Airodyne’s founder, Donald Herpel, an original engineering member of Ford Motor Company’s Aerodynamic Group and long-time industry consultant, passionately believed customized aerodynamic design was critical to improving fuel efficiencies. In 1976, with four children still at home, he resigned from Ford to realize his dream of revolutionizing truck aerodynamics with durable life-time components.
It was an inauspicious start in the basement of the family home; the first few years were a tough sell to the industry, as well as to his wife. Like other inventors of progressive products, his introduction of the first three-dimensional Roof Fairing was not fully embraced until the oil embargo in the late 70’s forced fleets to seek alternate ways to save fuel.
Roadway was the first major fleet to come on board and Airodyne’s roster of customers started to read like the “Who’s Who of the Trucking Industry”. The effectiveness of Don Herpel’s designs and patents has repeatedly been validated by independent sources; his Full Roof Fairing remains the industry standard over 40 years later.
By 1986, Don Herpel’s engineering designs evolved to include a total-vehicle aerodynamic package achieving fuel economy increases of 38% over conventional units. Outfitted with Airodyne designed and supplied aerodynamic devices and DDA advanced drivetrain engineering, these impressive results came from “The Phantom”, a 1986 DDA concept vehicle.
After battling Lou Gehrig’s disease for several years, Don Herpel passed away in 2001. His daughter, Celeste Herpel, a successful VP of Advertising Sales was asked to temporarily run Airodyne while looking for potential buyers.
In 2004, daughter, Celeste Herpel became that potential buyer and continues Airodyne’s legacy of providing top-performing fairings built for the life of your truck. Drawing from her advertising background, Ms. Herpel expanded the concept of marketing fleet logos via Airodyne’s backlit LED Logo Light option.
New relationships with Truck OEM's produced contracts for the design and manufacturing of proprietary fairings resulting in additional patents and a more diverse product line. Navistar contracted Airodyne to engineer roof fairings for their TranStar Extended Cab and their ProStar 56" Low Roof.
Our truck fairings have always been designed and manufactured in Michigan; we will continue our proud USA Manufacturing Heritage for the years to come.
Mack Truck initially approached Airodyne in 2005 to engineer chassis fairings, but it wasn't until 2010 that the project really got underway. Mack Truck's requirements included: top-performing aerodynamics, lightweight, designed with minimal parts and fasteners yet durable enough to withstand the rigors of heavy truck. The first Mack Truck chassis fairings came off the line in December, 2010 and are EPA Smartway verified technology.
Environmental stewardship continues to be an important by-product of using Airodyne fairings. As the North American economic, political and CARB legislation to reduce GHG emissions continues to gain momentum, Ms. Herpel formed a strategic alliance with Kodiak Innovations to add SmartWay certified Trailer aerodynamic products to their existing line. The partnership is a good fit with many shared values, designed for real-world application and a strong commitment to the customer.
Airodyne has supplied the North American heavy-truck industry with custom designed aerodynamic fairings longer than any of our competitors and was recently awarded its fifth patent for innovative design concepts.