Tom Brown, a Georgia-based former regional manager for Caterpillar Truck and Engine, launched Surplus Solutions in April to offer wholesale prices on fleet and dealer surplus parts. Brown sees owner-operators with older trucks as those who could benefit from the site.
“We encourage [dealers and fleets] to list their surplus parts with us,” he says. The website’s parts initially were found mostly at Southeastern dealers, but the range is expanding rapidly, Brown says.
Users “deal directly with the facility offering the part,” he says, and the service is free for buyers. Brown says operators can save as much as 40 percent on parts costs over a dealer shop’s direct price.
Discounted labor rates at participating new truck dealers are available via Surplus Solutions’ service with a program that operates similarly to Hotels.com’s repository of discounted unsold hotel rooms. Surplus Solutions offers dealers the opportunity to post a certain number of discounted shop hours; the Four Star Freightliner location in Montgomery, Ala., recently had surplus hours reduced from $110 to $85.
“If we can get the owner-operators into the Peterbilt or Freightliner [or other OEM] shop at a cheaper labor rate, if he then has an issue on the repair, it’s often warrantable nationwide,” Brown says.
The new OneMorePallet.com offers Priceline-style customer-initiated pricing to small shippers — so-called “retail” freight movers with small loads going long distances that don’t need a full truck dedicated to their move and are not time-sensitive. Shipper users of the site post logistical and pricing details of their load, whereupon participating owner-operators then can negotiate for them.