Four Things Every Fleet Manager Should Know About Parts Buying

24 July 2017
 Categories: Automotive, Blog


As a new business fleet manager, one of your top priorities is likely keeping the trucks on the road. Investing in the right parts is a key part of this process, but it can be difficult to know which parts those are. With so many suppliers out there, you may think opting for the cheapest price is the best way to go. In fact, that's not necessarily the case. Here's a look at a few things that you need to know before you start sourcing heavy duty truck parts for your fleet.

Just Because They Look The Same Doesn't Mean They Are

One of the most common misconceptions among parts buyers is that all parts are essentially created equal. Sure, the OEM parts and the aftermarket parts designed for the same purpose will likely fit just the same, but that doesn't make them interchangeable. The value line of parts can look and fit identically to the parts you get directly from the original manufacturer, but may not be made from the same core materials. They may also be subjected to a slightly different quality assurance and inspection process, leading to weaker parts and the potential for problems down the road.

That doesn't mean you have to buy OEM parts, though. Just make sure that you know exactly what you're buying. Look for parts from a company that can stand behind their manufacturing and inspection process. Whenever possible, opt for parts that come with a significant warranty period and quality coverage. That way, you can have confidence in your investment.

There Is No Quality Standard For All Auto Parts

You might think that all parts sold in the U.S. must meet certain quality standards or criteria. That isn't actually the case. There is no single standard by which all parts must be measured. That means parts can be imported from other countries and sold here without them actually being equivalent to the products manufactured here.

For example, there's no standard that dictates what must be used as a friction source for brake pads. That means that parts can be manufactured using most any friction material at all, so you need to be sure that you know what you're getting. Always choose a supplier that is reliable and transparent about the products that they are selling.

It's Not The Best Idea To Source Your Own Parts

It's certainly more direct to source your own heavy duty truck parts for your fleet, but it isn't always the most practical decision. It's actually better for your fleet if you work with a parts supplier who can get you the exact parts you need at the quality level that your fleet demands. That way, you don't have to try to do the legwork of ensuring that the source of your parts is safe and legitimate.

There Is A Difference Between Rebuilt Parts And Remanufactured Ones

For someone new to sourcing parts, it's a common mistake to believe that remanufactured and rebuilt mean essentially the same thing. That's not the case at all, and before you buy either one, it's important that you understand the difference.

A rebuilt part is one that's been evaluated and repaired as-is. The rebuild process only involves fixing what's immediately and obviously wrong with it. That means that you may get a rebuilt part with the same exact core still in place, leading to the potential risk of premature failure.

Remanufactured parts, on the other hand, are actually broken down into individual components. Each of those components is cleaned and inspected and must meet its own quality and condition standards. Then, the part is reconstructed with components that all result in a like-new part. For more information, contact companies like King George Truck & Tire Center.