Sources for wheel bearings: Jobbers/parts houses supply 31% of wheel bearings.

How do your parts buying practices compare to those of your peers? Respondents to FLEET OWNER's Aftermarket Monitor survey on hydraulic brakes for the first half of 1996 estimated that they bought 31% of their wheel bearings from jobbers/parts houses.Heavy-duty distributors were the source for 29% of wheel bearing purchases, while 24% were purchased from truck dealers. Wheel bearings were also purchased

How do your parts buying practices compare to those of your peers? Respondents to FLEET OWNER's Aftermarket Monitor survey on hydraulic brakes for the first half of 1996 estimated that they bought 31% of their wheel bearings from jobbers/parts houses.

Heavy-duty distributors were the source for 29% of wheel bearing purchases, while 24% were purchased from truck dealers. Wheel bearings were also purchased from trailer dealers (5%), industrial bearing distributors (5%), independent garages (5%), and manufacturers direct (1%).

Responses from the 1995 report also showed that jobbers/parts houses were the most important source for wheel bearings (37%), followed by truck dealers (29%) and heavy-duty distributors (12%). Other sources for wheel bearings in 1995 included trailer dealers (6%), industrial bearing distributors (5%), independent garages (7%), manufacturers direct (2%), and other (2%).

The data appears to indicate a shift toward using heavy-duty distributors more often. However, it's likely that this shift from a four-year average of about 19% for heavy-duty distributors is due mainly to sampling variability, rather than to a major shift in market share.

Parts-sourcing practices vary not only by part type, but also by fleet size. Other factors, such as fleet type and geographic location, play an important role in choosing a source for parts.

Segmentation of the data by fleet type in the first-half '96 report showed some variation in the choice of a source for wheel bearings. While the owner-operators and for-hire percentages indicate increased use of heavy-duty distributors, the data for private fleets does not show any shift toward using heavy-duty distributors more frequently.

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 OWNER's Aftermarket Monitor, call Tom Duncan at 914-287-6710.

The following individuals recently received prizes for participating in last month's survey:

James Lesinsky, Livonia Building Materials, Westland, Mich.

Richard Mumaw, Ohio Edison Co., Mansfield, Ohio Paul Gratta, Hub Seal Coating, Hull, Mass.

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