Fleet managers are constantly being told that lighter wheels are better. But why? Does lighter mean more payload? Better fuel efficiency? The bottom line for all managers is cost.

Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products says it has a new online tool that can help answer some of those questions. The CalcuLighter provides financial data when comparing steel and aluminum wheels, duals vs. wide base, or any combination thereof, all by entering basic operational needs.

CalcuLighter calculates fuel, payload and tire life data as well as Truck Blue Book trade-in value, scrap value, wheel maintenance information and even the carbon footprint differences between wheel alternatives. Users input their fleet profile, choose the wheel alternatives they wish to compare and some other basic information such as power units, trailers and dollies. The results change as new information is input.

“Especially during tight economic times, fleets and owner-operators need actionable, dollars-and-cents answers now, and seat-of-the-pants guesstimates won’t do,” said Tim Myers, president. “Using the on-line CalcuLighter, they can see real-world data in real time, based on their own truck and trailer profile. This tool effectively translates basic product differences into a relevant, return on investment summary.”