Western Peterbilt

Western Peterbilt

Genuine Eaton parts help fuel success for truck parts manager

“There is a lot more competition, especially from a growing number of warehouse distributors with lower priced and lower quality components… it’s important that we buy our parts at the right price and we give the customer a quality product. Our best vendor in helping to bring that about is Eaton.”

Barbi Reisenauer
Parts Manager, Western Peterbilt

Background

Truck parts have played a big part in the professional career of Barbi Reisenauer, a 36-year trucking industry veteran. She started out running parts after graduating from high school, moved on to inventory control, continued to advance through two company buyouts, and is now the parts manager for the Liberty Lake, Wash., location of Western Peterbilt, which is the largest Peterbilt dealership in the Pacific Northwest.

She calls the facility the, “Taj Mahal of Western Peterbilt.” It sits on nine-plus acres near the Idaho border, and prior to recent renovations, was a manufacturing site for recreational vehicles.

“They parked motor homes on the inside,” says Reisenauer. “So it’s huge with lots of office space. It’s just a beautiful facility.”

Challenge

Her parts management skills play a big role in keeping it beautiful and keeping all of those offices occupied. Reisenauer is responsible for making sure the parts department is profitable, and she’s been very successful at it. But, she claims, conditions have changed quite a bit since she was a parts runner.

“It’s a dog-eat-dog business right now,” says Reisenauer. “There is a lot more competition, especially from a growing number of warehouse distributors with lower priced and lower quality components.”

Price bartering is also on the rise. “More and more customers are trying to dictate what they want to pay,” says Reisenauer. “That never happened when I started here.”

Solution

“To counter both of those challenges, it’s important that we buy our parts at the right price and we give the customer a quality product,” she notes. “Our best vendor in helping to bring that about is Eaton.”

Reisenauer is especially fond of Eaton’s Advantage series clutches, including the Easy Pedal Advantage and Solo Advantage models. Both designs offer maximum uptime and performance with 50,000-mile lube intervals for linehaul applications, 2-year/ unlimited miles warranties, and proprietary facing material for longer component life. Both are also designed and made to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications.

“We sell a lot of clutches,” says Reisenauer “And the vast majority of our customers, which includes a good amount of loggers in demanding applications, ask for nothing other than genuine Eaton clutches.”

Even if those customers are not asking for genuine, it’s a good bet they’ll get genuine anyway.

“Our service manager and mechanics do not want to install anything other than Eaton clutches,” adds Reisenauer. “In the past, customers were having a lot of failure rates with nongenuine clutches. That left a bad taste in their mouths.”

While the Liberty Lake location of Western Peterbilt primarily installs new replacement clutches, the facility also handles a large number of installation kits, which Reisenauer says are, “a huge timesaver.”

An Eaton Clutch Installation Kit includes a variety of new parts that are often installed when a transmission is pulled for a clutch replacement. Installing the kits far outweighs the cost to pull a transmission a second time, and are typically included with a clutch replacement when there is noticeable wear on the input shaft.

In addition to the new shaft that is engineered to eliminate gear rattle, the kits also include clutch housing gaskets, a front bearing cover, bearings, and clutch release forks for standard or hydraulic release designs. And, of course, all kits contain 100 percent genuine Eaton content.

Result

“Eaton parts are definitely helping us be profitable,” says Reisenauer. “We also do a lot of transmission work here and we always have inventory of genuine Eaton Fuller transmissions. Overall, I would have to say that hardly a day goes by where we are not installing something from Eaton.”

Eaton customer support is also helping Reisenauer run a successful parts department.

“The Eaton reps who call on us, Brad Cole and Tim Tobin, have been very helpful with any questions. They are very responsive,” notes Reisenauer.

Cole calls on Western Peterbilt for Roadranger sales and service support, while Tobin handles all of the dealership’s aftermarket concerns.

“If we ever have warranty issues, which we rarely see, they are very supportive in getting us product and helping the customer,” she adds.

Genuine Eaton components and genuine Eaton support – anything less just wouldn’t be befitting the Taj Mahal.