How to find Cheap Heavy Duty Truck Parts
There are many different ways to search for heavy duty truck parts at a low price. The right decision for you depends on the part you need, the make, model and year of your truck, and how much time you can spend on your repairs. Each of the sources for cheap parts has advantages and disadvantages.
According to an interview with FinditParts founder Dave Seewack (http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/aftermarket/article/story/2016/10/commentary-online-parts-sales-growing.aspx) on truckinginfo.com, more and more people who are looking for heavy duty truck parts are shopping online.
As the online market for heavy duty truck parts has grown, online vendors have grown. Some vendors have developed excellent customer service and inventory control. These are the vendors you need to look for.
There is still a wild west out there of vendors selling bad parts to unsuspecting customers. There are even counterfeit parts on the market that are of such poor quality they are dangerous to truckers. You need to make sure you can return parts, and that you can contact a human in case of problem. Avoid vendors that lack customer service or that appear unprofessional. Also avoid parts that are exceptionally cheap. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Online shopping can get you a great deal on a part. However, that deal may not matter if you have to wait for the part to be shipped and you need to get on the road right away. One good use of online shops is to purchase items you know you may need in the future. You can enjoy the savings without the wait.
Junk yards are still a good option for truck parts, especially non-mechanical parts such as hoods and interior panels. However, junk yards for semis are not as common as they used to be. According to smart trucking.com (https://www.smart-trucking.com/big-truck-salvage.html) there are a lot of reasons for this, including the fast pace of the modern trucking industry.
If you are fortunate enough to be near a junkyard that carries semis, and you have the tools and the time, you can score some great deals.
Although junk yards may not be as common as they used to be, more sophisticated salvage operations abound. These operations are like junk yards, but their inventory is computerized and they tend to cater to online customers. This is a lot less time consuming than going to a junk yard, and still much less expensive than buying new parts.
Look for a salvage operation that has good customer service and knowledgeable staff. Also examine their warranty, shipping, and return policies.
Whether to go salvage or not does of course depend on how essential the part is that you are looking for. However, it is not true that salvage always has no warranty. Many salvage operations do offer a warranty of some kind.
Rebuilt or Remanufactured Parts
Purchasing rebuilt or remanufactured parts can save you money. The first thing that is important to understand is the difference between rebuilt and remanufactured.
Remanufactured parts are more thoroughly tested and inspected than rebuilt parts. Therefore it is important to know the difference if the part you are looking for is essential to safety or performance.
Rebuilt parts are damaged parts where only the obviously damaged parts are replaced. Other components are left as is.
Remanufactured parts are completely disassembled and every single component is inspected independently. Remanufactured parts from the manufacturer can be more reliable than an aftermarket part from a dubious vendor. As a side benefit, remanufactured parts save materials from going into the landfill. This environmental bonus can translate into many tons of emissions avoidance on a national scale.
Some of these parts come with a short or limited warranty.
Aftermarket truck parts are cheaper than parts made by the manufacturer, in part because they don’t carry the brand name.
Aftermarket truck parts are a multimillion dollar industry. Some companies manufacture parts that are better than the originals. They feature excellent manufacturing standards and use top quality materials. On the flip side, some aftermarket manufacturers make shoddy products that can bring your operation to a halt.
The most frightening aspect of aftermarket parts is that there are no standards or testing currently in place. However, the Heavy Duty Distribution Association (HDDA) is in the process of creating some standards to be used within the industry.
Whatever you do,
The price tag is not the only cost you have to consider when trying to save money. If you have to wait for a part, that can cost you more than your savings would be worth. If you have to pay a lot for shipping, your savings can also be obliterated. What if there is a problem with the part? Can you get a full refund? Are you on the hook for shipping costs to send it back? These are all important factors to consider.