Commercial vehicle wheel manufacturer Accuride Corporation introduced two, newly qualified aluminum wheels recently, noting it expects to transition its customers to these new designs by the early in the second quarter of 2014. The new Duplex wheels are already on the road in fleet service and available for specification from Accuride’s OEM customers.
Accuride reported the 22.5x14-in. Accu-Lite® Duplex™ aluminum wheels are up to four pounds lighter than the earlier models they replace. It said adding the lighter products to its portfolio means that it offers the lightest-weight range of standard aluminum wheels (based on total weight) to the North American commercial vehicle industry.
“When it comes to giving fleets the ideal solution for their application, Accuride is the only wheel manufacturer capable of offering alternatives in either steel or aluminum,” stated Rick Dauch, Accuride President and CEO. “Along with our advanced new Steel Armor™ coating for steel wheels, these new Accu-Lite® Duplex™ aluminum wheels give fleets even more ways to save money by lowering total tractor-trailer weight, boosting fuel economy and payload, trimming maintenance costs and a host of related benefits. It comes down to our commitment to deliver value and reliability for our customers.”
Accuride produces cast steel and forged aluminum wheels for commercial vehicles; wheel-end components and assemblies; and specialty cast-iron components for agricultural, construction and mining, and oil-and-gas equipment. The aluminum wheels are forged at the former Forgitron Technologies rotary forging operation, acquired in 2011.
The new wheels (part numbers 41142 and 41140, replacing numbers 41660 and 41016, respectively) will be the lightest-weight 22.5x14-in. Duplex™ aluminum wheels available commercially. By reengineering the design of the previous models, Accuride reduced the weight of PN 41660 by three pounds and PN 41016 by four pounds. The wheels were assigned new part numbers to make it easier to identify them as zero-outset (PN41140) or two-inch-outset (PN41142) wheels.
Both 10-hand-hole, hub-piloted aluminum wheels are rated to support a maximum load of 12,800 pounds, according to the manufacturer.
Accuride explained the Duplex™ aluminum wheels would allow fleets to manage costs better by improving fuel efficiency or increased payload capacity, by replacing traditional dual wheel sets with one wide-base 22.5x14-in. wheel on tandem-axle tractors and trailers. The wheels reduce maintenance time and labor costs because the technician mounts/dismounts half as many wheels per axle, it indicated. Also, without the inner wheel to service, inspecting the wheel-tire assembly and inflating the tires is faster and more efficient.