Carbon-Fiber Tractor-Trailer Is Just The Latest In Wal-Mart's Many Contributions To American Life

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Full disclosure: your humble author is a Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) shareholder. Seriously, I think I have, like, ten shares. So you should view the above headline and video with suspicion and the proverbial shaker of salt.

The folks at GreenCarReports have the details on the WAVE concept truck. The fifty-three-foot trailer breaks new ground in carbon-fiber large assemblies; extensive use of that material makes the WAVE two full tons lighter than conventional tractor-trailers.

No fuel-economy estimates are provided, but even seemingly minor fuel-economy improvements in America’s truck fleet would make a bigger difference than virtually anything that private drivers could do. Just improving mileage to, say, 12MPG for tractor-trailers would be the equivalent of raising America’s private vehicles to an average of 40MPG or more.

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  • Badcoffee Badcoffee on Mar 03, 2014

    Dear god, what will it cost to repair/replace when someone damages one of those 53' carbon fiber panels

  • Jeffzekas Jeffzekas on Mar 03, 2014

    I work at Walmart. Many of the workers receive food stamps. Last night, one of my crewmembers had no lunch, because he didn't have enough money to buy food. Workers at WM are treated like slaves. Walmart factories in China and Bangladesh spew mercury into the water and air. So, such "ecological" measures promoted by WM are merely window dressing- propaganda- to hide the deaths of 200 women and children in Walmart's factory (which had the windows boarded up, so they died in a fire). Walmart is pure evil. Do not buy at Walmart. Shop at Costco, a store which is cheaper, has better quality, and treats workers with respect. And for those of you who say, "If you don't like it, get another job" I say: there are no jobs here in Oregon. Unemployment here is 40%. Many towns in the PNW remind one of the movie Elysium. The Second Great Depression has returned, but the news isn't talking about it. Welcome to double speak and the brave new world. Welcome to Elysium, where the one percent live in riches, whilst the rest struggle in the muck.

    • See 6 previous
    • 50merc 50merc on Mar 05, 2014

      Surprising to hear there is unhappiness in Oregon, because the Pacific Northwest has always claimed to be paradise on earth. Unemployment could be eased if the timber industry wasn't under the heel of the wackos at the EPA. Many if not most of the workers at a Costco are actually employed by a contractor. They don't get Costco wages and benefits, so Costco can pay its own employees more. The workers in my nearby Wal-Mart are at least as cheerful and helpful, though not as youthful and good-looking, as the ones at my nearby Target. Maybe they haven't been told they are slaves who can never leave. Ordinary shoppers like Wal-Mart, with its competitive prices and large selection. There would be many more W-M stores if shoppers had their way. Instead, their communities are run by and for the effete, the power elite and the union bosses. Snobbery accounts for much of the hostility toward Wal-Mart. The stores are utilitarian. Worse, everyone--the ordinary folks, the poor, the weird, the badly or hardly dressed, the tasteless, the ugly--all feel welcome at Wal-Mart. It's all so very, very gauche.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Mar 04, 2014

    The additional cost of composites in commercial vehicles will pay itself off quicker than if used in private vehicles. That's why aluminium has been very popular in trucks and trailers long before cars.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Mar 27, 2014

    For an article of this type, it'd be helpful to know what a traditional semi and trailer weigh, to help contextualize the magnitude of savings.