CalcuLighter compares data on aluminum, steel wheels

Sept. 1, 2009
CalcuLighter provides exact financial data comparing steel and aluminum wheel alternatives

Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products introduced CalcuLighter, an online tool, for truck fleet and owner-operators. CalcuLighter provides exact financial data comparing steel and aluminum wheel alternatives. Site visitors can compare steel duals versus aluminum duals or wide base wheels, or aluminum duals compared with wide base, simply by entering a few specifics regarding their own operational needs.

Using Alcoa’s LvL ONE wheel as an example, 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 3% less rolling resistance than steel wheels.

CalcuLighter users simply need to indicate their Fleet Profile (ie, 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 the “carbon footprint” differences between wheel alternatives. The owner can also ascertain the cost of an Alcoa wheel upgrade, including finance charges.

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