Chen, K. and Khalighi, B., "A CFD Study of Drag Reduction Devices for a Full Size Production Pickup Truck," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1541, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1541.
Various drag reduction strategies have been applied to a full size production pickup truck to evaluate their effectiveness by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The drag reduction devices evaluated in this study were placed at the rear end of the truck bed and the tailgate. Three types of devices were evaluated: (1) boat tail-like extended plates attached to the tailgate; (2) mid-plate attached to the mid-section of the tailgate and; (3) flat plates partially covering the truck bed. The effect of drag reduction by various combinations of these three devices are presented in this paper. Twenty-four configurations were evaluated in the study with the best achievable drag reduction of around 21 counts (ΔCd = 0.021). A detailed breakdown of the pressure differentials at the base of the truck is provided in order to understand the flow mechanism for the drag reductions. It is concluded that the added surfaces near the tailgate lower the static pressure on the inner side of the tailgate in addition to the pressure increase at the base (outer side of the tailgate).