Sources for shock absorbers
Truck dealers supply 32% of shock absorbers for heavy-duty vehicles
How do your parts buying practices compare with those of your peers? Results from the FLEET OWNER Aftermarket Monitor survey on front suspensions for 1997 showed that for heavy-duty vehicles, truck dealers were used as sources for shock absorbers 32.4% of the time.
Comparing the heavy-duty data for 1997 to the data for 1996 showed that use of truck dealers was down in 1997 (32.4%); in '96 dealers were used 49.7% of the time. Trailer dealers (6.7% vs. 1.7%), and spring/suspension specialists (7.7% vs. 2.9%) were both used as sources for shock absorbers more frequently in '97 than in '96. Price competition among sources, as well as price consciousness at fleets with tight margins and growing overhead costs, could account for these sourcing shifts. All other sources had similar responses for both years (Fig. 2).
For heavy-duty vehicles, the most frequent user of truck dealers as a source for shock absorbers was a group defined as 'other,' which includes federal and municipal fleets. This group used dealers 40.8% of the time, followed closely by for-hire fleets (35.1%) and severe-duty private fleets (34.5%) (Fig. 1). For-hire fleets showed the highest use of trailer dealers (10.4%), while owner-operators indicated the highest use of independent garages (10%).
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 Chris Brady at Martin Labbe Assoc., 904-672-4413.
The following individuals recently received prizes for participating in last month's survey: Gary Brown, Roy M. Brown Trucking, Galatia, Ill.; ean Lenz, Overnite Express, Saint Paul, Minn,.; and Harold Kostecki, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wis.
(Ed Note: To view the charts mentioned in the story, refer to page 98 of FLEET OWNER's September 1998 issue.)