Tonneau Cover Gas Mileage Savings

Tonneau Cover Gas Mileage Savings

The Roll-Top-Cover ®, BedLocker ®, and JackRabbit™ retractable tonneaus offer an increase of over 11% in fuel economy. Pace Edwards’ tonneau covers roll up automatically into a canister housing at the front of the truck bed allowing instant access to your cargo without the hassle of snaps or gas shocks, and does something that canopies cannot do, reduce your fuel bill. Based upon a study performed at Western New England College School of Engineering, reducing drag due to air flow in the truck bed with a tonneau cover will result in an 11.81% decrease in drag as compared to a truck bed without a cover. The study revealed a canopy actually increases drag and fuel consumption. These results will vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

At Western New England College , Todd Ortolani and Vanwijak Ewosakul, under the leadership of Dr. Alan Karplus, performed an in-depth study on the effect of airflow once it passes the truck’s cab. The flow separates behind the cab and enters the truck bed resulting in a drag coefficient (Cd) of Cd = .432 if the bed is not covered. When a square truck cap is added, the drag coefficient increases to Cd =.480, or an 11.11% increase in drag. When a tonneau cover is used, the drag coefficient decreases to Cd =.381, or an 11.81% decrease in drag. Additional comparisons were made in the study by changing the tailgate. Replacing the tailgate with a cargo net resulted in Cd =.461, a 6.71% increase in drag compared to removing the tailgate which resulted in a C d=.447, a 3.47% increase in drag. Also, lowering the tailgate resulted in Cd =.414, a 4.17% decrease in drag. The results of this study concluded that the best method of decreasing the drag coefficient, thus increasing fuel economy, is to install a tonneau cover over the truck bed.


For years, users of Pace Edwards’ truck bed covers have testified at seeing improved gas mileage after installing a Roll-Top-Cover ® retractable tonneau. With the addition of the BedLocker ® electric retractable hard tonneau cover and the new aerodynamic, flush mounted JackRabbit™, there are now more options available from Pace Edwards for consumers to improve mileage while adding security and style.

Studies show the average truck owner drives 18,000 miles per year. At 15 mpg that comes to 1,200 gallons of gas. At a minimum 10% savings you would save around 120 gallons a year…

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