On the Money: OEM Truck Servicing
Picture this. You’ve had a busy few weeks, and on your one well-earned day off, you’ve sent your trusty new truck into the workshop down the road for regular servicing. You sit back, relaxed, thinking how great it is to get on top of things. After all, maximising your vehicle’s uptime and ensuring safety (think Chain of Responsibility obligations) must be at the top of the list for a smooth-running operation.
But two weeks later the malfunction indicator light comes on while you’re driving with a full load—all because of a poorly installed component or improper maintenance.
It’s every busy road operator’s nightmare.
Very often, this happens not because of any deliberate negligence, but because of a lack of specific truck brand and model knowledge at a general automotive workshop.
Every savvy operator knows the importance of getting your truck serviced on time, and the value—monetary and otherwise—in using safety tested, compatible, approved parts and accessories. But is it necessary to book your regular truck service in at an authorised dealer or Authorised Service and Parts Outlet (ASPO), or would a run-of-the-mill service at a general workshop suffice?
Many are not fully aware of the benefits of and value in authorised OEM servicing, especially when it comes to ensuring safety. Let’s take a look!
Chain of Responsibility
We got serious quick because the dangers are real.
First things first: safety.
CoR is here to uphold safety standards in the road transport industry, and it’s something that should be absolutely non-negotiable.
Truck owners, operators and all relevant parties involved in the transport chain are obligated under CoR (under the Heavy Vehicle National Law) to never permit an unsafe heavy vehicle on the road. Businesses and individuals (including executives) could incur serious penalties, ranging from hefty fines to imprisonment, for breaching CoR by allowing an unsafe heavy vehicle to be used.
A vehicle is deemed ‘unsafe’ where its condition, including that of its components and equipment is such that using it could endanger public safety.
So how does authorised OEM servicing help achieve this? And what about truck servicing at a non-authorised, general workshop? Let’s dive into this.
Servicing and safety: OEM servicing or general workshop servicing?
Like most responsible truck owners, you probably keep your trucks rolling on a regular service schedule—but where are your trucks getting their check-ups? At a general workshop or an authorised one… Does it matter where your trucks are being serviced?
The short answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
Factory-trained technicians, resale value, quality of service, quality of parts and accessories… these are some factors truck owners and fleet managers have to (and should) consider.
Resale value, and trusting the experts
A distinct advantage in getting your truck serviced by an authorised service centre is the service history that will be favourably viewed by prospective buyers during resale.
For example, if you have been servicing your truck with an authorised dealer or ASPO, potential buyers will be confident the vehicle has been maintained in line with OEM requirements.
While there may be skilled truck technicians operating in independent workshops, opting to go with OEM servicing at an authorised dealership or ASPO will guarantee complete peace of mind, especially with regard to specific, branded truck model knowledge.
Most may not really think about the subtle differences in truck build between the different models of different truck brands. Cause after all, a truck is a truck, right?
Well… not quite.
Each truck brand will have differences between them. Even within a single brand, models will have differences; examples of these differences can be found in emissions systems, braking systems, engine management systems, just to name a few.
It’s a challenge for today’s technicians to keep abreast of the latest technology and how to maintain these systems. So, a technician’s understanding of your truck’s unique differences goes a long way in maximising the vehicle’s lifespan and minimising the risks of downtime.
Authorised service centres utilise technicians who go through stringent training specific to the brand’s product, resulting in in-depth knowledge of each truck model. These technicians undertake regular training programs to keep their knowledge of vehicle inspection, diagnosis, repairs, systems management and other service-related skills sharp and specialised to your particular truck brand.
At the end of the day, it makes sense to ensure the integrity, safety and original specifications of your truck are maintained through an authorised workshop by factory-trained technicians using genuine OEM parts.
Where next? Making the final call
A truck is a significant investment for every business, and it is not a purchase any business owner makes lightly.
Similarly, the decision to use a local mechanic or an authorised service centre is equally significant, bringing with it real impacts on the working life and safety of your truck.
So where to next for your next service? It’s your call.
Want to find out more about OEM servicing and parts? Have a quick read of its benefits and safety advantages here.