Heavy-duty trucks are a feature of the roads in the USA and have been for decades. Did you know that more than 70% of freight across the States is taken by road? It’s the most convenient method of getting essential goods from one place to another, hence the number of trucks you see on the roads.
Maintenance of heavy-duty trucks is part of their life. They need to be kept up to date and safe to be on the roads as much as they need to be. A truck may do tens of thousands of miles in the same time a regular car just does a few thousand, and you can imagine the wear and tear that some of the parts undergo.
OEM Parts are No Better Than Alternatives
The major truck manufacturers don’t necessarily make all their parts themselves. Brake parts, perhaps clutch parts, tires and so on will be sourced from manufacturers who are specialists in those areas. However, these are classed as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and have been chosen by the truck maker for a reason.
You’ll find more about OEM parts at leading supplier finditparts.com who have comprehensive stock. However, there are some who will tell you to look for cheaper versions. Some of these can be excellent – we’ll touch on that later on – but in general it is recommended that using OEM parts is the best way to keep a truck running efficiently, reliably and safely.
Used Parts are Recommended
When trucks reach the end of their lives they are often broken, and the parts sold on. It is not recommended that you fit used parts, no matter how good they may appear, to a truck that is going to be put into full use. These parts will already have passed their peak performance and may pose a problem in terms of reliability.
If you run a truck for show or fun, then used parts may be a cost-saving option, especially where older and vintage trucks are concerned. In these cases you may have a problem finding OEM parts, so the used source is an option – but not for a professionally working heavy-duty truck.
The Price is What Matters Most
When it comes to truck maintenance the major considerations are safety, reliability and efficiency. Whether you’re an individual owner or a fleet manager, the price should come second to the service provided. Of course, you want to get the best deal possible for your truck maintenance and servicing but that should not mean you simply take the cheapest option.
You need to know that the professionals you choose to look after your truck use OEM parts, are trained in dealing with the model you run, and have adequate experience in servicing and maintaining trucks. Only when satisfied with those criteria do you start trying to get a better price.
The same applies when buying heavy-duty truck parts: the price is important, but not as important as ensuring you are buying the right OEM part for the specification of the truck you are running. Get quotes from a few suppliers and see which can give you the best deal, and strike up a relationship with one that appeals to you.
Rebuilt = Remanufactured
If you are looking after an older truck, perhaps a vintage model or other that is no longer in production, you will likely find parts difficult to source. This is where used parts do come into play, and where they may in fact be the only option you have. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that someone offering rebuilt parts is the same as offering remanufactured parts.
Rebuilt parts are those that have been taken off a vehicle – perhaps one from a breaker’s yard – and rebuilt to a decent standard. Refurbished is another term used for this method of giving older parts new life.
Remanufactured parts are just that: they have been manufactured – perhaps not by the OEM – to the same pattern and tolerances as the original. This is done where there is demand for such parts, perhaps for popular old trucks from Ford or Chevy that are cherished and taken to shows, and a small-scale manufacturer sees the worth in doing so. These parts will come guaranteed, and are certainly worth sourcing for a treasured older vehicle.
The Brand on the Box Says it All
We keep coming back to OEM parts for heavy duty trucks, and we do recommend that you trust parts from known and respected brands especially where they have been used as part of the original spec of the vehicle. However, it is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure that the parts they sell are up to standard.
A branded part can be defective, just as a non-branded part can be. This may be down to problems with certain batches or simply poor design, so because something is in a familiar branded box you should not simply assume it is of the quality you expect. Make sure it is checked and you pass it for quality before fitting, and take up any problems with your supplier who will be more than happy to help.
There is a lot of care and attention that goes into keeping a heavy-duty truck on the road, and it is thanks to the many dedicated truck maintenance experts across the USA that these vital vehicles are kept in good trim. By using quality OEM parts and the professional help of those who are expert in the upkeep of trucks such as these, the fleet can continue playing its trade reliably and safely, and keeping our shelves and warehouses fully stocked.
In summary, then: always use OEM parts where possible, don’t make cost the priority, ensure that you check even branded goods, and for older and vintage vehicles look for remanufactured parts that are genuine copies of the original item, as these will be perfect for the job.