Fleets don't have to be long-haul operations that go through weigh stations to be affected by the federal government's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, but your customers may not realize that.
It is not too often in the trucking industry that regulation is seen as a good thing. Yet the recent Compliance, Safety, Accountability regulations may prove the exception to the rule, at least when it comes to the heavy-duty aftermarket.
“This is the best thing to happen to us,” say Bill Wade, partner, Wade & Partners. “Usually we are the victims of regulations, but in this case it is regulation that is handing us an opportunity to add value for the truck operator.”
Gordon Botts, president of Botts Co. LLC, and founder of the American Council of Frame & Alignment Specialists (AFOCAS), says, “People need to understand because of CSA there is so much opportunity for the aftermarket. It is phenomenal.
“And the opportunity is in place that you don’t suspect; things like school districts, local delivery companies, local lumber yards.” Botts contends that many of these smaller operations and school districts may not be aware of the details of CSA. A distributor or repair garage can go into a business, offer to train drivers about their responsibilities and show them how to conduct a proper inspection.
“You are going in there teaching them about what they are required to do, but you also are likely to pick up some of their PM business as well,” he says.
Educate your customers about CSA and you build loyalty and also the opportunity to sell them everything from driver vehicle inspection reports to maintenance services to emergency lighting replacement kits.
Botts says he buys Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports from J.J. Keller by the case and sells them to his local school districts, and also buys Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation books from Labelmaster to sell to small fleets.
While some distributors and repair garages are doing a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities presented by CSA, Wade and Botts believe that many still are trying to figure out how to make it pay.
Next page: Some of the opportunities CSA offers aftermarket providers