Fuso SRW options

skippythedog

Observer
As of about 2 months ago, Stockton and Rickson were not an option. Stocktons staff seem clueless and they've had some quality and customer service issues as well, since the ownership change. I suppose you might be able get them to build you something w/ a drawing but they don't have or won't share specs on previous FUSO FG orders. The fellow at Rickson seemed willing to build me a set, if he "could find a set of wheel centers laying around..." I never heard back from him. Earthcruiser got in a whole shipment of wheels a couple months back but they were all (mistakenly) 5 lug wheels instead of 6 lugs. As of a couple of days ago, they were absolutely clueless as to when replacements might arrive from Hong Kong....They're very vague about their wheels, obscenely slow to return calls or written inquiries...really not very enthused about wheel/accessory sales...I get a bad vibe from them. There are rumors about re: failures/ QC issues with their wheels, which they claim were caused by improper placement of tape weights on the inside of the wheel....yet they apparently have no detailed directions/pics about the same....This is highly subjective/speculative, but I get the sense that they may be on shaky financial ground and have adopted a policy of flat refusing warranty claims, which will certainly, if slowly result in their demise.
 

pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
As of about 2 months ago, Stockton and Rickson were not an option. Stocktons staff seem clueless and they've had some quality and customer service issues as well, since the ownership change. I suppose you might be able get them to build you something w/ a drawing but they don't have or won't share specs on previous FUSO FG orders. The fellow at Rickson seemed willing to build me a set, if he "could find a set of wheel centers laying around..." I never heard back from him. Earthcruiser got in a whole shipment of wheels a couple months back but they were all (mistakenly) 5 lug wheels instead of 6 lugs. As of a couple of days ago, they were absolutely clueless as to when replacements might arrive from Hong Kong....They're very vague about their wheels, obscenely slow to return calls or written inquiries...really not very enthused about wheel/accessory sales...I get a bad vibe from them. There are rumors about re: failures/ QC issues with their wheels, which they claim were caused by improper placement of tape weights on the inside of the wheel....yet they apparently have no detailed directions/pics about the same....This is highly subjective/speculative, but I get the sense that they may be on shaky financial ground and have adopted a policy of flat refusing warranty claims, which will certainly, if slowly result in their demise.
Yep, I looked at all of those before going with ATW. The other options I considered were Trailworthy, Firematic, and Stazworks.

I hadn't heard about issues with EC wheels - that sure sucks for them if they got the wrong product in. They have a lot of irons in the fire so I can see how selling just wheels might not be high on their priority list. EC was never really an option for me because I needed to carry more weight than they would be rated for.

ATW has given me excellent service and done what they said they were going to do when they said they were going to do it. When I decided to order from them several years ago I had decided they were the best option for me, and I still feel that way today.
 

jostalli

Observer
Hmm, what pricing were you seeing?

ATW? Last I saw (which is a few years ago) was $2685 USD.

EC?

Goannatracks = $2500 AUD + $400 shipping.

The Goannatracks are cheaper but I'm not seeing an obscene difference. ATW wheels are a different beast anyways, so not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. If you like the smaller rims and don't need the full weight carrying capacity of your chassis then yes it is an options.
ATW ONLY offers 19.5" wheels, which limits you to what tires you can use. Also, ATW US ONLY sells them mounted and balanced with Toyo M608z due to folks having trouble balancing them.
Cost with tires: $1245.40 per. Cost per rim if you order from Australia: $657 per.

