Fleets Urge Transparency in Dealing with Parts Shortages

Trucking fleets struggling to keep trucks moving during the ongoing equipment shortage, are urging suppliers to provide more clarity on the availability of new trucks or parts to service equipment in operation, Truck News reports.

During a Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue discussion, a panel of carriers, including Challenger Motor Freight, spoke about the frustration with delays in the inventory supply chain to replace aging equipment.

Truck News’ James Menzies reports that at Challenger, tractor trade cycles were extended from four years to six, while trailer life was stretched from 10 years to 15.

Critical components are often in short supply, said Adam Wolk, director of maintenance for the company.

When a specific brake drum became available, Challenger bought it by the trailer full rather than the skid. “We had to find inventory space, stock up, and pay carrying costs,” Wolk said.

Other fleets on the panel, Pitt Ohio, and H.R. Ewell, were each unable to get all the new trucks and trailers they ordered.

“We were put on allocation,” said Taki Darakos, vice-president – vehicle maintenance and fleet service with the company. “We were forced to get creative from a relationship standpoint and we reached out beyond our normal sphere.”

 “If you don’t have stuff on the order boards, you’re in trouble,” warned Darakos.

Wolk said only suppliers who are up front about delays will be valued.

“Tell me the truth – even if there are delays. I value relationships and transparency and integrity.”

“If it’s going to be six months, just tell me that,” said Scott Ewell, H.R. Ewell’s director of maintenance.

Full story here.

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