Alcoa (NYSE: AA) today announced that its Commercial Vehicle Wheels business has launched an innovative new line of forged wheels using a new proprietary process that results in the industry’s lightest forged aluminum wheel but with even greater strength, and a superior finish on both sides that is six times brighter than any wheel in its class. The new line builds on Alcoa’s 60-year heritage of delivering value through innovation by increasing fuel economy and payload for trucking customers battling the constraints of the economic downturn.
Alcoa’s new line of truck wheels for fleets, owner/operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) reduce individual truck weight from 600 to 1300 pounds versus steel options and up to 50 pounds compared with current aluminum wheel options. As a result, the new forged wheel line – which will be called Alcoa LvL ONE™ wheels – can directly reduce operating costs through lower fuel costs and increased payload. Because the wheels are finished on both sides, they can also reduce inventory costs for customers who would need to stock fewer types of wheels.
“Our strategy in this downturn is to invest in technologies and innovations that benefit our customers,” said Alcoa Wheels and Transportation Products President, Kevin Kramer. “Built on the foundation of our 60-years of innovation heritage in this market, our new LvL ONE wheels are truly break-through.
“The term innovation is sometimes thrown around a lot, but in this instance it results in real benefits for the customer – lighter weight, less fuel and lower inventory costs; high strength, the brightest finish, and lead times that are half of what they were previously,” said Kramer.
“We see customers who are using steel wheels saving immediately because of Alcoa LvL ONE wheels,” added Kramer. “Their savings begin on day one.”
As part of the introduction, Alcoa Commercial Vehicle Wheels is introducing new proprietary cost analysis software that demonstrates how the LvL ONE forged aluminum wheel improves performance and reduces costs. The new interactive tool – the Alcoa Wheel Products CalcuLighter™ – allows fleets, OEMs and owner/operators to determine exactly how much they will save through fuel savings, increased payload, tire life savings, trade-in/scrap value, warranty/maintenance costs, and potential carbon credits. The new CalcuLighter™ tool can be found on the new Alcoa LvL ONE website at www.alcoawheels.com.