Sources for wheel seals

Truck dealers supply 28% of wheel seals for heavy-duty vehiclesHow do your parts buying practices compare to those of your peers? Our 1997 survey showed that oil bath seals were used by an average of 90.3% of Class 8 vehicles and 39.8% of Class 6-7 vehicles.For heavy-duty vehicles, truck dealers were used most frequently (29%) as sources for wheel seals (see Fig. 1). Use of jobbers/parts houses was

Truck dealers supply 28% of wheel seals for heavy-duty vehicles

How do your parts buying practices compare to those of your peers? Our 1997 survey showed that oil bath seals were used by an average of 90.3% of Class 8 vehicles and 39.8% of Class 6-7 vehicles.

For heavy-duty vehicles, truck dealers were used most frequently (29%) as sources for wheel seals (see Fig. 1). Use of jobbers/parts houses was very close behind with 24.7%, as was use of heavy-duty distributors with 22.9%. The 1996 numbers were31.5% for heavy-duty distributors, 29.3% for truck dealers, and 22.0% for jobbers/ parts houses.

The data was then segmented into two groups: fleets that buy only new vehicles and fleets that buy only used vehicles. Analysis of this data segmentation indicated that "new only" buyers used truck dealers 30.3% of the time, while "used only" buyers used truck dealers 20.5% of the time. Conversely, "new only" buyers used jobbers/parts houses 24.0% of the time, while "used only" buyers used them 33.1% of the time (see Fig. 2).

"Used only" buyers depend more strongly on jobbers/ parts houses because they use them in different types of operations than buyers of new vehicles. This often allows them to put more emphasis on price and less emphasis on uptime and components quality than the linehaul fleets that are running newer vehicles. In addition, fleets that buy only used equipment are less likely to have formed close working relationships with local dealers than those who buy new vehicles.

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: Roy Spears, Armour Swift Ekrich Inc., Greensburg, Ind.; William Stroud, Stroud Truck and Equipment, Jamestown, Ohio; and Douglas Upplegger, Detroit Edison, Flat Rock, Mich.

(For more information on chart and table referenced in story, refer to page 110 of Fleet Owner's June 1998 issue.)

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