kubota tractor in a field

4 Reasons to Use OEM Parts – and 2 Reasons to Avoid Them

Within the commercial heavy equipment industries, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are generally the go-to replacement parts for machine repairs or maintenance. But why? What sets OEM parts apart from generic, aftermarket brands? Here are 4 reasons you should be using OEM parts, and 2 reasons OEM parts might not be the best choice for your business.

Quality Parts

No matter what machine or piece of equipment you’re using, eventually it’s going to need replacement parts. When that happens, where do you get the parts? If you choose OEM parts, you’re guaranteeing peace of mind that the part will not only be high quality but fit the machine exactly.

Reliable Distribution

How many times have you ordered from an aftermarket distributor, just to be told that the part won’t arrive when you originally anticipated? OEM companies have been around for much longer, giving them ample time to refine their distribution chains and ensure timely and proper delivery of the parts you need.

Part Durability

One of the biggest issues with aftermarket products is the durability of the part. Sure, it may look the same, but is the material of the same quality as the big-name manufacturers? When you choose to buy OEM products, prices tend to be slightly higher, simply because the products are designed to stand the test of time.

Warranty and Support

One of the most important aspects of buying new parts is the warranty attached. Aftermarket or non-OEM parts very rarely come with a warranty. If something doesn’t line up or takes a different type of fluid than the rest of the equipment, you’re on your own to fix it. OEM parts are guaranteed, and usually come with a warranty in case the part has a manufacturer defect of some sort.

Two reasons not to choose OEM parts

Same Supplier, Different Logo

Some non-OEM suppliers actually do source parts from the same facilities that produce OEM parts. However, the trick is in distinguishing which aftermarket parts are the same as OEM, and which ones are flimsy, cheaply produced replicas. If you are able to find an aftermarket producer who sources the parts from the proper facilities, those parts will be the same quality as OEM parts, but at aftermarket prices.

Obsolete Equipment

In some cases, the age of your equipment might warrant aftermarket parts versus OEM parts. If your equipment is reaching the end of its useful life but it needs to make it one more season, it would likely behoove you to save the money and look for aftermarket parts. The premium paid for OEM parts might be wasted on an older machine that’s being replaced soon.

In most scenarios, OEM parts are the best option for quality heavy equipment parts. While aftermarket products are available and their low price tags look tempting, consider the durability and reliability guaranteed by OEM parts. While there may be a time and place for each product, make sure to choose wisely and determine what’s best for your business.