Truck dealers are the largest source of drive-axle overhaul kits.
How do your maintenance practices compare with those of your peers? Results from the FLEET OWNER Aftermarket Monitor survey on drive axles show that for heavy-duty vehicles, truck dealers were the largest source for drive-axle overhaul kits. Following truck dealers, independent parts outlets and heavy-duty distributors were the most frequent sources for the drive-axle overhaul kits.
The channels of distribution for these kits are influenced primarily by fleet vocation. Different vocations have different operating environments, which in turn determine maintenance procedures.
Fleet operations also influence repair sources. When repairs are done in-house, for example, fleets determine what the sources for parts will be. Factors such as whether a vehicle is still under warranty or is out of warranty will influence maintenance decisions. The size of the fleet and the volume of repairs will also determine whether repairs are performed in-house or are outsourced to a third party.
The FLEET OWNER Aftermarket Monitor survey indicates that roughly 50% of the drive-axle repairs on heavy-duty vehicles are performed in-house. This suggests that fleets have a great deal of influence over the channels of distribution in this area. Fleets take a number of factors into account when deciding which parts sources to use, including part availability, delivery schedules, technical expertise, and price.
In addition to fleets, local rebuilders also purchase drive-axle repair kits, since they sell rebuilt assemblies to fleets, independent garages, and other repair channels.
FLEET OWNERs Aftermarket Monitor measures changes in parts and repair sourcing as fleet maintenance practices and the structure of the channels of distribution change.
The Aftermarket Monitor divides components into 15 major groups and sends out more than 4,000 questionnaires each month to commercial vehicle operators. Parts categories covered are diesel engines; gas engines; electrical and lights; air brakes, wheel seals and bearings; hydraulic brakes, wheel seals and bearings; manual transmissions and clutches; automatic transmissions; drive axles, universal joints and drivelines, and PTO drives; exhaust components and engine cooling systems; front suspension and shock absorbers; rear suspensions and springs; engine oil and filtration systems; tires; electronics, wheels and fifth wheels; seats, mirrors, tanks, and leak detection equipment; and paint.
For more information on FLEET OWNERs Aftermarket Monitor, call Chris Brady at Martin Labbe Assoc., 904-672-4413.
The following individuals recently received prizes for participating in last months survey: Charles Dyer, Dyer Oil Co., Raynham, Mass.; Robert Colburn, RW Colburn & Sons Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J.; and Joseph Peroni, Coordinated Life Energies, San Feoro, Calif.
The Aftermarket Report is a snapshot of information gathered each month as part of an ongoing research project known as FLEET OWNERs Aftermarket Monitor. It is intended to keep readers informed of important trends and new developments in the commercial-truck aftermarket.
[Ed. Note: To view graphs mentioned in story, see page 109 of FLEET OWNER's November 1998 issue.]