Special report: The parts dilemma
With online trade booming and the increasing proliferation of all-makes parts programs by OEMs and third-party suppliers, there is growing confusion in the marketplace about whether you are still getting the part you actually want.
It’d be easy to say that a counterfeit part is generally bad and OEM-endorsed part is always the best option. But in real life, there’s a whole range of aftermarket equipment filling the spectrum in between the original and an out-and-out counterfeit – with some replacement parts manufacturers claiming that their products not only meet factory requirements, but in some cases exceed them.
As a result, figuring out what you should and shouldn’t use in servicing a modern truck is not as easy as it used to be anymore – especially when you operate a fleet in Australia. According to Dr Peter Hart, Chairman of the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA), there is no coherent system in place for the definition and administration of parts standards that can protect a fleet from buying a potentially dangerous product. “In Australia, most truck replacement parts do not need to meet a technical standard, even if an applicable standard exists,” he says. “Unfortunately there is no supervision of replacement-part quality by state road agencies so it is up to the buyer to beware.”
Agrees Brad Wolstenholme, General Sales Manager Aftermarket at Dana. “It’s a very complex question because of the different channels that serve the marketplace,” he says. “There are different levels of product quality, with counterfeit being the most extreme case of getting product sourcing wrong. A counterfeit product was made to deceive you – it can go so far as copying the packaging in an attempt to persuade you. The reality is the manufacturer of the original product is not involved in the making of the counterfeit product, which often fails to meet the quality and safety standards demanded by OE suppliers like Dana.
The full story has appeared in the September edition of Prime Mover. To get your copy, click here.