Alcoa rolls out lighter heavy-duty aluminum wheel at MATS

April 1, 2014

Alcoa has rolled out a heavy-duty aluminum truck wheel, the Ultra ONE, that will help trucks shed pounds for increased payload and fuel efficiency.

Unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show March 27-29 in Louisville KY, Alcoa’s new 40-pound wheel is 47% lighter than steel wheels of the same size. The Ultra ONE can help save up to 1,400 pounds per rig, enabling fleets to carry more goods while meeting federal emissions regulations. Underscoring the importance of lightweighting to the industry, one of America’s largest flatbed carriers, TMC Transportation, is converting its fleet to the Ultra ONE starting in 2014.

Fleets have increasingly converted to aluminum wheels that offset the weight of necessary pollution-control equipment used to meet federal emissions regulations. Lighter wheels also improve fuel economy, making up for rising fuel prices and helping move goods in a cleaner way. If trucks burn less fuel, they emit fewer greenhouse gases. Replacing steel wheels with aluminum wheels on an 18-wheeler offsets the annual carbon footprint of an average family of four in America. In addition, Alcoa’s aluminum wheels are six times brighter than other wheels, and because they are corrosion-resistant and do not require stripping and repainting, lower maintenance and operating costs.

To take out five pounds out of its lightest heavy-duty truck wheel, Alcoa’s experts at the Alcoa Technical Center invented a new alloy, the patent-pending MagnaForce alloy. It is on average 17% stronger than the industry standard, Alcoa’s 6061 alloy, in similar applications.

The Ultra ONE Wheel with MagnaForce alloy is available in the industry standard 22.5" x 8.25" size for heavy-duty, commercial transportation, and is being readied in all OEM customer data books. Truck manufacturers can specify Ultra ONE using the product code ULTRAx. Ultra ONE wheels are available in all popular Alcoa finish options.

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