It’s a simple fact of life for the commercial trucking industry: without replacement parts, the big semis stop rolling.
When the trucks stop rolling, store shelves across the United States won’t be refilled with products.
“It’s getting horrible” simply finding parts to fix the long-haul trucks, said Patrick Benford, general manager at Rocky Mountain Truck Centers, in Flagstaff, Arizona.
“We’ve run into a situation where parts are just not available.”
“What we’ve started having to do is search anywhere [parts can be found]. We’re using vendors we’ve never had to before,” he said.
Need a new water pump?
That part could be weeks away on back-order.
The same thing goes for any other part that uses a computer chip, due to a worsening global supply shortage of semiconductors.
At Rocky Mountain Truck Centers, the big white Freightliner semi parked in the service bay needed a new clutch, but even that part took longer to arrive.
“I don’t see us getting out of this any time soon,” Benford told The Epoch Times. “We believe it’s going to get worse over the next two years.”
At one of Rocky Mountain Truck Centers’ Colorado facilities, customer relationship manager Tony Downs said the parts shortage has had serious implications for commercial trucking—and truckers.
“We’re having serious disruptions in parts supplies, there’ no question,” Downs told The Epoch Times. “Of course, anything with a chip is in really short supply these days.”
Downs said the shortage is due in part to cargo ships waiting to be off-loaded at ports of entry in California.
The situation is being made worse with overseas parts manufacturers having to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic and then start back up.
And with the federal vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees set to go into effect Jan. 4, that could spell more trouble for the parts supply chain, Downs said.
By Allan Stein