All mechanical equipment including knuckleboom trucks will eventually experience some time of problem from time to time. Heavy-duty equipment such as a knuckleboom is made up of thousands of metal components that are constantly moving which creates deterioration due to resulting heat and friction. When the time comes for schedule maintenance – or if a breakdown should happen – don’t replace worn out or damaged parts with low quality, substitute ones that are not made by the original manufacturer.
- Save Money – Inexpensive parts are often used to save money. Unfortunately, not every non-OEM part is built to the exact specifications of the original manufacturer even if that part looks just like the original version. Non original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts are made to look like the original version; however, equipment strength and durability may not meet the original design because of inferior material quality. Non-OEM components are less expensive because the same high standards as those that are made by the original manufacturer have been at the least substituted – or at the worst ignored.
- Not Available – The second most common reason that original replacement parts are not purchased is any issue with availability. Often times, breakdowns happen on job sites where an OEM part is not available; to minimize down time, a choice is often made to use whatever components are available at that place and at that time, even when it is not the best quality replacement part. Of course, such a part may work for a short period of time; however they normally won’t last nearly as long due to the difference in quality.
Here are some of the reasons why installing an inexpensive boom truck part is not the right choice.
- Safety Risk – Using non-OEM parts to replace the critical components on knuckleboom trucks can be a big safety risk. Because the part has not been built to the same quality specifications, there’s a risk that such a part can fail during operation. Depending on the function of the particular part, it can bring an entire operation to a halt – or even become the catalyst for an accident.
- Decreased Longevity – The material used to fabricate a part is crucial to longevity. Non-OEM components often use substandard material in order to be less expensive to sell. In order to cut costs, the fabrication method could have been simplified, resulting in rougher finishing touches and inaccurate proportions that could result in a shorter service life.
- Damage to Other Parts – Not only will a non-OEM part have a shorter service life; it could also damage other components as well. Metal components need to have space in-between other components to allow for lubrication and friction prevention. Due to a substandard manufacturing process, non-OEM parts don’t always match the exact size of neighboring original ones. This could result in problems in the vicinity caused by this inaccurate match with overall original specifications.
As a rule of thumb, always replace broken or worn parts with genuine or OEM components. To avoid an unscheduled delay caused by breakdowns, consider the availability of spare components when buying equipment like a knuckleboom truck from a particular manufacturer. Be sure there are parts available close to the normal operating area.
Consider the coverage of product support as well. Some manufacturers provide technical support for products and offer assistance if a product should break. See if the manufacturer is available 24/7 to ship out necessary parts.
Using non-OEM parts on knuckleboom trucks can be a big safety risk. While breakdowns are inevitable, long delays can be averted by considering the availability of parts and technical support when selecting the original truck to purchase. Risks associated with using non-OEM parts can be avoided with a little research before beginning the buying process!
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