Smaller trucks, big opportunity
“Some people just don’t think about looking at [medium-duty] business, or maybe they only want that big fleet business,” Amoroso says. “They might not think of the medium-duty business as a viable option.”
He believes if they took the initiative they would be pleasantly surprised.
“I think sometimes the time and effort put into those smaller fleets might bring in better returns than a larger fleet, and with those smaller fleets they are always buying from a local source.”
“It’s a growing area for my shop,” adds Thompson. “We’re seeing more and more companies that want to run medium-duty trucks.”
The inability of most medium-duty customers to carry their own inventory is another reason to look into the market.
The medium-duty market is filled with specialty trucks, and each truck line requires duty-specific components. But because medium-duty customers lack the capital and space to stock parts on their own, they rely on distributors who can help them out.
Messina says his company carries a wide array of specialty components to service its medium-duty customer base. He says those customers are extremely appreciative that they can go to Tampa Spring for all their parts needs, but he warns other distributors that adding medium-duty components shouldn’t be a snap decision.
It requires a considerable investment in inventory.
“The [medium-duty] parts market is very vehicle specific,” says Parrott. “It’s not like you can just put in a few product lines and cover the majority of these vehicles.”
He says Tidewater Fleet Supply works with its customer base, service provider customers and suppliers to make sure the parts in stock are the correct ones. That keeps the inventory fresh and minimizes part obsolescence.