If you’re a seasoned truck driver, you know your way around truck parts. You can probably tell what ails your truck, just by listening to the strange noises it’s making, or by observing that it’s silent when it shouldn’t be. The longer you’re in the business, the more familiar you become with your heavy vehicle.
This is a useful skill because identifying the trouble spot makes it easier to know the exact part that you need. And since you spend a lot of time on the road, you probably know the best place to score parts as well. Unfortunately, you might need a spare when you’re nowhere near your usual haunts.
In such cases, you might prefer to wait until you’re back among familiar faces and truck parts. But in case you don’t have that luxury, you’ll have to think fast and find a viable alternative. After all, driving with faulty parts will only make the damage worse, which results in more expensive repairs. So, where do you get these parts?
Visit your manufacturer
Car manufacturers are always a good source of original truck parts. They’re a good place to shop because they’re sure to have your exact part for your exact model and year. If they don’t have it in store, they can let you know where to find it, or maybe they can order it for you from head office. And you can plan to pick it a convenient branch when it arrives.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always a manufacturer’s outlet along your route, and it may take too long to reach the closest one. Also, if your truck is an older brand, your manufacturer may have stopped producing that part, which means it’ll be a long wait for a customised version. And, of course, the main reason drivers avoid manufacturers is their price…
Check your car’s website
If you can get past the cost implications and your vehicle maker doesn’t have a branch in your environs, the next best thing is to go online. Don’t do a generic Google search, at least not yet. Go to the manufacturer’s website specifically and see what you can find.
They’re likely to have a hotline where you can get assistance, or they may have listed partners and distributors that you weren’t aware of. You can probably do an online order and have it delivered to a location that works for you. Many businesses offer discounts for online purchases, so you can save some cash without voiding your warranty.
Call your mechanic
For the average car owner, calling a mechanic is the first step when the car starts acting up. But truck drivers are not average. They spend weeks at a time on the road, so they have above average mechanical skills of their own. They can probably diagnose and remedy any car problem they experience, so in their case, contacting the mechanic is more of a social call.
Mechanics have a wider vehicular network than ‘civilians’ so they’re more likely to know where you can source a part. They’re also better placed to get you a discount, thanks to their connections. Just make sure you call a mechanic you know and trust, otherwise they’ll be busy trying to arrange for their own cut.
Pass by the local salvage yard
Another suggestion is to take a stroll to the neighbourhood junkyard. Since you know your way around, you’ll quickly spot potentially useful parts that are suitable for your truck. This can be particularly helpful for older truck models since there’s a good number of abandoned ones in salvage yards.
Once the yard manager notices that you know your stuff, he or she will sell you the parts at a good price. However, don’t walk into that yard if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s always that one shifty junkyard dealer waiting to turn gullibility into profit.
Talk to verified aftermarket sellers
Your best bet for original, pocket-friendly truck parts is a verified aftermarket dealer. They often have sales arrangements with vehicle manufacturers. These arrangements give them access to genuine parts at aftermarket prices. They ship in bulk, and on a well-strategised schedule, which allows them to cut costs even further.
These aftermarket suppliers New Zealand will have a strong online presence and a wide distribution network so that you can find one of their dealers practically anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. Plus, because their parts are original, they won’t void your truck warranty.