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Crane Plastics forms UK unit to distribute mud flaps

By Brandi Shaffer, Plastics News
Posted 23 February 2012

US-based Crane Plastics has formed a subsidiary in Edinburgh to distribute its range of mud flap across Europe that the company says increases fuel economy and safety.

Spraydown Solutions is led by Matt Fenneman, who serves as managing director for the new company as well as vice-president of sales and marketing for Columbus-based Crane Plastics.

The mud flaps employ Spraydown Aeroguard technology and are intended for use on heavy trucks. As the product name indicates, the mud flaps direct water spray from inclement weather down to the road, out of the driver’s view.

The aerodynamic design allows for fuel savings of more than 3% [see below] by reducing drag and smoothing airflow via strips cut into the mud flap, according to Crane. Spraydown is durable in temperatures ranging from -40-122° Fahrenheit.

Fenneman told PRW that the mad flaps are currently manufactured in the US but his company will look at European production when volumes demand. He expects sales to be strong as a result of European road safety legislation.

Sales in the US are growing via a distribution arrangement with Betts Spring in Fresno, California.

‚óŹ The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) undertook controlled tests in measured comparative trials, which delivered a steady state fuel savings of 3.8% at a constant 52mph and 3.7% at 40mph.

The tests took place at Millbrook's high-speed circuit in Bedfordshire, using a Volvo FM 6x2 tractor unit with a Cartwright tri-axle curtainsider trailer, which is widely used across the industry.

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