It seems there are no bounds to the non-OEM parts market; with the possible exception of low volume parts they seem to do their best to fill every need. Further it seems they’re not against pursuing even the lowliest of parts. For example the small seat switch, I guess you’d go to the OEM manufacturer, ask them to make something similar in size but maybe just a little less in features, then turn around and market it as the same part.
Work for you? If your service provider is installing it you might want to hope so.
Forklift Aftermarket Parts: Costs and Consequences
Toyota Material Handling gives us this explanation of the cost and consequences. Mind you there is a Toyota bent to this, but it applies to all makes of forklifts:
The seat switch is an important safety device required on all sit-down forklifts. It prevents the forklift from being operated when there is no one sitting in the seat. When the switch contacts do not work properly, the forklift cannot be operated. If the switch becomes shorted the truck can be operated unintentionally creating a potential safety issue. Look alike switches, even from the same manufacturer, can be very different.
When the seat switch doesn’t work or works only intermittently it can be very frustrating to the operator and reduces productivity. Low quality switches are made from inferior materials that do not last as long under heavy use such as the operator getting on and off the forklift all day. If the internal contacts get worn they can either not make good contact or prevent the forklift from operating or they can fuse together making it possible to operate the forward/reverse or lift/lower controls accidentally. Neither situation is good for business. The unscheduled downtime and additional labor costs resulting from replacing the switch just once more often than the Toyota Genuine part will negate any money saved by purchasing the lower quality part. The only way to be certain you are getting what you pay for is to buy Toyota Genuine replacement parts for your Toyota Forklift.
What are your policies on the use of non-OEM parts? OK where safety isn’t involve? OK anywhere they can help trim repair costs? Who takes the risk of failure? We’d enjoy hearing from you.