Denise Rondini

Denise Rondini

For fleets that are trying to extend the life of their vehicles, recycled or reconditioned parts might be the answer. In response to a growing interest in these types of parts, Dex Heavy Duty Truck Parts, a Volvo Group subsidiary, opened a new facility in Advance, N.C. Dex provides recycled, renovated and surplus medium- and heavy-duty parts through its network of authorized distributors.

According to Darin Redmon, director of operations for Dex, the company was started in 2007 “as an alternative solution for economically priced parts offered through a dealership network. The used parts market and renovated parts market was a growing field and Volvo and Mack saw the need and a future in extending life cycles of product lines.”

Geiger Truck Parts in Watseka, Ill., has been in the recycling business since 1956 and branched into recycling truck parts in the 1960s. Doug Geiger, plant manager for LKQ’s Geiger Truck Parts facility, says truck owners are interested in used parts because of cost savings and downtime savings. “People call us because they can’t find something new available and we are their only alternative.”

As the age of the nation’s truck population has crept up, the interest in recycled and reconditioned parts has grown. The recycled parts come from a variety of sources. Redmon says Dex tries not to get its parts from wrecked or damaged trucks, but rather “works with fleets, small business owners and municipalities” to purchase trucks and then dismantle them. Geiger says he buys through insurance companies, salvage pools, end users, fleets, municipalities and other government entities.

Parts taken off the trucks are checked to ensure they are still operational. “We do provide a specific level of quality control so we are not selling a bad used or recycled part,” Redmon says. “It’s not just taking it off the truck and putting it for sale. We clean and inspect it and make sure it still has useful life left in it.” Parts are rated good, better, best depending on the life cycle left in them.

Both Geiger and Dex offer renovated or reconditioned parts, which are a step up from the recycled parts. “A renovated part is physically disassembled and checked and then reassembled, cleaned and painted,” Redmon explains.

Geiger runs its parts through a series of tests depending on the type of part. For example, transmissions are dyno tested to check for leaks, noise, jump out and synchronization. Engines are brought up to operating temperature and checked for blow by. Oil pressure is also checked. “We also remove the pan and check the rod and main bearing and the overall condition of the engine,” Geiger says.

Both companies offer their parts with limited warranties depending on the type of part. Typical customers are second, third and fourth owners of trucks whose vehicles are out of warranty.

Geiger says firms involved in used parts sales “try to dismantle the trucks, inspect the parts and have them on the shelf available so if a customer needs them they are quickly available.”

As for the future, Redmon sees business increasing and says Dex is looking to expand to multiple facilities.

Geiger also sees a continued place for recycled and reconditioned parts. “We keep parts around longer because we understand demand. We understand that trucks need to be on the road making money, and we in the used parts industry help that happen.”