A GUIDE TO BUYING FORKLIFT PARTS
A GUIDE TO PURCHASING FORKLIFT PARTS
“Aftermarket Parts” or Genuine Parts?
In the pursuit of reliability and lowest running costs forklift operators are faced with the question of when to buy genuine parts from the original equipment suppliers or when to buy cheaper aftermarket items. There is no definitive rule covering this and many factors will influence this subject.
Genuine forklift parts from OE dealers are inherently expensive. This is a fact, and historically this has become a factor influencing buying choices when comparing brands and dealers. This has also resulted in Users, Repairers and even OE agents sourcing alternative “aftermarket” parts, colloquially referred to as “Pirate parts”.
In order to protect their own genuine parts sales dealers will say that aftermarket parts are sub-standard in quality and will not last, and will also compromise the reliability and mechanical integrity of the forklift they supplied. This is not true and various factors should be considered when addressing this.
Firstly, many items used in the manufacture of a forklift are not made by the manufacturer and are bought out components, by definition equivalent and equal to the higher quality aftermarket part. In many cases the OE fitted brand may be matched and sold by the aftermarket supplier and sold at a much lower cost than the OE dealer price. Examples of these would be filters, seals, spark plugs, electrical parts, etc, etc.
Many aftermarket parts fall into generic categories that would be manufactured by large specialist manufacturers who produce high quality components and sell these at more competitive prices due to economies of scale. Examples of these would be engine parts, transmission, hydraulic components, etc.
Common parts and accessories such as seats, forks, lights, tyres, mirrors, etc, are interchangeable across different makes of forklift. These are the more popular items sold by aftermarket suppliers. The quality of these items is every bit as good as the genuine equivalent and prices could be in the order of half or less than that of the OE dealer price.
In many cases aftermarket parts sourced by the more reputable spares businesses are in fact the exact same part fitted as original equipment and sold by the OE dealer at much higher prices than those of aftermarket parts.
So what are the risks? It would seem from the above that the best option is always the aftermarket route. To an extent we at Retrolex Forklifts would agree with that, however there are some aspects to be considered when faced with this decision and which we briefly list as follows:
· Quality -always compare with original part, and ensure it is a like for like fit requiring no modification
· Warranty- always insist on a guarantee that is sufficient to ensure some recourse should the item fail
· Reputable Supplier- always buy from a reputable supplier who will offer support for everything they sell.
· Service- buy from a company that will give best service in respect of availability, continuity of supply and all aspects of good business practice
Retrolex Forklifts prides itself as a supplier that has all of the above covered and considering the collective experience of it’s staff members, is in a position to offer more than just a spares shop. We are continuously working on new ways to help our clients achieve their objectives and have the ability to offer best solutions to your forklift problems, whether it be for parts, rentals, service or forklift sales.