean a big change to your fleet overall. We're making it even better by offering FTS Plus+ members a 10% discount. Eco Flaps are backed by a 2-year warranty and are interchangeable with your current mud flaps. Available in 24" and 18" widths with several lengths for tractor and trailer applications that meet all DOT requirements along with custom colors and custom graphics or logos, you're sure to find just what you need. Learn more and see how you can take advantage of the savings.


To see a full list of all the savings available to you and your fleet with your FTS Plus+ membership, visit us at ftsplus.com/savings. Don't forget to keep up with all the latest promotions and industry news we have to share by visiting our full blog.