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Material Handling Insights

Sep 23, 2019 4:05:14 PM // 4 min read

Genuine vs. Counterfeit: How OEM Forklift Parts Reduce Downtime

By Ian Kelly
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OEM forklift parts

Your choice of forklift parts can have a knock-on effect on downtime, truck availability, and the total cost of ownership. Read on to find out more.

Ensuring your forklift truck parts are genuine and avoiding counterfeit replacement parts (known as pattern parts) is crucial to maintaining a safe, efficient, and profitable operation.

Unsurprisingly, genuine forklift parts are superior in quality compared to their pattern part equivalents, since although parts can be copied in terms of shape and size, getting the right specification (such as metal density) is more difficult. However, counterfeit parts can also result in some dangerous consequences, so it’s important to know the facts.

From safety and efficiency to cost considerations, here’s what you need to know:

Non-genuine parts could mean compromising on safety

While OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts undergo rigorous testing to assess their safety and longevity, the same can’t be said for pattern parts, which are replicas designed to fit multiple units.  

While a non-genuine replacement part might be cheaper to purchase upfront, quality isn’t a guarantee and therefore these parts are unlikely to withstand the same rigorous testing. What’s even more concerning is the risk that non-genuine parts pose to material handling equipment, potentially damaging the truck in addition to reducing performance. 

Another issue with pattern parts is that they’re not precise. Take a non-genuine brake shoe, for example. You may need to sand down some of the brake material surface to make it fit into the brake drum, altering its original specification. In addition, because that brake shoe can be used on multiple vehicles, engineers have been known to need to drill a hole in the brake shoe to allow the retainer to hold the shoe in place correctly. Again, this alters the design of the truck and the part — not to mention compromising the integrity of the materials, potentially weakening the brake shoe. 

Using non-genuine parts represents a significant risk to both the truck and its operator. For any organisation that prioritises operators’ safety, opting for genuine OEM parts is the most responsible choice you can make.

Click here to learn more about TCM parts and discover what makes them reliable.

Genuine OEM parts boost operator efficiency

While genuine OEM parts can enhance truck performance, counterfeit replacement parts can have the opposite effect, creating unnecessary downtime and resulting in operational costs

‘It might look the same on the outside, but you don’t know what’s going on inside in terms of the quality and workmanship.’ 

— Ian Kelly, Parts Sales Manager, TCM

In the worst-case scenario, fitting a non-genuine part could void your forklift truck warranty if your truck breaks down due to a faulty pattern part. Filtration is one example where this can occur, as the filter on a pattern part might not be as effective as the genuine version. Whether it’s an oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, or hydraulic filter, it’s important that the power train (the engine, transmission, gearbox, and hydraulic motors) is protected from active material in the oil or air source. If the filter isn’t blocking enough dust or active aggressive material, this can cause the engine to break down.

Pattern parts may also not last as long as genuine parts, despite being cheaper to purchase upfront. From a TCO perspective, having invested in a forklift truck for the foreseeable future, this is a serious consideration for businesses to make.

How forklift parts impact TCO and profitability

The efficiency of your operation contributes significantly to your business’ overall profitability. Keeping downtime to a minimum is therefore paramount.

While top-quality aftermarket parts can be comparable in price to OEM parts, lower quality aftermarket parts can be cheaply made. It’s true that you get what you pay for, so it’s worth spending that little bit extra on the real thing to ensure optimum safety and performance.

If your forklift truck, or even forklift fleet, is constantly breaking down due to faulty, non-genuine parts, it will undoubtedly increase your total cost of ownership when it comes to associated servicing, repairs, and maintenance costs.

If an accident occurs and a faulty pattern part is to blame — especially one that’s deemed safety-critical like brakes or an overhead guard — legal action could be taken and, depending on the severity of the incident, your business could incur significant legal costs if negligence was the cause.

The only way to guarantee genuine OEM forklift parts


‘When using a pattern part, you’re entering the unknown and it might not protect the vehicle as it should.’


— Ian Kelly

The easiest way to ensure your forklift parts are genuine and fit for purpose is to purchase them directly through your local TCM dealer.

While our competitors average 8,500 parts in their machines, TCM has less than 2,000 components tested exhaustively for superior reliability to minimise breakdowns. 

Our spare parts are easily accessible and can be purchased through your local dealer. All of our dealers have access to our aftermarket webshop, where 95% of components are regularly in stock.

With access to forklift parts manuals, products can be ordered online and dispatched the same day. If a part is out of stock, we take it straight from the production line to resolve the issue — that’s our TCM promise to you.

Click the button below to contact our service department today for support, advice, and assistance with servicing and ordering genuine OEM forklift parts.

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