Wide Base or Duals?

Wide Base or Duals?

The Lightest 14″ Wheel in the Industry Can Save 1,400 lbs. When Converting from Steel Dual Wheels

Wide base or duals? That’s been a valid question since super single wheels came to the commercial transportation market in the early 2000s.

With their larger size and wider contact patch, one wide base wheel can do the job of a dual configuration with less tire and wheel weight. That enables more payload, improved stability and better fuel economy.

Super single wheels (14 inches) are commonly used in tanker trailers, bulk trailers and long haul tractors – primarily applications where they are hauling the maximum or near maximum legal weight amounts. Those applications are where money can be made for every pound saved in vehicle weight because it translates into additional carrying capacity.

The Wide Base Wheel Evolution

In 2001, Alcoa® Wheels introduced a forged aluminum 14-inch wide base wheel using its industry-standard 6061 alloy. The wheel weighed a mere 70.9 pounds for the time. Over the last nearly quarter of a century on the road, it has proven to be a reliable solution to lower the truck’s weight and increase payload. That same wheel has also been reinvented multiple times to continue making it ever lighter and stronger. In 2009, Alcoa® Wheels introduced LvL ONE® technology, which set a new lightweight standard for performance. The wide base wheel lost even more weight in 2013 with the introduction of the first new alloy in 45 years – MagnaForce®. Now on its fourth generation, there has been an overall 31% weight reduction in the 14-inch super-single wheel portfolio since it was introduced in 2001. Today, the lightest wide base wheel in the market – Alcoa® Ultra ONE® Wide Base Wheel – uses the proprietary MagnaForce® alloy to come in at a weight of just 49 pounds.

Save Up to 1,400 Pounds

Truck and trailer combinations can be made significantly lighter with this wheel type. At 49 pounds, it is 60% lighter than even the lightest steel dual wheels on the market (22.5 x 8.25 steel wheel at 65 lbs. each) and the lightest option available in its class. By switching from steel dual wheels, these wide base wheels can save more than 706 pounds on an 18-wheeler. When including the weight of the tires for the wide based wheel, weight savings can be up to 1,400 pounds, enabling more cargo to be carried. In real world terms, that equals 200 more gallons of gas in a tanker, 280 more bricks, 700 more bunches of bananas, 2,800 more cans of beer or more of anything that gets carried by truck.

Wide Base Considerations

Some aspects of maintenance are easier with wide base wheels than with a dual configuration because there is no inside dual tire pressure to match or maintain, and dual tires and height that don’t match are eliminated. With fewer tires to check air pressure and tire condition, vehicle inspection time is reduced.

There can be some areas to consider with wide base wheels and tires when comparing them to dual configurations, especially depending on how they will be used. As more fuel-efficient duals have been developed, the fuel savings of running wide base tires might be less than it was several years ago.

In the past, there was a perceived lack of “limp home capability” with traditional wide base wheels and tires. That’s because there was only one tire on the road instead of two. Active tire inflation systems have changed that perception because if a wide base tire has an issue, it can keep going and avoid an expensive side-of-the-road service call.

There are two important maintenance considerations for fleets running wide base wheels and tires: inflation checks to maintain proper inflation and minimize wear; and, truck, drive-axle and trailer-axle alignment to also combat the occurrence of irregular wear. Where retreading was an issue previously, wide base tires can be retreaded and the process is the same as with conventional truck tires.

Alcoa® Ultra ONE® 22.5″ x 14″ Wheels

The proprietary MagnaForce® alloy in Alcoa® Ultra ONE® 22.5 x 14 Wheels further reduces weight and improves operational performance. At just 49 lbs., these wheels are the lightest and strongest in the industry.


84U618 – High Polish on both sides as applicable Reference data table for offset position

84U612 – Mirror Polish inside only

84U617 – High Polish on both sides

  • Surface Treatment Options:

84U611BLK – Dura-Black™ outside only

84U612BLK – Dura-Black™ inside only

84U611DB – Dura-Bright® with Mirror Polish outside only

84U610DB – Dura-Bright® with Brush Finish

84U612DB – Dura-Bright® with Mirror Polish inside only

84U617DF – Dura-Flange® Rim Wear Protection Treatment with High Polish on both sides

84U612DD – Dura-Bright® Surface Treatment and Dura-Flange® Wear Protection Treatment with Mirror Polish inside only


84U642 – Mirror Polish inside only

84U647 – High Polish on both sides

84U64BLK – Dura-Black™

84U642DB – Dura-Bright® with Mirror Polish inside only

84DV17 Dual Valve counterpart to 84U61x – High Polish on both sides

84DV47 Dual Valve counterpart to 84U64x – High Polish on both sides

Learn more about how Alcoa® Ultra ONE® 22.5 x 14 Wheels can reduce weight and improve operational performance.