Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products business today introduced CalcuLighter, http://www.alcoa.com/calculighter, an easy-to-use on-line tool, for truck fleet and owner-operators. CalcuLighter provides exact financial data comparing steel and aluminum wheel alternatives. Site visitors can quickly compare steel duals versus aluminum duals or wide base wheels, or aluminum duals compared to wide base, simply by entering a few specifics regarding their own operational needs.
"Especially during tight economic times, fleets and owner-operators need actionable, dollars-and-cents answers now, and seat-of-the-pants guesstimates won't do," said Tim Myers, President of Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. "Using the on-line CalcuLighter, they can see real-world data in real time, based on their own truck and trailer profile. This tool effectively translates basic product differences into a relevant, return on investment summary."
Using Alcoa's LvL ONE wheel as an example, Myers explained that an over-the-road rig running on this aluminum option is carrying nearly 630 pounds less weight than with standard steel wheels, and more than 1,200 pounds less if they go with 14-inch wide base aluminum wheels. Independent testing also shows LvL ONE provides up to three percent less rolling resistance than steel wheels.
"What do facts like this really mean in terms of fuel savings? More payload? Extended tire life?" Myers said. "CalcuLighter spells out these figures instantly as specific fleet input is entered. Owners can compare a variety of different options in only a few minutes."
CalcuLighter users simply need to indicate their Fleet Profile (i.e. Long Haul Truck), choose the wheel alternative they wish to compare (steel duals vs. aluminum duals or wide base, or aluminum duals vs. wide base), and input a few specifics about their needs. For example, the number of power units, trailers and dollies, and number of wheels for each.
Calculations are made and the results appear on-screen as input is entered. Fuel savings, for instance, will instantly change if the user alters the price from $2.65 per gallon to $3.50 or any other number. In addition to fuel, payload and tire life data, CalcuLighter also reveals Truck Blue Book trade-in value, scrap value, relative wheel maintenance info and even the "carbon footprint" differences between wheel alternatives. The owner can also ascertain the cost of an Alcoa wheel upgrade, including finance charges.
"CalcuLighter is designed to give fleets and owner-operators the kind of detailed information they need for their businesses," Myers said. "All they need to do is log on to www.alcoawheels.com."