Aftermarket VS OEM Undercarriage Parts


The undercarriage is a crucial part of any machine and nobody likes replacing it. Undercarriage replacement always means taking a machine off the job site for a few days, which impacts production, schedules and the bottom line.

However, not replacing the undercarriage leads to decreased productivity, increased component wear and risk of unplanned downtime in the field, which has an even worse impact on the bottom line than scheduled maintenance.

When replacing an undercarriage, should you use an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supplied one or an aftermarket one?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each.

There are a number of myths surrounding aftermarket parts. The most prominent myths about aftermarket undercarriages include:

  • They are of less quality
  • They don’t meet the standards of the OEM
  • They have a shorter lifespan than an OEM undercarriage
  • They will break faster / need repair sooner than an OEM undercarriage
  • They aren’t a true OEM product but are instead manufactured by a third-party and simply branded by the OEM

Belief in these myths will limit your undercarriage replacement options and have a direct impact on your bottom line.

In many cases, aftermarket undercarriages meet OEM standards and can even outperform the OEM. Pivot equipment parts warrants their undercarriages against manufacturer defect for 3 years or 4,000 hours. Warranty should be one of the major considerations when purchasing an undercarriage.

Warranties guarantee performance for a duration of time, which is helpful for equipment managers to plan equipment maintenance and repairs, while giving consumers recourse should a component have performance or lifespan issues.

Pivot Provides Cost-Effective Quality Choice for Undercarriage Replacement

“Pivot Provides Cost-Effective Quality Choice for Undercarriage Replacement”

Other considerations include the weight of the steel and the undercarriage’s OEM.

The weight of the steel determines the durability of the undercarriage. It is an objective standard that can easily be determined and applied to all undercarriages—both new and aftermarket. Sometimes the type of steel used can be the reason for a difference in cost.

Another consideration is how soon do you need it.

There is usually a wait time for OEM undercarriages. Not a lot of OE dealers carry a complete range of undercarriages, so it would mean ordering it from the manufacturer. Undercarriage replacement often gets delayed until the undercarriage is nearly at the point of failure. At this point, waiting for an OEM solution could incur significant downtime.

If you’re a farmer or a contractor with limited pieces of equipment, you can often find yourselves lower on the priority list receiving less support from your OE dealer which can only add to your downtime and cut more into your bottom line. Whereas aftermarket undercarriage providers keep product on the floor, ready to ship direct to a job site.

Besides extended wait times for parts delivery, an OEM undercarriage will cost more and may come with inadequate service, depending on how favorably the OEM views your account.

Original equipment manufacturers don’t want to release their industry secrets, such as spec sheets, wear patterns, and diagrams. They just want to tell the customer they need a complete replacement, when a lot of the time that’s not the case, and with resources, we can provide this and, in turn, save additional funds.

Whether you select an aftermarket solution or an OEM, knowing who you are purchasing from and the quality of that manufactured product should be something to consider before you decide to make a purchase.

Pivot is a full disclosure company, so we’re willing to have the honest conversations about manufacturers, the process, the quality, the warranty, the support, delivery times, free shipping, free track group assemblies, and more.

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Searching For Heavy Equipment Parts?

We specialize in undercarriage and complete components for excavators, dozers, crawler loaders, and wheel loaders.

pivot excavator parts

Searching For Heavy Equipment Parts?

We specialize in undercarriage and complete components for excavators, dozers, crawler loaders, and wheel loaders.