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Alcoa introduces lightest weight heavy-duty truck wheel

27 March 2014

Alcoa introduced the Ultra ONE, the lightest heavy-duty truck wheel. Unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking show, Alcoa’s new 40-pound (18 kg) wheel is 47% lighter than steel wheels of the same size. The Ultra ONE can help save up to 1,400 pounds (635 kg) per rig, enabling fleets to carry more goods while meeting stringent federal emissions regulations.

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.

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.

Alcoa’s wheels business has been launching a progression of innovations since inventing the forged aluminum wheel in 1948. Alcoa’s wheels business has grown at a 22% compounded annual growth rate from 2009 to 2013—with 67% of sales driven by proprietary technologies—making it one of Alcoa’s fastest growing businesses. The company is expanding its wheels presence in Europe and into China and Brazil to capture growing global demand for its wheels.

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.

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