Truck Companies in Unprecedented Scramble To Find Spare Parts

1 year ago 112

It’s a elemental information of beingness for the commercialized trucking industry: without replacement parts, the large semis halt rolling.

When the trucks halt rolling, store shelves crossed the United States won’t beryllium refilled with products.

“It’s getting horrible” simply uncovering parts to hole the long-haul trucks, said Patrick Benford, wide manager astatine Rocky Mountain Truck Centers, successful Flagstaff, Arizona.

“We’ve tally into a concern wherever parts are conscionable not available.”

“What we’ve started having to bash is hunt anyplace [parts tin beryllium found]. We’re utilizing vendors we’ve ne'er had to before,” helium said.

Need a caller h2o pump?

That portion could beryllium weeks distant connected back-order.

Epoch Times Photo Service technician Chad Singer astatine Rocky Mountain Truck Centers successful Flagstaff, Arizona, inspects a long-haul motortruck motor connected Nov. 1, 2021. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

The aforesaid happening goes for immoderate different portion that uses a machine chip, owed to a worsening planetary proviso shortage of semiconductors.

At Rocky Mountain Truck Centers, the large achromatic Freightliner semi parked successful the work bay needed a caller clutch, but adjacent that portion took longer to arrive.

“I don’t spot america getting retired of this immoderate clip soon,” Benford told The Epoch Times. “We judge it’s going to get worse implicit the adjacent 2 years.”

At 1 of Rocky Mountain Truck Centers’ Colorado facilities, lawsuit narration manager Tony Downs said the parts shortage has had superior implications for commercialized trucking—and truckers.

“We’re having superior disruptions successful parts supplies, there’ nary question,” Downs told The Epoch Times. “Of course, thing with a spot is successful truly abbreviated proviso these days.”

Downs said the shortage is owed successful portion to cargo ships waiting to beryllium off-loaded astatine ports of introduction successful California.

The concern is being made worse with overseas parts manufacturers having to unopen down during the COVID-19 pandemic and past commencement backmost up.

And with the federal vaccine mandate for companies with much than 100 employees acceptable to spell into effect Jan. 4, that could spell much occupation for the parts supply chain, Downs said.

He said if the motortruck transport manufacture were to suffer 30 oregon 40 percent of drivers who garbage the vaccine—“then we spell into panic mode.”

“Truckers are a beauteous autarkic lot. They don’t similar being mandated,” Downs added. “A batch of these guys volition conscionable discontinue driving a truck.”

As atrocious arsenic the concern is now, helium said, it tin lone get worse with motortruck companies scrambling to find parts anyplace they tin find them.

Downs said companies are already having to “cannibalize” parts from older semis, though parts from newer trucks aren’t arsenic readily disposable astatine salvage yards, which are “doing much concern than ever.”

Epoch Times Photo Shannon Adams, adjunct manager astatine Rocky Mountain Truck Centers successful Flagstaff, Arizona, looks wrong the motor of a Freightliner semi long-haul motortruck connected Nov. 1, 2021. (Allan Stein/The Epoch Times)

At C&H Truck Parts successful South Sioux City, Nebraska, parts manager Ray Anderson said the institution has been keeping engaged successful 2021 selling utilized semi parts.

“We’re seeing a alteration successful a batch of the telephone calls we’re getting,” Anderson said. “People person ever been funny successful keeping older trucks running.”

Anderson said with 2007 diesel-fuel trucks—and older—parts are much plentiful, since newer motortruck parts haven’t had clip to accumulate yet.

With newer trucks (2015 oregon later) definite aerial prime sensors person a inclination to fail, successful which lawsuit immoderate motortruck engines won’t operate. To marque matters worse, newer parts aren’t mostly compatible with older trucks.

Anderson said trucks minted successful 1999 (and earlier) are exempt from galore restrictive authorities aerial prime regulations. This provides further inducement to support older vehicles successful bully moving order.

Still, helium said it’s becoming much hard to find parts fixed the dwindling proviso and expanding demand.

“We’ve seen the request connected these older trucks—enough to support america busy,” helium said.

John Elliott, CEO of Load One successful Michigan and vice president of the Truckload Carriers Association, said parts successful abbreviated proviso see turbo chargers, aerial prime sensors, and batteries.

As a effect motortruck companies person been moving eden and pavement to support older trucks connected the road, helium said.

“We’ve ne'er seen arsenic atrocious a [parts] shortage successful our company,” Elliott told The Epoch Times. “Unfortunately, it’s successful the newer trucks with each the bells and whistles.”

Wait times for parts connected backmost bid are besides taking longer than usual—sometimes 3 weeks oregon longer.

While larger motortruck transport companies are amended equipped to upwind these shortages, “it’s beauteous overmuch a cleanable storm” for the manufacture arsenic a whole, Elliott said.

“Everything I see, and everyone I speech to, says it’s going to get worse earlier it gets better. We haven’t seen the worst of it yet,” helium said.

“The factories are having to play catch-up portion the marketplace is demanding more,” said Cathy Roberson, President of Logistics Trends and Insights LLC, successful Atlanta, Georgia. “The infinitesimal they nutrient [parts], they get snatched up.”

“It’s crazy,” Roberson said regarding the log-jam of cargo ships on the westbound coast. Demand for parts is “crazy up.”

According to USA Trade Online, water freight imports of centrifugal conveyance parts and accessories are up 8.1 percent successful 2021 versus 2019, and up 40 percent versus 2020.

During the aforesaid January-August clip frame, 2021 implicit 2019, aerial freight imports of parts roseate 87.6 percent successful 2021 versus 2019; 100 percent versus 2020.

“It conscionable shows the request is truthful much,” Roberson said. “Semi-conductor spot [shortages] interaction each azygous industry.”

“It’s not similar you tin conscionable crook connected the airy power and it’s each taken attraction of. This is going to instrumentality immoderate clip to unwind,” she added. “The occupation is, you’ve got to person trucks to determination the parts.”

In the meantime, “everyone is freaking out,” Roberson said. “There’s going to beryllium worldly connected the shelves [but] those circumstantial Nike shoes—you whitethorn not get those [in clip for Christmas].”

Tony Bradley, president and CEO of the Arizona Trucking Association, said the nationwide shortage of motortruck drivers —80,000 successful total—has lone exacerbated worsening proviso concatenation issues.

“Even earlier the pandemic the concern was we had a shortage [of drivers],” Bradley said. “It’s an older enactment force. We are doing everything we tin to get [younger] drivers. The world is, it’s difficult.”

Benford, astatine Rocky Mountain Truck Centers successful Flagstaff, said it’s not casual to find caller endowment to hole newer, electronically blase big-rigs.

“Even here, it’s conscionable trying to prosecute people—and it’s each gone downhill,” Benford said. “I conscionable don’t get it.”

Asked what the aboriginal whitethorn clasp for motortruck parts, Benford laughed nervously.

“If we can’t get parts we can’t hole vehicles. Then things are going to halt moving,” helium said ominously.

Allan Stein


Allan Stein is an Epoch Times newsman who covers the authorities of Arizona.

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