Alcoa Inc. (AA) shares gained 6% as the aluminum giant launched its latest innovation - the world’s lightest heavy-duty truck wheel, the Ultra ONE. Ultra ONE is a new 40-pound wheel and being 47% lighter than steel wheels of the same size will help trucks carry more load and also improve fuel efficiency. Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products, a business unit of Alcoa, has come up with this new innovation.
The Ultra ONE can save about 1,400 pounds per rig which will help the fleets to carry more goods while meeting the severe federal emissions regulations. Fleets have been increasingly converted to aluminum wheels, thereby reducing the need of pollution-control equipment that is used to meet federal emissions regulations. The lightweight wheels help improve fuel economy which is a positive in the times of rising fuel prices. The transition to aluminum wheels from steel wheels helps in reducing annual carbon footprint emission.
Alcoa’s wheels are six times brighter than competitors’ wheels due to their corrosion resistant quality, which helps in lowering operators’ maintenance and operating costs. As most of the companies are now switching to lightweight fleets, America’s largest flatbed carrier, TMC Transportation, will also follow the same path in 2014.
The Ultra ONE wheel will utilize the MagnaForce alloy which is invented by the world’s largest light metals research center, the Alcoa Technical Center. The alloy is 17% stronger than the industry standard- Alcoa’s 6061 alloy.
Alcoa, which is among the prominent players in the mining industry along with Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (ACH ), BHP Billiton Limited (BHP), Rio and Tinto Plc. (RIO), is a world leader with respect to production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. Alcoa