Goannatracks are 17x9", which allow a wide variety of tires. I will choose the Toyo Open Country MT 37x13.50r17, max load=4300lb
The Goannatracks wheels are tested at 4163Kg under SAE J328
Goannatracks cost per rim: $500 AUD (current exchange rate in US$=$378)

This is why I said the Goannatracks seem to be the best option
 

alan

Explorer
As of about 2 months ago, Stockton and Rickson were not an option. Stocktons staff seem clueless and they've had some quality and customer service issues as well, since the ownership change. I suppose you might be able get them to build you something w/ a drawing but they don't have or won't share specs on previous FUSO FG orders. The fellow at Rickson seemed willing to build me a set, if he "could find a set of wheel centers laying around..." I never heard back from him. Earthcruiser got in a whole shipment of wheels a couple months back but they were all (mistakenly) 5 lug wheels instead of 6 lugs. As of a couple of days ago, they were absolutely clueless as to when replacements might arrive from Hong Kong....They're very vague about their wheels, obscenely slow to return calls or written inquiries...really not very enthused about wheel/accessory sales...I get a bad vibe from them. There are rumors about re: failures/ QC issues with their wheels, which they claim were caused by improper placement of tape weights on the inside of the wheel....yet they apparently have no detailed directions/pics about the same....This is highly subjective/speculative, but I get the sense that they may be on shaky financial ground and have adopted a policy of flat refusing warranty claims, which will certainly, if slowly result in their demise.
Hello Skippythedog.

As the supplier of these wheels to earthcruiser and other companies world wide i feel i need to present some facts here, it is true the last shipment of wheels supplied to earthcruiser were the incorrect stud pattern, this was before christmas and to reorder and be placed in the manufacturing schedule can take months to happen, the wheels are manufactured by Alex wheels in Taiwan to the highest standards, they have never been sourced from china or shipped from hong kong, we have well over 800 wheels out there world wide with NO failures or warranty issues that i am aware of, to criticize a product and or company on a public forum with no hard facts i find a very offensive to extreme!! feel free to contact me direct alan@outbackaccessories.com
 

skippythedog

Observer
My bad...Taiwan, not Hong Kong...whatever. It was an EC employee that said "Hong Kong." You can be offended all you want. Your product costs a boatload of money. I (like everyone else) want value and a safe, high quality product. Info about your product is very vague and there aren't a lot of apparent users. I want facts. The vendors won't provide that; so I have to look on my own. I'm glad it got your attention.

I have personally communicated w/ one person on this forum who has experienced problems with these wheels. Since Michelle at EC is very vague, has no real technical knowledge or info about these wheels, is not very forthright about this problem and is horribly slow at returning any calls or correspondence....I decided to surreptitiously investigate on my own: My consensus was that the problems may have been caused by minimal clearances on the back side of the wheel. (Michelle can't or won't provide detailed info on this subject). The wheels in question may have been damaged in an effort to achieve good static/dynamic balance wherein tape weights were placed in an area on the backside of the wheel with insufficient clearance. Since I have a commercial account w/ Les Schwab, I had my tire guy scan the Schwab computer as I assumed (correctly) that one of the Schwab locations in Bend might have done their work. This was further confirmed by an after hours conversation w/ an EC employee (not someone who normally answers the phone)....This was a bit of a dead end as EC only takes their tires/wheels down there on a loose/carry-in basis, so the Schwab people never get to see what clearances they are dealing with. (Incidentally, I spoke with 2 managers and a technician at the Bend Schwab location.) Further: If you try to have Schwab mount your SRW conversion on your truck, you will (if the employee is following company policy) be met with a refusal.

Other than other forum members, I have exhausted my resources. Other than my "mistake" about Asian location (and again, it was an EC employee that said "Hong Kong") my account IS factual. My "hard facts" consist only of personal communication w/ an owner of the wheels, 4 people (one at EC) who handle the wheels and the primary contact at EC.

So Alan, since you're the guy w/ the access, YOU delve into this....and publish your results here. I have no intention of retracting anything, nor apologizing. My account is factual and truthful. My post was intended to ferret out information before I waste my money as well as to benefit other forum members.
 
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pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
alternative facts, wasn't a lie because I thought it was true.
There are good options out there, with pros and cons for all of them. No need to be uncivil here, even though that does seem to be the trend in politics lately.

Anyways, I had SRW tires put on my Fuso at a Les Schwab. Had them rebalanced at another one. Neither seemed concerned.

