The true cost of bargain air spring spec'ing

The true cost of bargain air spring spec’ing

Reproductions made of cheaper, less stable materials are on the rise in the global market.

Sponsored by Continental

Saving money can feel empowering, but sometimes opting for a cheaper option can come with unexpected costs. I learned this lesson firsthand during a recent thrifting trip where I snagged a pair of jeans for only $5. However, upon closer inspection, I discovered that the zipper was missing and the stitching was falling apart. Unfortunately, my attempt to save money ended up costing me both the $5 and a new pair of jeans.

In the context of fleet operations, taking shortcuts to reduce the total cost of ownership in the short term can have detrimental consequences in the long run. The decision to use replica products as opposed to high-quality OE material can ultimately lead to negative outcomes, rather than positive ones.

Using high-quality products like Continentals Air Springs may present a higher upfront cost, but it pales in comparison to frequent repair costs, replacements and down-time resulting from the use of knock offs.  

Imitation products, often constructed of inferior quality materials, can pose not just a danger to the user/operator, but also to a shop’s bottom line. Reproductions made of cheaper, less stable materials are on the rise in the global market, however when subjected to average operating conditions, the product’s quality quickly diminishes compared to original quality product offerings. 

When it comes to your truck’s air springs or any component for that matter, you can always go for the cheapest option, but then you have to use them… What you save in dollars, you very well could be sacrificing in performance. 

From rubber cracking to accelerated brake wear to chafing against chassis components, the use of replicas will quickly reveal that the cheaper options are not in accordance with OE specifications and are not in compliance with legal regulations. 

Using OE quality products like continental air springs are reliable and cost efficient in that it has a 2:1 ratio compared to its replica counterparts, outperforming them two fold. 

Additionally, Continental Air Springs oftentimes outlast bushings, shocks, leveling valves, regulators and other suspension items throughout use. 

So sure, if you want to cut the corner and save a buck, you can. But should you? Really think that through before installing low-quality products into your high-quality trucks. The deal you think you struck may be costing you much more than you bargained for. 

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