Views: 192 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-05-27 Origin: Site
Fleet maintenance teams are struggling to source many of the truck parts they need as suppliers face shortages of commodities from microchips to rubber.
“It’s really starting to dribble down into common parts,” said Darry Stuart of DWS Fleet Management, during an online Fleet Talk presentation for the spring meeting of the American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC).
The emerging rubber shortage alone could affect the availability and pricing of everything from tires to O-rings, added TMC executive director Robert Braswell.
Several reports have identified challenges including China’s recent stockpiling of natural rubber, as well as flooding and disease that are affecting rubber trees themselves.
But the shortages are not limited to parts alone. While South Shore Transportation maintenance director Kevin Tomlinson admits it’s difficult to source wood for trailer floors, he is facing lengthy waits for new trailers themselves.
“It’s a perfect storm of build and parts,” Tomlinson said, referring to the surging market demand that has aligned with the material shortages.
Industry analysts at FTR recently reported that U.S. trailer manufacturers are almost booked solid for the remainder of 2021 and have yet to open 2022 order boards because they’re uncertain about material and component costs.