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The heavy transportation industry is very competitive and fleet procurement departments are under fierce pressure to save costs. In buying the cheapest component possible, fleet owners need to be aware that they well could be sacrificing quality for price. This not only results in a shorter product lifespan, but also a diminished interval between repairs and costly downtime, says Transportation Components Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Andre Gouws.

AndreGouwsTranspComponents“When buying a part for a couple of thousand rand, for a vehicle costing R1.8 million, cost-saving should not be the sole consideration. Inferior quality parts fitted to heavy vehicles are a critical risk factor - as there is the real potential of costly damage to the vehicle as a result of a component failure - or worse still, an accident in which people are critically or fatally injured,” he adds.

Sometimes, it is very difficult to differentiate between parts supplied by a second-tier manufacturer from the genuine OEM component as the second-tier manufacturer has used an OEM part creating the mould for their products, Gouws explains. Because the raw material used in the manufacture of second-tier part is often inferior, that part will have a shorter life span and may not perform as well as the original OEM part. “When it comes to heavy vehicle brakes, for example, this is a critical consideration.”

Transportation Components offers a complete parts portfolio in each of its focus areas, including cooling, suspension, friction material/brakes, and clutch systems. To ensure optimal availability and the shortest possible lead-times, Transportation Components has developed a comprehensive footprint of distributors and resellers throughout South Africa.

To ensure consistent quality, Transportation Components’ international OEMs such as Borg Warner, SEM Lastik and Duroline carry out rigorous and routine quality testing, and are ISO-rated. In line with this quality ethos, Transportation Components also has an in-house testing facility and tests components on a regular basis.

“Fleet owners need to be made fully aware of the quality of parts that are being fitted to their vehicles; and that they could be paying a premium for lesser quality and safety in the long run,” Gouws says. “The reason we are able to offer original parts at competitive prices is that we effectively shorten the supply chain between the OEMs and the end-user. In the mainstream parts supply chain, there are a number of separate businesses involved. The difference is that we can supply directly from premier international OEMs such as Borg Warner, Behr and Duroline, and still retain all the original warranties and excellent after-sales support: for example, in the expediting of warranty claims. In addition, we will examine the component to determine the cause of the failure.”

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