Are Mesh Tailgates Better for MPG?

Mesh tailgates have garnered substantial attention in recent years as potential fuel-saving solutions for vehicles. Unlike traditional solid tailgates, these innovative designs incorporate a mesh-like pattern that allows air to flow more freely through the truck bed. The main claim is that increased aerodynamic efficiency leads to improved fuel economy. However, with the diverse array of variables affecting fuel efficiency, it’s essential to examine the effectiveness of these tailgates critically. Thus, this evaluation delves into the advantages, disadvantages, and potential long-term effects of mesh tailgates on MPG, shedding light on whether they truly offer a viable solution for enhancing fuel economy.

Do Tailgate Nets Improve Gas Mileage?

Tailgate nets have long been touted as a potential solution for improving gas mileage in trucks. The idea behind these nets is that they reduce aerodynamic drag by allowing air to flow through the back of the truck rather than creating a solid barrier. However, recent research has shown that the reality may not be as straightforward as it seems.

In a comprehensive study conducted by car testers, the impact of tailgate nets on fuel efficiency was put to the test. The results were surprising. Contrary to popular belief, it was found that adding a tonneau cover or lowering the tailgate actually hurt fuel economy, rather than helping it.

While the experiment provided important insights, it’s worth noting that the results may not be definitive for all trucks or driving conditions. In the meantime, truck owners would be wise to consider other measures for improving gas mileage, such as keeping tires properly inflated and driving at consistent speeds.

Although the concept of reducing aerodynamic drag seems plausible, in practice, the net may disrupt airflow and hinder fuel efficiency.

The Science Behind Aerodynamic Drag in Trucks and How It Affects Fuel Efficiency.

  • Aerodynamic drag is a force that opposes the motion of an object through a fluid, such as air.
  • In trucks, aerodynamic drag occurs when the shape of the vehicle encounters resistance from the air.
  • Reducing aerodynamic drag is crucial for improving fuel efficiency in trucks.
  • Truck manufacturers use various design techniques to minimize drag, such as streamlining the body, adding side skirts, and optimizing the shape of the roof.
  • These aerodynamic improvements help reduce the amount of energy required to overcome drag, resulting in better fuel economy.
  • Other factors that contribute to aerodynamic drag in trucks include the position of mirrors, gaps between truck components, and the orientation of the trailer.
  • Even small changes in design can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency, which is why truck manufacturers invest in extensive aerodynamic testing and research.
  • In addition to design modifications, technologies like adaptive cruise control and automatic grille shutters are also employed to further reduce drag.
  • Reducing aerodynamic drag not only improves fuel efficiency but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and overall operating costs for truck owners.
  • Continued advancements in aerodynamics will play a crucial role in enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of truck transportation.

By replacing your solid tailgate with a tailgate net, you can experience improved air flow and reduced wind drag, ultimately leading to enhanced fuel efficiency.

What Are the Benefits of a Tailgate Net?

Tailgate nets are specially designed to replace the traditional solid tailgate on pickup trucks. They’re made from a strong, durable material that allows air to flow through, reducing wind drag and improving aerodynamics. This simple yet effective solution offers several key benefits for truck owners.

By promoting better aerodynamics, they can improve stability and reduce sway, especially at higher speeds. This can lead to a smoother and more controlled driving experience, allowing drivers to have better control over their vehicle, even when carrying heavy loads.

Additionally, tailgate nets provide increased visibility and safety. Unlike solid tailgates that obstruct the view through the rearview mirror, these nets offer a clear line of sight, giving drivers better visibility of traffic behind them. This can be especially useful during maneuvers such as lane changes or reverse parking, where having a clear view of the road is crucial.

Furthermore, tailgate nets are incredibly easy to install and remove. They typically come with hooks or straps that can easily be attached to the truck bed, requiring no specialized tools or equipment. This makes them a convenient option for truck owners who may need to switch between a solid tailgate and a net, depending on their specific needs.

It not only improves fuel efficiency and performance but also enhances visibility and safety.

Source: Tailgate Nets – NAPA Auto Parts

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While some studies suggest that they can potentially enhance aerodynamic performance and consequently boost MPG, it’s crucial to consider various factors such as vehicle design, speed, and driving conditions. Additionally, more research is needed to assess the long-term impact and practicality of mesh tailgates in real-world scenarios. Ultimately, achieving better MPG requires a holistic approach, combining innovative technologies, efficient driving habits, vehicle maintenance, and consideration of other relevant factors.

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