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cAR wHEELS vs. tRUCK wHEELS

Fitment Industries Author | | November 3rd, 2018 |

  • - What's going on, guys? Gels from Fitment Industries, and as you can see, I have Fuller here next to me today, so that can only mean one thing: we are gonna talk about truck stuff. And no, no, no, don't leave just yet, because we're not just gonna talk about truck stuff. We're actually gonna compare truck wheels to car wheels, and tell you why car wheels are just so much better.
    - Let's get into it.
    - So, Fuller, you're a truck guy, you work with Custom Offsets, I'm sure any Custom Offsets guys will recognize you here. So when you get a truck, and you wanna buy a new set of wheels for it, you're going out and shopping for your first set of wheels for the truck, like, what are you looking for in a wheel?
    - I think a majority of the people, especially our customers, the guys that shop with Custom Offsets, the biggest thing that everybody wants is how wide can I go and how big of a lift can I get? So they want the 12 wides, the 14 wides, people are making 16 wides now, and they wanna see how much lift that they can get and how far they can get that wheel and tire sticking out of the fender, which is something that car guys, you know, that would be a weird poke fitment, and that's not what they're all about.
    - Right.
    - Where we got wheels sticking six to eight inches outside of our fenders.
    - So you're saying that not so much as design goes, you're saying more of a size.
    - Yeah, I mean obviously people care about the designs, too, but I think a lot of the guys just want to go as big as possible. That's probably the most popular question I get on Instagram, so I do all the Instagram messages, and everybody wants to know what's the biggest size wheel and tire that I can fit on my Chevy Silverado or whatever truck they're driving with whatever suspension they have. So, car guys, I think, have it easier when it comes to suspension stuff too, because you're either stock or going lower, nobody lifts a car.
    - [Jones] Right.
    - [Fuller] And when you go up, there's so many options, because it can be two inches, three inches, four inches, six inches, nine inches, twelve inches, and it just all depends on what your personal preference is really.
    - So do you think, with the whole size thing, do you think that a lot of truck wheel manufacturers take wheel weight into consideration when it comes to designing their wheels?
    - I don't think there are many that do, which I think wheel weight matters, but that's because I also drive cars, and so I know the adverse effects of unsprung weight, and there are some people though that do care about it. We were just out at Sema, just got back, and I was talking to one of the forged wheel manufacturers, and they're really focusing on trying to minimize how much weight they're adding to the wheels, because they have an option for a billet cap, so most caps in the truck world are plastic, and I'm assuming cars are pretty much the same too.
    - Mhm.
    - And they have an option for billet, which is metal. So they actually are shaving off the back of the cap now too, so it's just hollow and reducing as much weight as possible, but it's just a couple ounces on a, you know, 24x16 inch wheel that already weights 50 plus pounds.
    - Right.
    Yeah, I think that's one thing with car wheels too, is that when you're seeing an ad for a car wheel or something like that, or a brand is coming out with a new line of wheels, they're like, oh, they're gonna super lightweight, you're gonna save this much weight and everything, and it's kinda the fact that we pretend we care about the weight a little more than we actually do.
    - [Fuller] You know, the track guys probably really care, more than the guys that are just doing it for looks.
    - [Jones] Definitely.
    - [Fuller] So when I was driving trucks and picking up truck wheels all the time, it's quite a pain in the butt to lift them, and then I bought my drift car, and I got a set of Cosmis 006Rs on there. And I went to go pick up the wheel and tire after I set it on the ground, and I literally almost threw it, because it was so light and I couldn't believe it, but yeah, I think wheel weight does matter in the car world way more than it matters in the truck world. Because these things are so heavy, we already get terrible gas mileage, you're lifting it, so they're like, oh, what's a couple hundred pounds?
    - So to kinda go along with that too then, obviously the way the wheels are made a lot of the time determines how they turn out as far as weight, so your cast wheels are usually gonna be heavier than your forged wheels or your three piece or stuff like that. Do you technically think that a lot of the truck wheels are, what kind of process do you think most of them would go through? Are they mostly cast, or are they mostly forged?
