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Should You Buy Aftermarket Construction Parts?

Owning an excavator, bulldozer, wheel loader, or any other heavy construction machine is an expensive undertaking. The costs seem never-ending, and they usually are.

Many companies, I dare say most, try saving money by avoiding the dealer and instead buy aftermarket parts. The saving can be enormous, however, the big questions remain the same; are aftermarket parts reliable, and why do they cost so much less?

"The fear is putting some part in a machine, no matter how much money is saved, only to have it fail and cause catastrophic damage," says Ben Krentz Co-Owner of ConEquip Parts.

It is imperative, for instance, to have all the components of an engine to be the correct specifications and durable enough to handle the tremendous amount of pressure, heat, and friction an engine generates.

Roland Hickman of Burningham Trucking out of Utah says the aftermarket parts they use to rebuild their engines perform as expected.

"They’ve worked well for us. We work on engines and sell them to customers all over the country and we haven’t had a problem yet," says Hickman.

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Brands include IPD, Interstate Mcbee, and Mahle, all available through ConEquip Parts and other reputable parts suppliers.

Parts are made in the US and around the world including manufacturers in Turkey, Spain, Italy, and China.

For those who may not know already, an aftermarket part is simply a part made by a parts manufacturer that matches OEM specs. Engineers duplicate the parts to produce the same product at a fraction of the cost. Sometimes the materials used to make the parts are different but they don’t sacrifice quality.

As with any company, they won’t survive in the marketplace if they continuously turn out an inferior product.

"Our return rate is less than one percent," says Juli Fusina, General Manager at Reliable Aftermarket Parts.

Linkage parts

With all the aftermarket parts companies out there, it’s important to know who the best aftermarket suppliers are. A valuable company to have a relationship with is one that knows the aftermarket landscape, what aftermarket companies to trust, and which one to avoid.

"We know who to trust. An aftermarket company we find to be unreliable won’t stay on our vendor list for long," says owner of ConEquip Parts Al Alexander.

Many aftermarket suppliers have been around for decades, improving their products over that time. Fleco Attachments in North Carolina for instance has been in business for 35 years.

"Our attachments are as good as OEM and cost less because we cut out the middleman," says Scott Taylor, sales manager.

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And that’s another reason aftermarket parts cost less. Dealers put a percentage on their products from their distributors. Aftermarket companies manufacture the parts and sell direct.

Here are some examples.

Messicks Case Pump

A new hydraulic pump for a Case W11B part number L110544 lists for about $2357 from the dealer. ConEquip Parts has the same pump aftermarket with a one year warranty for about $1700, a savings of about $500.

AT72677 detail image

A new hydraulic pump on a John Deere 644B part number AT72677 lists for $2545 from the dealer. ConEquip Parts has the same pump aftermarket with the same warranty for $1928.14, a savings of almost $500.

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A CAT pump that lists for more than $2600 from the dealer you can get new aftermarket for about $!000. The math is simple, that’s a $1600 savings.

Finally, someone not completely sold on aftermarket parts will ask what happens when there is a problem with the part?

As with OEM parts, aftermarket parts carry the same type of warranties. And when there is a problem, reliable suppliers will honor those warranties. A warranty is a good way of having confidence the company you are using to buy aftermarket parts can be trusted.

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