The U.S. has yet to enact a national ban on lead wheel weights but the EPA is considering one. Meanwhile, several states, including California, New York and Illinois, already mandate the use of non-lead wheel weights, and others are proposing such bans.
Zinc and Steel
Consequently, fleets and wholesalers must look for non-lead alternatives. The two leading alternatives are zinc and steel.
Steel is utilized by many aftermarket businesses and OE manufacturers in North America, but on a worldwide basis, zinc is the preferred alternative. Zinc knock-on wheel weights are utilized by nearly 99 percent of all OE vehicle manufacturers in Europe.
Both steel and zinc wheel weights are traditionally coated with a zinc-based coating, which is important for its anti-corrosion properties. Without the coating, steel wheel weights will rust.
Zinc wheel weights carry their anti-corrosion properties all the way through the weight and will never rust.
Zinc knock-on wheel weights are the best alternative for lead knock-on wheel weights on small- to medium-sized fleet vehicles.
Wheel balance is pivotal in providing safety, efficiency and comfort for any size fleet. The appropriate selection of wheel balance products can also help maintain an environmentally safe fleet.
The next time you are assessing the needs of your fleet, don’t forget the role that perfect wheel balance plays.
Gregory Parker is the marketing manager for Perfect Equipment, the world’s largest manufacturer of wheel balance weights. www.perfectequipment.com. The company offers a comprehensive range of wheel balance weights, including traditional, non-lead and adhesive options. Perfect Equipment is a part of Wegmann Automotive, the leader in the world market for balance weights designed for use in passenger cars, freight vehicles, buses and a variety of industrial applications, and a supplier to all the big names in the automotive world and leading spare parts retailer organizations.