ARTSA-i has developed a Guide for Operators of vehicles and Purchasers of replacement parts, that covers the quality-assurance actions Suppliers of replacement parts should take.
The Guide defines good practice for Suppliers of replacement parts and suggests some basic questions that Purchasers should consider when making purchase decisions.
Operators should purchase good-value parts for heavy vehicles that will provide safe, reliable, and legal performance.
The use of poor-quality parts leaves the Operator vulnerable to expensive breakdowns and reworks, enforcement attention and loss of insurance cover.
These risks can be mitigated if Suppliers of replacement parts implement the quality-assurance activities specified in the Guide.
Suppliers of parts who comply with this Guide will identify appropriate technical standards; have validation test reports; keep supply records; review part failures; have a warranty policy; and provide installation and rating information.
These actions will assist the Supplier to determine and monitor the quality of parts it markets.
The Guide is applicable to all Suppliers, be they original equipment suppliers or aftermarket parts suppliers. All Suppliers of parts can and should comply with the requirements of this Guide.
Purchasers should buy parts from Suppliers who declare that they supply their parts according to this Guide, so they can be confident that practices are being followed that promote good part quality.
The Guide classifies replacement parts into four Safety Levels, as shown in the table. The actions that Suppliers should take to ensure the quality of parts are graduated according to Safety Level.
This important work by ARTSA-i is funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Government. Version 1.0 of the Guide can be found on the ARTSA-i website.
ARTSA-i’s next step is to communicate the Guide through Operator magazines, Operator associations and trade ‘electronic media’.
A group of Suppliers and Purchasers will then trial the Guide for the next 12 months to get experience of it. During this time ARTSA-i will seek the views of a range of Suppliers, Operators and Associations about how to proceed.
Once experience with the Guide is obtained and it has been fine-tuned, ARTSA-i will discuss future promotion of the Guide with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
Some examples of Safety Level are:
Safety 1 Steering kingpin, steering arm, brake lining.
Safety 2 Load tiedown straps and mechanisms, brake drum.
Safety 3 Windscreen wiper rubber, fuel filter.
Safety 4 Bonnet emblem, antenna.
Some questions that Purchasers should ask their Suppliers are shown in the box.
Dr. Peter Hart,