Forklifts depend on excellent components to operate at peak performance. Original equipment manufacturer parts are the highest-quality parts companies can purchase for their forklifts.
Choosing forklift parts built by your equipment's original manufacturer will ensure they fit specific models perfectly and deliver top performance. Understanding the importance of OEM parts and how they can benefit your company can help you save money and time. By knowing where to buy OEM parts for your facility, you can minimize downtime and keep operations running efficiently.
What Does OEM Mean?
Unlike aftermarket parts, which come from external sources, OEM parts are from original forklift manufacturers. When you buy OEM parts, you are purchasing from the same company that built your forklift.
Aftermarket parts are more generic because third-party manufacturers build them to fit any model, while original manufacturers craft OEM parts to fit specific models. You never have to worry whether an OEM part will work for your machine — it will always be a perfect match.
Brand-new forklifts bought directly from the manufacturer contain OEM parts, but you can choose between OEM and aftermarket replacements when you need repairs. Some components you may need to replace include the following.
- Operator cab: A forklift operator cab contains crucial parts such as the brake, steering wheel, control levers, gauges and acceleration pedals.
- Counterweight: Manufacturers design the counterweight to balance a forklift's maximum carrying capacity, so it's crucial to use one that meets your forklift's specifications.
- Mast: A forklift mast consists of interlocking rails, a lift cylinder and a tilt cylinder. Choosing the appropriate replacements for these parts ensures the forklift can lift its carriage and forks to transport loads properly.
- Tires: Replacement tires enable a forklift to move with adequate traction for safe and efficient operation.
- Forks: With OEM forks, a forklift can effectively carry loads.
- Attachments: Companies can also order optional temporary or permanent OEM attachments to enhance a forklift's operations. Attachments add capabilities to a forklift, allowing it to lift heavier or unconventional loads. Choosing OEM attachments prevents the risk of adding an attachment that is incompatible with a particular forklift.
What Are the Pros and Cons of OEM Forklift Parts?
OEM parts significantly benefit companies. Potential downsides of using OEM parts are pricing and availability, but the advantages far outweigh these. While OEM parts typically have a higher upfront cost and can sometimes be challenging to locate, they offer the following benefits.
An OEM part offers higher quality than an aftermarket part. Manufacturers construct OEM parts in countries with exacting production standards. OEM manufacturers also build their parts using higher-grade materials, guaranteeing you receive top performance.
With excellent parts, you can reduce fuel consumption and expect your forklift to provide optimal performance.
Since manufacturers build OEM parts with quality materials under high production standards, they last longer than aftermarket parts. While OEM parts cost more, they can save you money over time. You can expect to replace parts less frequently, decreasing downtime and increasing productivity.
Manufacturers construct OEM parts to match specific forklift model specifications so they fit and function correctly. While aftermarket parts fit most forklift models, they may cause complications if they are not perfectly compatible with your equipment. Purchasing OEM parts is the best way to ensure parts function appropriately.
It's also crucial to avoid altering or adding parts that affect a forklift's original design and capabilities. Fitting a forklift with non-factory-installed attachments can hinder the machine's capacity. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies to obtain written approval from forklift manufacturers or registered professional engineers before adding or modifying any parts that could change a forklift's capacity or operation.
Operator safety is a priority when working with forklifts. Manufacturers build and test OEM parts under strict standards. Rigorous testing ensures parts will operate properly in forklifts, decreasing risks and increasing operator safety.
Companies that use OEM parts can also expect more comprehensive support. Manufacturers support OEM parts with quality guarantees and extended warranties, which cover replacements including the associated labor costs. Aftermarket parts manufacturers typically warranty their parts, but the warranties are lower quality and lack labor coverage.
Increased Resale Value
If you plan to sell your forklift, its value contributes to your return on investment. Potential buyers are more likely to offer a higher price if it contains OEM replacement parts rather than aftermarket parts.
Should You Use OEM or Aftermarket Parts?
While OEM parts offer the best fit, quality and longevity, choosing between OEM and aftermarket parts depends on your forklift use. Purchasing aftermarket parts can save you money if your company expects to use forklifts infrequently or for a limited time.
OEM parts are a better option if you rely on forklifts for your work. Daily forklift use can gradually wear parts down, so it's critical to purchase parts that can withstand frequent operation.
Your forklift fleet's diversity is also a crucial factor. Using several forklifts from the same brand allows you to easily find OEM parts when you need them. However, locating different OEM parts manufacturers can be challenging if your facility uses several forklift brands.
Aftermarket parts may be the right choice if you use different brands and operate on a small budget, but this can gradually decrease your profit margin if you frequently need to replace parts. Finding a forklift parts dealer that offers several different brands of OEM parts is the best option, saving your company time and money.
Buy OEM Forklift Parts From Fitzgerald Equipment
OEM parts are the best option for replacing components of your forklift models. They enable your forklifts to operate efficiently, delivering top performance and conserving fuel. They also last longer, allowing you to replace parts less frequently and save money over time.
Locating a reputable OEM parts dealer can significantly benefit your company. Knowing where to buy OEM parts for your specific forklift brands makes it easier to replace parts when necessary.
Fitzgerald Equipment offers OEM parts from various forklift brands. Carrying components from the nation's top manufacturers allows us to provide the highest-quality OEM parts. Contact us to learn more about our wide selection of OEM parts.