Heavy-duty distributors were used as primary sources for 33.9% of spring brakes
How do your parts buying practices compare to those of your peers? Results from the FLEET OWNER Aftermarket Monitor survey on air brakes for 1997 showed that distributors were used as sources for heavy-duty vehicle spring brakes 33.9% of the time.
The most frequent users of heavy-duty distributors as a source for spring brakes were severe-duty private fleets, with 42.2% (Fig. 1). For-hire fleets were the most frequent users of trailer dealers, with 20.2%. This is not surprising, since so many of the for-hire fleets are linehaul.
Fleets categorized as "other," which include government/municipal operations, were the most frequent users of jobbers/parts houses (40.3%) since they are generally the most likely to do this work in their own shop. Conversely, regular-duty private fleets were the least frequent users of jobbers/parts houses (12.0%). As a group they are generally the least likely to perform this type of work in their own shop. Owner-operators were the most frequent users of independents as a source for spring brakes (4.2%).
Segmenting the heavy-duty data by those fleets buying only new vehicles vs. fleets buying only used vehicles showed that "new only" buyers used trailer dealers 16.7% of the time as the source for spring brakes, compared to 6.6% of the time for "used only" buyers (Fig. 2). In addition, "new only" and "used only" fleets both used jobbers/parts houses and heavy-duty distributors as their top two sources. However, "new only" fleets favored heavy-duty distributors over jobbers/ parts houses (36.1% vs. 21.8%), while "used only" fleets favored jobbers/ parts houses over heavy-duty distributors (34.9% vs. 27.6%).
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: Alan Clark, Eagle Express, Mars Hill, Neb.; Chris May, May Trucking Co., Greenville, Ga.; and Rodney Green, The Kids Trucking Inc., Pierce City, Mo.
(Ed. Note: To view charts mentioned in story, refer to page 60 of FLEET OWNER's August 1998 issue)