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MATS Report: Alcoa rolls out lighter, brighter wheel

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Alcoa has taken advantage of a new, proprietary manufacturing process to create an aluminum...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Alcoa has taken advantage of a new, proprietary manufacturing process to create an aluminum wheel that’s 2 lbs lighter than its predecessor, the company announced.


The wheel was on display to trucking journalists at the Mid-America Trucking Show Wednesday. While the 2 lb weight savings may seem inconsequential, the company points out a total savings of 36 lbs is possible if used on every position on a tractor-trailer and a total savings of 650 lbs is possible when compared to  steel wheels.


The LvL ONE wheel is also six times brighter than competitive wheels, according to Tim Myers, vice-president and general manager, Alcoa Commercial Vehicle Wheels.


“This new process results in an organic, stunning bright finish,” he said, adding the brightness was measured using “standardized test methods for the measurement of brightness.”


The LvL ONE wheel also features a two-sided finish that reduces the need to order single-side inner diameter and outer diameter wheels, Myers added. Any wheel can be mounted on any axle on either the tractor or trailer.


No firm price was offered up, but Myers said it will be priced similarly to the 22.5”x8 ¼” wheel it replaces. Myers also urged fleets to consider the value of converting from steel to aluminum wheels in light of increasingly-challenging operating conditions.


“Now is a good time for steel wheel users to take a serious look at the bottom line benefits made possible by Alcoa’s LvL ONE wheel,” he said. “They can begin capturing savings from day one, including the cost of avoidance associated with the steel wheel’s need for routing sandblast refurbishing and downtime for painting.”


He added: “That’s not considering the weight-related fuel, emissions and other savings they can realize using the LvL ONE forged aluminum wheel.”

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