Super single wheels work and shine

Your new truck is a Clydesdale, dragging a muddy plow during the week and pulling a Budweiser wagon on Sunday

You just picked up your new F550 or Ram 5550 quad-door 4×4, and it’s equipped to be the heavy-duty draft horse you’ve contemplated for years, except for one thing — wheels.

The new truck looks like a true Clydesdale through and through, but the original equipment manufacturer wheels kind of suck. You had your mind set on a wheeled version of those showy white feathers on the hoofs.

True, they’ll be caked with mud on days you’re working in the field, but for days when you feel like pulling that big Budweiser wagon, you want to show off those fancy white leggings.

The OEM rims have to go, so it’s time to cruise the web for a set of those modular aluminum truck wheels and turn the draft horse into a raging stallion. Remember, this isn’t just an ego trip. This is serious business.

It really is.

In order to extract the most work from this new truck, you’ll want more surface area, and the optimal solution is to increase tire width and radius to gain surface area side-to-side and front-to-back, says Pierce Fonville of DBL Design in Hurst, Texas.

The company manufactures three-piece aluminum wheels for medium duty trucks.

“People try to get the benefit by upping the tire size on the OEM stock wheel, but that’s not nearly as effective,” Fonville said in an email, adding that you must increase both radius and width to achieve the best results.

“F550 or RAM 5500 owners may buy larger steel wheels. Unfortunately, the way these are made puts considerable stress on the weld that holds them together. This may work for light duty jobs, but they’re not made for anything more than light use.

“If you want to take your truck on the highway plus have off-road capability, you only have one option: aluminum super singles. Guys who had previously purchased steel wheels end up purchasing aluminum super singles from us once their steel wheels break.”

Fonville said a DBL super single with a capacity of 11,000 pounds weighs 82 lb. A comparable steel wheel would need to weigh 150 lb. to have the same capacity. These are true modular three-piece military style wheels. They are easily assembled and disassembled with an air ratchet. To change a tire, simply remove the outer ring.

“An additional benefit is your ability to add bead locks so you can air down to 10 p.s.i. to quadruple the contact patch. This is ideal for someone who wants complete confidence that they can tackle whatever terrain they may encounter. We provide both bead locks and run flats, and we can supply 42-inch or 44-inch duals for the rear if you’re using the truck as a sprayer.”

However, maybe steel wheels aren’t all that bad, says the staff at Winnipeg Wheel Works.

They agreed that steel rims can crack under high load conditions, but aluminum rims crack, too.

Any truck wheel can crack. Alloys crack easier than steel, said the company.

They see cracked aluminum wheels coming into their business. Most customers switch from steel to aluminum, just for the looks, but there is a weight savings when you switch to aluminum wheels.

There is an advantage to three-piece aluminum wheels. The modular design lets users determine the offset and the way it fits your truck. That’s harder to do with a one piece, says the company.

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