Scott Tetz, President at Truck Part Solutions Inc. (TPS), and Executive Director at ITPA, based in Canada, discusses the challenges in recycling heavy trucks and how it compares to recycling other vehicles.
My dad owned a commercial truck salvage yard in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I had a summertime job there, and picking bolts out of the office front’s gravel was my start in this industry. My dad believed in starting at the lowliest position and working your way up.
The difference between buying cars and heavy-duty trucks
When you buy a car, you choose trim levels like sunroof, 4 cylinder or 6-cylinder. Buying a heavy-duty truck is quite different. The first thing the salesperson asks is, “What are you using it for?” Depending on the application, the truck could be spec’ed with heavy powertrain or light powertrain. It could be double frame or single frame. The point is, most trucks have a unique configuration.
End of life for a heavy-duty truck
The unique specs of trucks make recycling them challenging. Each model of truck can have multiple engines, transmissions, differentials. This makes interchange nearly impossible for major components. For industry professionals, knowledge is experience, or trial and error. Knowing what trucks are popular and what to dismantle are the gold in this business.
Rules and regulations are tough for heavy-duty trucks
Commercial trucks are tightly regulated in most North American and European roadways. Years ago, a client was driving his truck and was inspected at a weigh station. He was looking for dashboard components not necessary for the operation of the truck. He couldn’t move the truck until those dashboard components were fixed. How many cars have you seen driving with the fender flapping or a muffler hanging by a thread? This doesn’t happen with heavy-duty trucks.
Heavy-duty trucks run longer
It’s not unusual for a truck to have a million miles. Depending on the application, that can be over a few years or 20 years. We look for late model parts and older truck parts. Because of the life of the truck, it is impossible for the dealer to carry all the parts. They may not be able to get that part anymore. In addition to availability, recycled parts really save time and money. Time: where the part needs to come from some other parts of the country or globe. Money: where recycled parts are typically 50% of new parts.
Trucking is a vocation
Heavy-duty truckers make their living moving products. When their truck is down, they aren’t making money. Therefore, waiting on a part is rarely an option (the only time it is an option is when they have multiple heavy-duty trucks in their fleet.) Getting back on the road is critical to the trucker’s livelihood. No one likes to be without a car but there are transport options to get you around. Getting a replacement for that gravel truck is going to be much more difficult. That’s why we concentrate on connecting heavy-duty truck parts with truckers and fleets as fast as possible.
Connecting truckers with heavy-duty truck parts
We used to post heavy-duty truck parts for sale for our clients. We would get an Excel file, convert it, and post it on our website TruckPartsInventory.com. The problem then became, what happened when the parts in the file were sold? That’s when we decided to create a system to help heavy-duty truck parts yards: easily identify and enter parts, search their parts inventory, remove parts with invoicing, and manage their sales process with customer relations management. These tools integrate so their inventory can be seen all over the internet TruckPartsInventory.com, their own website, eBay, and other advertising websites.
Having heavy-duty truck parts online is essential
The adoption of smartphones has changed the way people look for things. It’s clear in TruckPartsInventory.com traffic numbers. We currently receive 10,000 users per day looking for heavy-duty truck parts.
Our biggest problem: we need more parts! If your parts aren’t online, you are missing a big market.