Keeping your semi-trailer in road-ready condition is essential for trucking success.
That means following a regular preventive maintenance program and replacing damaged or worn-out trailer parts when necessary.
But how do you know if you’re getting the right parts for your trailer? Keep reading to find out what you need to consider before making a purchase.
Know When It’s Time for Trailer Replacement Parts
A comprehensive preventive maintenance program is your first step in preventing breakdowns for every semi-truck or trailer in your fleet.
It’s also a great way to make sure you’re not using worn-out parts that could degrade the overall performance of your vehicle and potentially increase the risk of breakdowns or accidents.
Your maintenance program should include regular inspection and detailed service records, so you’ll know when it’s time to replace a part.
Go Beyond Price
Everyone knows that controlling costs is a top priority for carriers both large and small.
But when it comes to replacing trailer parts, don’t ever sacrifice performance and safety just to save a few dollars on the bottom line.
- Quality parts, even if they’re not the cheapest, will give you better performance, less downtime, and higher productivity, which boosts your earning potential over time.
- The parts you choose will also impact the value of a truck or trailer to future buyers. That’s important if you plan to sell the vehicle down the road.
- The wrong trailer parts could result in excessive downtime or premature failure. So, a part that costs you less on the day of purchase could end up incurring greater costs in the long run.
Look for Quality and Compatibility
When it comes to compatibility, you have three basic options when choosing truck or trailer parts:
- Brand new “genuine” or OEM parts from semi-trailer manufacturers
- Used semi-trailer parts made by the OEM
- Discount trailer parts by third-party manufacturers
Remember, the parts you choose must work properly with all of the other components on your trailer. This is the chief advantage of choosing genuine parts, and paying extra scrutiny to third-party options:
- Genuine parts are designed to work together with other components as a proprietary system.
- OEM parts typically must pass through rigorous testing, engineering and system-level understanding on the part of the manufacturer.
- Parts from the original manufacturer may also come with better consistency and customer support after the sale. Many are backed by a warranty.
- Use caution if replacing with non-genuine parts, as this may compromise performance and safety. Genuine parts are typically manufactured to within very strict tolerances and highly detailed specifications, and even small deviations from genuine parts can affect performance.
Go to Trusted Suppliers
Where you buy your parts matters. Seek out reputable dealers who go the extra mile to perform due diligence on every part they sell.
If you’re in the process of purchasing a trailer or truck, research the availability of replacement parts you’ll need in the future. Ideally, you should be able to identify at least two trustworthy suppliers for every part.
If your trailer is covered by an OEM warranty, you may be able to get new factory parts when replacement time rolls around.
- Be sure that all the needed parts are covered by your warranty.
- Confirm that you’ll get the quality and compatibility you need.
- If you’re considering a third-party aftermarket warranty, ask before you sign. Verify whether they use the correct parts for your trailer.
Also, keep in mind that individual parts may also be covered by their own warranty. Check to see if a part must come from an authorized dealer to avoid voiding the warranty.
Is it time for replacements for your semi-trailer?