Any hardworking fleet manager knows that their commercial trucks are going to need tough wheels to handle the demanding workload that comes with the territory. But when it comes down to it, what type of wheels should you get?
Should you go with aluminum wheels or with the tried and true steel?
At Camco Wheel & Axle, we’re here to help make that decision a little less complicated. Our experienced service technicians have been providing customers with expert insight for a long time. They carry a lot of knowledge when it comes to deciding what type of wheel is best for the work you want to do.
Here’s what to consider when deciding on commercial truck parts and wheels.
1. First, know what you’re getting in to.
When spec’ing out your wheels, consider the following before selecting your preferred type:
- Will it improve my freight efficiency and fuel consumption?
- Will it look sleek and professional?
- Will this wheel be properly installed?
- Will this wheel resist damage, rust, and rim flange wear?<
- What is the tire’s size and inflation pressure?
- Will maintaining it be easy?
- What are the loading or capacity requirements?
- Is there a warranty and field service support from the supplier?
Most importantly, you want to ensure that your new wheels will meet the expected vehicle load ratings.
2. The benefits of owning aluminum wheels.
When it comes to staying under your vehicle load rating, aluminum does wonders.
Aluminum wheels are several pounds lighter than their steel counterparts. With this weight gone, you can make your next haul more efficient by loading more of what needs to be hauled, saving fuel consumption by costing fewer trips – so long as you don’t go over your vehicle’s weight rating.
Aside from its weight, an aluminum wheel’s sleek design and finish is also resistant to corrosion. Aluminum wheels don’t chip, crack, or peel as some steel wheels do. You don’t have to worry about peeling paint or rust that can compromise the mounting surface.
But just because aluminum is lighter than steel doesn’t mean that it has a lesser life span. With proper maintenance and inspection, aluminum wheels can last you a very long time, so long as you abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations, use the wheel as it is intended for in terms of the vehicle load rating, maintain recommended speed limits, and consider the effects that the environment can have on them.
3. The benefits of owning steel wheels.
While steel wheels can be heavier, a few companies are making them lighter, saving you between 10 to 12 pounds off of your gross vehicle weight rating. It is somewhat close to what you would save with aluminum wheels, which will always save you on fuel consumption.
But steel has been around for a long time because it is dependable, durable, and strong. They don’t require as much cosmetic maintenance as aluminum does, and they are widely available.
And if something is more available, you can bet your leaf springs that it is going to be more affordable.
Still having a bit of trouble deciding which is best for you? Let our experienced technicians help you choose the right wheel and commercial truck parts for your fleet.
Spec’ing out details of your work truck can be quite overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. With over 30 years of experience, our professionals have got the answers to your questions.