Even relatively small savings on parts purchases can add up across an entire commercial fleet. If you manage multiple trucks, then it's likely that you're always on the hunt for effective ways to lower your ongoing maintenance costs. Aftermarket parts offer one way to save money on each purchase, but are they right for your business?
Choosing the right parts to repair, maintain, and upgrade your fleet is ultimately a matter of selecting the most cost-effective option that still gets the job done. These three questions will help you decide if an aftermarket option can fill that role for any particular parts purchase.
1. Is The Part Warrantied?
Many genuine or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts include significant warranties, which can provide peace of mind in the event of a failure. Aftermarket parts typically have warranties as well, but their terms can vary. Before selecting an aftermarket part for your application, always consider the length and terms of the warranty.
When comparing part warranties, don't forget to consider the usage requirements for the equipment. A consumable item or something that you will routinely replace does not require a long-term warranty. On the other hand, any part that needs significant labor to install should include a comprehensive guarantee to minimize your costs should it fail in the future.
2. How Critical Is The Component?
It's generally a good idea to buy the best parts you can when dealing with critical engine, transmission, suspension, or braking components. At best, failures in these parts can result in significant downtime and costly repairs. At worst, they may pose safety hazards for your drivers or motorists. While aftermarket components can work for these applications, always carefully consider these purchases.
On the other hand, non-critical components are an excellent candidate for aftermarket purchases. Interior and exterior trim, cabin electronics, and so on help keep your fleet looking well-maintained and professional, but they do not require direct-from-the-factory quality or warranties. If a part isn't crucial for your business operations or safe vehicle usage, then an aftermarket alternative is a great option.
3. Are You Purchasing From a Trustworthy Supplier?
Finally, always consider the source. If you purchase your parts from a skilled supplier, then you can trust that they have vetted any equipment that they sell. Experienced parts distributors can also help guide you to the best equipment and part options for your application so that you can make purchases that are both cost-effective and reliable.
By selecting aftermarket parts for the right applications, you can help you to reduce the costs of fleet maintenance without sacrificing reliability or quality.
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