Also, issues with stick on weights is pretty common - this is typical clearance for a modern Ford truck 17" rim with the front brakes. Happened on Friday - we added weights further in and peeled these ones off. Really wasn't a big deal and couldn't be bothered to take them back to the tire shop for something so minor.

 

SkiFreak

Crazy Person
I have never owned or used 16" singles, but understand how there could be clearance issues between the rim and the drum brake, but me commenting on this without personal experience would probably be inappropriate, so I won't.
As most would know, I have owned both the steel and alloy 19.5" wheels supplied by ATW. Neither of these rims are what I would consider "perfect", but they do the job and I have never been worried about them being unsafe.

When it comes to getting technical information about proprietary products there are quite often issues, as the developer needs, or feels that they have to protect their R&D investment, which in part I can understand.
I had many discussions with ATW about their alloy rims; via email, over the phone and in person. I was actually one of the first customers, if not the first, to have my truck fitted with these rims. I will not go into detail here about issues that I had, but I have detailed one of the issues on my website (should anyone be interested).
If I had the choice all over again, would I still buy the ATW alloy rims? Yes, I would. I still believe that the design could have been slightly different, but as I said previously, they do the job and actually have a higher load rating than the Gen2 steel single rims (3150kg vs. 3000kg for each rim).

As to the price of both Alan's and ATW's rims... if these rims were being made by the thousands then you would expect the price to be lower, but this is not the case. These rims are made for a very small market.
Limited run items still have all of the R&D and production costs, which need to be recovered. The company also has to make some profit to make it worth their while, hence, you pay more for these items.
I do not see this as wroughting, it's just a commercial reality for this type of product.

Expecting to get quality custom made equipment at hardware store prices is simply not how it works in the real world. I don't like this either, but it is how it is.
 

Howard70

Adventurer
Happy With EC/Alexrims/Alan's Wheels

Well, since "Skippythedog" asked....

No problems with our 6 EC/Alan/Alexrims 16" alloy rims after 33,000 miles and on our 2nd set of tires. They balance fine, run well, mount smoothly, Heidi can change one by herself (don't challenge her to an arm wrestle...), look great. Not sure what more we could want.

I'm not sure why anyone would need detailed instructions about mounting wheel weights on them. Mount the wheels, look for clearance issues, place the weights where there is space. If your tire shop can't handle that, find one that can. Personally, I check this sort of stuff myself no matter who I pay to do the work.

I doubt these positive impressions/observations from a satisfied customer will change Skippy's opinion - but you're welcome to prove me wrong!

Howard
 

skippythedog

Observer
Well, the owner of the errant EC wheels actually claimed that the wheels were bent, out of round, "had a hump" etc. directly from the factory.... It was after my review of the known facts that I came up with this theory. The EC people mirrored this but also, at one point claimed that the customers rig was "overloaded." In my mind, these are conflicting facts.

Apparently though, (and this is a guess), the misplaced tape weights bent the wheel as the wheels got torqued down. Now, I'm a former factory trained VW and Porsche/Audi mechanic, Service Advisor for the same brands as well as Subaru, Service Mgr. at a Toyota dealership and mobile tool dealer, so I have a bit of insight. I can see how this is possible, particularly with heavy truck wheels. While I might feel that a Porsche 993 light weight tire and wheel assembly might not be sitting flat on the hub before I hand torque them, this might not be so easily felt on a truck. The specified 360 foot lbs of torque can do some damage to alloy rims. Others have said that squishing the lead would not damage the wheel. I'm not privy to examining the parts nor getting a straight answer from EC. The tire shop that mounts EC's tires in Bend, OR can't tell me either.

It's easy for one to say, "If your tire shop can't handle that, find one that can..." (Thanks Howard70 for that invaluable insight). But I think I've explained why it's possible for this situation (if this is even the cause) to piss nearly $4000 of your dollars away instantly. If there is a particular clearance that must be observed, compatible size or brand of tape weight that must be utilized, I'd like to know before I mount and destroy my shiny new wheels.
 
