Heavy Duty Trucking

JUL 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

Issue link: https://heavydutytrucking.epubxp.com/i/344801

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44 HDT • JULY 2014 www.truckinginfo.com parts] wherever possible," says Mark Terry, general manager, truck and bus at Yancey Bros. Co., a Georgia-based dealer and parts supplier. "But as we get into the second owner — anybody who is downstream of that initial trade — there is a tremendous opportunity for the all-makes side of the business. And if someone buys a truck and keeps it for 10 or 12 years, we see a point where, in their mind, the value proposition from the aftermarket part exceeds the price premium they would pay to the OEM or Tier 1 suppler." Brittany Stewart, COO of online truck parts market- place FinditParts, encourag- es fleet managers to do their homework and determine what is appropriate based on how long they plan to keep the vehicle. "It may not be a part with an eight-year rating; it might be one with only a two-year rating," she says. "If they only plan to keep the truck for two years, they don't need a part that lasts longer." REMAN'S ROLE Remanufactured parts are one component of a successful parts purchasing strategy. The decision to use reman parts is fleet-specific, according to David Schultz, director of marketing, Bendix Com- mercial Vehicle Systems. "Factors that come into play are vocation, what they are using their vehicles for, the expectation of their vehicle's performance, the longevity, and so on." At the same time, Bendix's Jerry Conroy, senior direc- tor, aftermarket sales, recommends that fleets "consider who the remanufacturer is, because different suppliers have different capabilities." Dan Bambrick, manager of private brand and segment marketing at Road Choice Truck Parts, a new all-makes brand from Mack, also believes there are various levels of reman parts. "In using reman parts, a fleet should look for a repu- table supplier that has proven to have a true remanu- facturing process," Bambrick says. "Sometimes we see companies that say they have reman parts, but we refer to them as rebuilt parts. It is not completely brought up to specifications; only a few components are replaced and the unit is put back together. We don't consider that a true remanufactured product." Using brake shoes as an example, TMD's Thompson says to make sure shoes are coined: placed in a die and pressed at very high tonnage to bring them back to their original, factory shape. "Some reliners only remove and replace lining," he explains. "This is not the best starting place for a brake reline, as the high forces involve in braking will 'stretch' or distort the shoe in normal operating conditions." THE INTERNET AS A TOOL The Internet provides another avenue for pur- chasing parts, or at least for researching parts and suppliers before making a purchase. "One of the most useful ways the fleet can use the Internet is getting informa- tion about different products, and being able to compare similar types of widgets from a form and fit, and function standpoint," says Bendix's Conroy. Stewart of FinditParts says fleets can use the Internet to streamline the parts procurement process, but adds that it is not a replacement for local distribution. "The fleet prob- ably will get 80% of its parts from its primary local source." Hard-to-find and legacy parts are good candidates for Internet purchasing. Bill Wade, managing partner, Wade & Partners, says the Internet is a "fantas- tic tool," but he says the Internet is not always the answer. "There are times when you need the diagnostic help of a good counter man or a good dealership mechanic." There also are times when if you can get a case of filters shipped to you, the price differential may be enough to make it worth your while, Wade believes. "The whole thing revolves around the issue of cost vs. value. If you don't have the value, the cost is a stupid focus. Value is all about keeping the trucks running. To the extent that the supply chain can help it, great. To the extent that the sup- ply chain gets in the way of that, then we have to rethink it," Wade says. Bambrick at Road Choice cautions fleets to research suppliers when purchasing over the Internet to ensure they are buying parts from reputable sources. Make sure your parts distributor has knowledgeable counter people who can provide any technical infor- mation you need to complete the repair properly. Parts-Buying Practices "Anybody will sell you an AA part on Wednesday at noon. You want the guy who will bust his butt to find you an obscure part on Saturday morning or Sunday night because you have a truck down." – Bill Wade

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