Semi-trucks have long been at the heart of freight operations in the US and are responsible for moving approximately 71.5% of the country’s freight. Their dominance in this arena is attributed to their massive freight-moving power. On average, a US semi-truck can haul up to 80,000 pounds in one trip! If you own one, then we need not explain the power as you are a first-hand witness of what these road behemoths can do. However, even though super-powerful, semi-trucks are also subject to wear and tear. Therefore, like any other vehicle, they also require regular maintenance and semi truck accessories for maximum performance. It is thus important you understand the difference between OEM and aftermarket truck parts, as well as some of the myths about big truck accessories for informed buying decisions.
OEM and Aftermarket Semi Truck Accessories; what’s the Difference?
The quality of the semi-truck accessories you buy can greatly amp up its performance. Nevertheless, as you may have guessed, not all big truck parts and accessories are the same. That said, read on to find out the difference between OEM and aftermarket machine parts below
Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts
OEM parts refer to the heavy-duty semi-truck parts manufactured by the manufacturer. They are the replacement parts you get from your dealership when you take your semi-truck for repairs or maintenance. Thus, they are often a replica of what your truck came with when you bought it.
The main perk of OEM semi truck accessories is that they are often genuine and are specifically tailored for your truck. Also, since they are sourced directly from the manufacturer, you can be assured of their quality, and that they will work exactly like the part you are replacing. On top of that, they often come with a warranty.
However, they often come at a higher price tag than aftermarket parts. Additionally, they are often not as readily available.
Aftermarket Truck Parts
Just as the name suggests, aftermarket truck parts refer to any semi-truck part that’s not sourced from the original manufacturer of your truck. They come from an independent company with a huge car parts inventory for different brands of cars. The main advantage of aftermarket big machine parts is that they are often more affordable.
In some cases, they might be even better as some aftermarket manufacturers often take time to analyze the OEM part, identify its weaknesses, and come up with a more efficient replacement option. They are also readily available. The downside, however, is they don’t come with a warranty, and the overwhelming selection makes it difficult for you to determine the right one. Also, even though some aftermarket parts are of great quality, the quality varies greatly from one seller to another.
Common Myths about Truck Accessories and Machine Parts
There is a Minimum Standard
This is one of the most prevalent myths about truck parts, which, unfortunately, most truck owners have fallen prey to in the past. Nevertheless, even though the auto-part industry is regulated, the regulations are not as stringent as you may want them to be. So there is no minimum standard for these parts. Therefore, if you are going to buy aftermarket, then you ought to do the homework on the Dealer you are purchasing from as the decision to bring high and low-quality parts lies in their hands.
You Must Purchase the Replacement Parts or Accessories at the Dealer
Most first-time and even some experienced truck owners often think that to get OEM parts, they must shop directly from the Dealer. While this is not far from the truth, it’s also possible to obtain quality OEM replacement parts online from an OE channel or even at a repair shop. So next time you need an accessory, ensure you consult your repair shop before you incur the costs of driving to your Dealer.
All Parts are Equal
As noted, there are two main types of semi truck accessories, namely, OEM and aftermarket. Even though at times aftermarket parts may be better than OEM, it’s not always that you will find good quality as you get what you pay. This means that sometimes, aftermarket truck parts may be of poor quality.