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Aussie Iron

Explorer
I'm running Alan's wheel and you can't say that I'm easy on them. If you don't believe me look up what I do with my Canter and yes it is loaded to the max (and then some) at times and often it may be sitting on the bottom side wheel with more than it's share of weight in offroad situations. As far as balance goes why would you use wheel weights when you can use balance beads that do a lot better job. I use stainless beads that can be reused so not even having to buy more when doing a tyre change. You need to use enough, the rate is 1oz per 10lbs of tyre or part thereof. Some of the OKA owner over here are using shoot gun shot with good results. As far as the wheels that were out of round if you used a rattle gun to do them up without noticing that it was sitting on a weight well for sure you can bend them out of round. As far as tyre shops :- There are tyre shops and there are tyre shops but I all ways do my own as then they are right.

Dan.
 

alan

Explorer
My bad...Taiwan, not Hong Kong...whatever. It was an EC employee that said "Hong Kong." You can be offended all you want. Your product costs a boatload of money. I (like everyone else) want value and a safe, high quality product. Info about your product is very vague and there aren't a lot of apparent users. I want facts. The vendors won't provide that; so I have to look on my own. I'm glad it got your attention.

I have personally communicated w/ one person on this forum who has experienced problems with these wheels. Since Michelle at EC is very vague, has no real technical knowledge or info about these wheels, is not very forthright about this problem and is horribly slow at returning any calls or correspondence....I decided to surreptitiously investigate on my own: My consensus was that the problems may have been caused by minimal clearances on the back side of the wheel. (Michelle can't or won't provide detailed info on this subject). The wheels in question may have been damaged in an effort to achieve good static/dynamic balance wherein tape weights were placed in an area on the backside of the wheel with insufficient clearance. Since I have a commercial account w/ Les Schwab, I had my tire guy scan the Schwab computer as I assumed (correctly) that one of the Schwab locations in Bend might have done their work. This was further confirmed by an after hours conversation w/ an EC employee (not someone who normally answers the phone)....This was a bit of a dead end as EC only takes their tires/wheels down there on a loose/carry-in basis, so the Schwab people never get to see what clearances they are dealing with. (Incidentally, I spoke with 2 managers and a technician at the Bend Schwab location.) Further: If you try to have Schwab mount your SRW conversion on your truck, you will (if the employee is following company policy) be met with a refusal.

Other than other forum members, I have exhausted my resources. Other than my "mistake" about Asian location (and again, it was an EC employee that said "Hong Kong") my account IS factual. My "hard facts" consist only of personal communication w/ an owner of the wheels, 4 people (one at EC) who handle the wheels and the primary contact at EC.

So Alan, since you're the guy w/ the access, YOU delve into this....and publish your results here. I have no intention of retracting anything, nor apologizing. My account is factual and truthful. My post was intended to ferret out information before I waste my money as well as to benefit other forum members.
I will be at the sema show later in the year i am happy to meet up and discuss it in person.
 

SkiFreak

Crazy Person
One of the reasons I stay on this forum is because it does not normally get personal here, unlike many other forums.
It would be a pity if that changed.
 
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Endoftheroad

New member
I had Les Schwab in Bend Or. mount and balence a set of steel singles I bought off a fellow forum member from Ventura. They then swapped them out , the existing dual rear wheels. No questions asked.
I also dropped into Earthcruiser in Bend. They were really busy.
I wasn't shopping , but they took time out to give a thorough tour of
the business . Hospitable and pro.
They also sell the stock Fuso bits they replace (wheels, seats..) very inexpensively .
They have a good bolt on suspension upgrade that isn't exorbitant ..
Nor are Alans wheels as pricey as "Skippy" suggests ...
 

Czechsix

Watching you from a ridge
As Ron mentioned, this might be a good impetus to more folks running balance beads. When I swapped over to the 16's from Alex (sourced from EC), I ran stainless beads, and they seem to be working well. I'll have better data after more time, but for now I'm glad I went the bead route. The other issue that's apparent is it's relatively easy to load an FX past the tire max load limit :D
 

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