Sourcing Truck Parts To Reduce Downtime

With the New Zealand summer coming to a close and the colder seasons upon us, owner-operators become more focused on weather and road conditions to ensure the business operates smoothly – that is, until something unforeseen interrupts daily planning and activities. 

How big a problem seems depends on many factors. Throughout last year, problems like sourcing truck parts in New Zealand and truck service delays, which would normally rank as smaller problems for many owners, have been multiplying, like snowfall, building layer upon layer until an avalanche is inevitable.

Discussions surrounding the supply chain disruptions for truck parts and preventative maintenance truck service supplies, such as oil and filters, have begun to face reality with the current global events causing major concern for shortages and delays on what was normally considered readily available supplies.

Given the current situations of new truck manufacturing interruptions, more kilometres on current equipment and overall higher costs and delays to truck servicing, this means that the downtime can easily overwhelm an owner-operator’s ability to meet business and personal needs.

When it comes to oil, consider these mitigation strategies

Test Your Oil. Get into the practice of having your motor oil sampled and tested first before changing the oil. Many owners, even of newer trucks with longer recommended oil-change intervals. With sampling and recommended filter changes as the case may be, these intervals might be extended greatly, depending on the engine and filtration in place.

Change Oil Filter. If you encounter a spot outage, consider having your oil filter changed even if the shop cannot completely change all the oil.

Evaluate your options for adjusting your kilometres and schedule to allow time to locate and purchase oil and filters.

Consider an Oil By-pass. Is this the time to install an oil by-pass filter system? That also may allow extending the intervals for the complete oil change, depending on your truck.

Preventative Maintenance to Reduce Damaged Truck Parts

Greasing trucks and trailers may be one of the best investments you could make to help avoid more costly repairs, especially in winter.

Inspection of the entire brake system and replacement of worn or damaged parts. Rust jacking can be a common issue this time of year.

Load test batteries and clean terminals and the ground-to-frame connections from the batteries and the starter.

Inspection of belts, hoses and coolants, and a test of your charge air cooler system, may help prevent a costly roadside breakdown.

Supply chain shortages have been good for the demand for drivers and trucks, pushing spot rates to historically high levels. Yet at the same time, these dynamics push the cost of operating higher with inflation and all those trucking-related shortages. Prepare for the seasons coming so that your company won’t be affected as heavily by the shortages and increased costs.