Alcoa Wheels is updating its product portfolio with the Ultra One 22.5 x 8.25-inch wheel. which weighs in at 39 pounds -- a full pound lighter than the model it will replace.
“This is quite possibly the strongest wheel we’ve ever made, and it also happens to be the lightest,” said engineering director Mike Baird. The update was announced Feb. 23 at the annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council in Atlanta.
The Ultra One maintains a classic look and features hand holes that are 34% larger than competitive offerings, providing easier access to valve stems, the company said.
But the product also emerges with the help of a new patent-pending Alcoa Wheels Hub Bore Technology. While the inside wheels on dual assemblies often stick onto hubs, because of the contact patch between the aluminum wheel and the pilot, Alcoa Wheels said this design reduces the amount of aluminum that actually touches the hub. It leaves just enough metal to align the wheel.
This reduces the hub-to-wheel contact area by up to 64% when compared to other aluminum wheels on the market, leaving less surface area for corrosion to form, the company said.
The wheels are available with high polish and mirror polish finishes, as well as Dura-Bright and Dura-Black surface treatments.
“It’s also really important to understand what didn’t change,” Baird said. Aesthetically, it is the same as the wheel being replaced. “You truly can mix and match this wheel if you need to.”
The new wheel comes with a five-year warranty.
Alcoa Wheels also announced that it is tapping into the expertise of internal experts with a new podcast titled “Behind the Wheels.”
Hosted by Doug Mason, Dave Walters, and Mike Yagley, the 30-minute talk-show format discusses heavy-truck and medium-duty axle ends.
Monthly installments will address new topics about axle ends.
Episode 1 covers the “Industry’s Darkest Secret,” highlighting wheel-offs, why they occur, and how they can be prevented.
Behind the Wheels is available for download at www.alcoawheels.com/podcast, or via iTunes, Spotify, and Google.