ACCURIDE WITH SOME WHEELY GOOD NEWS
Okay, please forgive the cheesy headline. I’ve been in Las Vegas for eight days and the endless ringing of the slot machines in my ears is affecting my brain. Let’s move on…
Having clawed its way out of a major hole, in which it found itself as a result of being an “arrogant supplier” in the words of CEO Rick Dauch, who took over the company at its lowest point, Accuride is now coming to market with some pretty cool and significant launches.
One of these introduced during Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Week, is an EverSteel coating for steel wheels that should eliminate refurbishing costs for fleets.
These wheels – designed for climates like those we see in most parts of Canada, where corrosive de-icing agents are applied liberally to our roadways – are warranted against corrosion for up to five years. Accuride is the first steel wheel supplier to make such a promise, Dauch noted.
Accuride is also bringing to market, through its Gunite brake drum line, a new lightweight aluminum drum, which could prove quite interesting. The company acquired the technology from Century-3 Plus LLC last year and will be testing it with fleets soon, with a commercial rollout planned for 12-18 months from now.
Weighing just 61 lbs, these aluminum brake drums are 46% lighter than currently available products, representing a weight-saving potential of 100 lbs per axle or 300 lbs on a three-axle truck. Moreover, Dauch said they dissipate heat better than steel drums and provide shorter stopping distances. And the price point will still be less than disc brakes, Dauch indicated.
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