    - So we actually just looked up some data on this, and I think it was 95% of the wheels that we offer on our website are cast wheels. The other 5% then are gonna be a forged wheel, or the weird oddity of compression force. So in the car world, you've got rotary forged, flow form, compression force, all these different names, but in the truck game, we are brand new coming out in the whole compression force thing, so Axe Offroad is one of the companies that does it, and compression forge, which I'll briefly explain for you guys. It's basically like a cast wheel, but then there's a whole bunch of heat and pressure and spinning involved and they pull out the barrel of the wheel so that it's stronger, in simple terms.
    - Sure.
    - But yeah, there's only one company that's doing that right now, most of them are cast, and what we found with forged wheels in the truck world is they are just as heavy as cast.
    - Really?
    - And I don't know if it has to do with the density of the material, because there's just so much aluminum there, and they're pressing it with, I forget what the statistic is, but it's like tens of thousands of pounds of pressure to compress it all together, so I think having that molecular grain structure so close and so tight, you still have a bunch of mass even though it's made out of aluminum, it's still really heavy.
    - Yeah.
    So actually what you're saying is it's either cast or forged, that the truck manufacturers are just starting to get into the flow forming or the flow forging?
    - Yeah, there's literally only one company.
    - You know, coming from the car side, that's what all the companies are trying to do right now--
    - [Fuller] Oh, everybody is coming out with it.
    - [Jones] Like, every wheel company out there for the car side has like a full forged line, so that's actually kinda interesting, I never really knew that.
    - Yeah, we're a little bit behind in that technology. And I don't know if it's because people don't care about weight, I think. It's the truck guy mentality, I guess.
    - Yeah.
    So as far as like designs and stuff go, I mean, and color, I guess, looking at your side of the wall and then looking at our side--
    - The black there.
    - Do they come in other colors than black and chrome and stuff?
    - Well, the most popular finish is still black, second most popular is gonna be black and milled, so it's still mostly black with a little bit of silver colored accent on there. Chrome wheels, we haven't been seeing as much of, and a lot of people confuse chrome and polished, so like a fully forged wheel is polished, whereas chrome is a plating, and there's also PVD chrome, which is like a powder-coated finish, but there's a lot of issues with finish quality on that, so people have been going away from that and sticking to regular chrome, or buying forged polished wheels, so.
    - Sure.
    - That's that.
    Some companies are coming out with a couple of different colors, Axe, again, so they're the ones pushing the envelope with compression forged, but they're also now coming out with red wheels, and they have white wheels, which I think would be super hard to keep clean, so that'll be interesting. But there are a couple other companies too that do a double dark tint, so basically they'll machine the face of the wheel and then spray a dark clear coat over it, and that's gaining in popularity. We saw a couple different examples of that at Sema this year, so it'll be interesting to see what people do with that, but by far, black is the most popular.
    - And as far as designs go for the wheels, just looking at them, I think a lot of them share a lot of similarities, and I can't say that the car wheels don't either, but from what I've seen, would you agree or do you think that a lot of the modern styling of the car wheels are starting to kinda seep in to the truck wheels?
    - Yeah, as much as the truck guys are not gonna wanna admit that, a ton of the styles that we're seeing in these popular truck wheels have came from or are coming from the car world, and that's just because more and more trucks are being used as showpieces, and not as, you know, the off-road workhorses that they were before.
    - Sure.
    - Design wasn't super important, everybody thinks that the bullet hole style wheels, we used to call them, where it's literally just circles punched in the steel, basically, and now you've got very intricate mesh designs, and a lot of people are going with those on the brand new trucks that are super high-end, your Denalis and everything that are just fully loaded, and it's more of a luxury vehicle, so it deserves more of a luxury-style wheel. But, by far, I think the most popular one we sell is the gear alloy big block or moto metal line 962, which is just, it's like an eight spoke or six spoke, I can't remember correctly, but it's literally just one big blocky chunk. And it's just simple and clean, and I don't know why it's so popular, but it is. Car guys have way more intricate designs, I would say.
    - [Jones] For sure.
    Yeah, I mean, and