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Accuride Unveils Fuel Saving Line of Lighter Wheel Components

Views: 112     Author: Fullwon     Publish Time: 2019-03-02      Origin: Site

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With an eye on pending environmental regulations, truck components supplier Accuride said it is developing new products that will reduce the weight of tractor-trailers.

It unveiled the new technologies Tuesday at the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2016 in Las Vegas.

Accuride said it had acquired patents for metal matrix composite (MMC) technology, which would enable the company to develop advanced lightweight brake drums and wheel-end components.

Accuride’s Gunite brake drums are designed to help the commercial vehicle industry meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Phase II greenhouse gas regulations. The company said it will be 18 to 24 months before the products are available commercially.

The wheel components will slice the weight of tractor-trailers by up to 100 pounds per axle, said Rick Dauch, Accuride’s CEO.

“Through our lightweight MMC brake drum development and wheel lightweighting programs,” Dauch said. “We’re focused on creating industry-leading technologies that provide our customers with solutions to the requirements of increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations.”

While weight reduction could prove beneficial to truck drivers and trucking companies in many ways, their direct impact on fuel-efficiency might be marginal.

“Weight has only a modest effect on fuel economy, coming into play only during acceleration and hill climbing. The main consumer of fuel is air resistance,” said Noel Perry, an analyst at FTR Transportation Intelligence. “100 pounds per axle would reduce fuel use by somewhere around 0.2 percent.”

However, such a weight reduction might have a bigger impact on the payload a truck can carry.

“The reason to take weight out is to increase payload when the load is weight limited,” Perry said. “The same savings is worth about 2 percent additional payload for the same truck.”

Accuride also introduced new steel wheel technology.

Accuride says that the new EverSteel technology lasts six times longer than competing wheels and double the life of Accuride’s own Steel Armor steel wheels. The new technology is designed for fleets that frequently operate in ice and snow. The wheels have a five-year warranty.

“Corrosion is an ongoing and costly issue for fleets working in harsh operating environments across North America,” Dauch said. “It sets a new standard of performance and durability, and will enable our fleet customers to achieve significant savings in wheel refinishing costs and the associated downtime.”

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