Online truck parts buying is happening, but are you getting what you need?

Online truck parts buying is happening, but are you getting what you need?

Buying truck parts online is more complicated than a Prime impulse purchase.

There’s no debate: Online truck parts buying is happening, but not without its challenges. Truck part purchasing demands the correct specs. When you have websites offering a single, blurry product image, with specs that are kind of correct, you roll the dice on an attractive price for a part that may or may not fit.

“We hear stories all the time of, ‘I thought I ordered this part from some website, but what showed up in the box was something completely different, or I thought it was the complete kit, but what I got was actually one landing leg or something like that,’” said Ken Clinchy, vice president of digital and ecommerce, FleetPride. “That’s why when we digitized our giant catalog, we also continued to add digital assets, things like diagrams, things like vendor supporting information, warranty information, all of the other things that a customer’s going to want to be able to feel secure that they’ve chosen the right part.”

Searching for parts online is more than just typing a number into a search box, particularly in the heavy-duty truck market where parts can be very specific and detailed. You can’t just punch in the make, model, and engine and expect the right parts to pop up. Instead, digital platforms are trying to blend different search methods, like using part numbers, cross-references, and detailed filters to narrow down options.

There’s also still lots of value in the parts and service relationships you’ve spent years cultivating. When fleets hit a snag in their search, they should be able to reach out to a trusted partner, be it through a phone call or even a website chat feature that’s operated by an actual person, not a generic customer service rep or bot. The same expertise that helped you with your parts buying challenges in the pre-digital world should be there in the digital world to offer the kind of insight that only comes from years of working at a parts counter.

We talked with Clinchy about how the heavy-duty parts buying world is evolving and what fleets should expect to see when buying parts online. Watch the video above for all his insights.

You May Also Like

Peterbilt previews PACCAR’s hydrogen internal combustion engine powertrain

The decarbonization potential of hydrogen-fueled powertrains in the heavy-duty trucking Industry.


"Not a one-size fits all solution." That's a mantra of the heavy-duty trucking industry where equipment has been and will be built to spec. Application drives equipment decisions. Yet somehow that idea gets lost when we're talking about zero-emissions vehicles.

Maybe it's because today's battery electric trucks are "simpler" in terms of hard-part components that we paint future powertrains with a broad brush. Or maybe it's that OEMs, suppliers and fleets are taking zero-emission equipment possibilities seriously and finding out that the tried-and-true, purpose-built ethos of trucking equipment will continue in the zero-emissions age.

Properly trained technicians can help prevent unplanned truck breakdowns

As truck technology evolves, so should technician training practices.

Will upcoming truck sustainability standards affect uptime?

What does the EPA’s Clean Trucks final rulemaking really mean for fleets running heavy-duty trucks?

Optimizing truck uptime via maintenance contracts

Learn what to look for in a fleet maintenance contract, as well as questions to ask when customizing that contract.

Springtime truck maintenance tips to maximize uptime

We talk about our top truck maintenance tips, how to battle corrosion and what moving back PM intervals can mean for your bottom line.

Fleet-Uptime-– Maintenance-–-FE-1400

Other Posts

Five truck trend takeaways from November

The biggest stories from November focused on the latest truck trends, all in one place.

The fuel efficiency faceoff begins!

The battle to earn the CDL is over, but the fight to crown a fuel efficiency champion is just getting started.

Taking the commercial driver’s license test

After struggling with shifting, the CDL test is ahead on this episode of the Fuel Efficiency Faceoff.

Nicholas Trucking on cutting costs and emissions

Early success with propane-powered trucks has the fleet planning to replace more diesel trucks.