The real McCoy
UD Trucks Southern Africa aims to continue offering operators one of the lowest lifecycle-cost ownership experiences in the industry. JACO DE KLERK takes a look at how the company does this through its supply of genuine parts – limiting downtime and unnecessary breakdowns on trucks.
According to Gert Ebersohn, general manager of after-market operations at UD Trucks Southern Africa, the question as to why one should buy genuine manufacturer parts often arises. This may be attributed to operators generally considering components provided by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to be more expensive than “knock-offs”.
“The fact is that UD Trucks spends years in research, development and engineering to perfect each part used on its trucks,” explains Ebersohn. “At first glance, pirated parts might appear very similar to their genuine counterparts, but it is those things not detected by the naked eye that often cause severe part failures.”
He says the quality of a UD Trucks vehicle is inherent in every part and component since the company continuously ensures that the entire vehicle adheres to stringent quality measures. He adds that the overall quality of the truck diminishes each time a “pirated” or inferior part is used.
When UD Trucks develops a part, it not only tests a specific component in isolation, but also ensures that each piece won’t have a negative effect on the life and quality of any adjoining parts – thereby optimising the whole truck’s operation.
As general manager of engineering Vic Capitani explains, when UD Trucks develops a starter motor, for example, its engineers ensure that the unit draws just the right amount of power from the truck’s electronic system to avoid causing stress to any of the surrounding components.
“A truck is not a single entity,” says Capitani. “The failure of one component could be caused by an inferior part in its vicinity. UD Trucks has very stringent test standards to ensure that our customers receive the best quality trucks, made up of equally high-quality components.”
The company believes it has come a long way in addressing the core issues arising from supplying parts – including price. “We have set the industry benchmark with our leading parts supply rate,” states Ebersohn, adding that this is part of its ongoing drive to provide better products and services to customers.
UD Trucks stocks active parts worth more than R80 million, which makes for an extremely competitive fulfilment rate. It enables the company to deliver parts within 48 hours of receiving a “vehicle off road” (urgent repair) notification, and facilitates a normal supply rate of five days to dealers on stock orders.
Ebersohn points out that trucks owned by customers who follow the service schedule determined by the manufacturer and use genuine parts often reach over a million kilometres before any major repairs are required.
“Buying a truck is a big investment,” he says. “For this reason, you need a transport partner that is as serious about your business as you are. At UD Trucks, we understand all the complexities involved in today’s transport industry, and we are able to offer customers complete solutions – no matter the size of their business.”
It is true that replicated parts offer minor immediate savings, but as UD Trucks points out, it is ultimately cheaper and wiser to use the real McCoy.