A new remanufactured truck service from IronDirect will allow construction contractors, equipment dealers, and other fleet operators to purchase like-new remanufactured vehicles for about half the cost of similarly equipped new trucks.
IronDirect Reman Trucks is a partnership between IronDirect and Vehicle Reman LLC of Tyler, Texas, to bring reman services to contractor, corporate, and government fleets. To demonstrate the effectiveness of remanufacturing, IronDirect gave away a fully remanufactured Ford Super Duty F-350 pickup at the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The truck is wrapped in custom graphics and on display at Gold Hall Booth G70113 at ConExpo.
“Truck remanufacturing is about to become a new, important option for fleet owners to reduce capital spending, improve uptime, and lower total ownership cost,” said IronDirect President Tim Frank. “It gives fleets new life at substantially lower cost than purchasing new trucks.”
Remanufacturing is a process that has been successfully used by the U.S. military for transport trucks, aircraft, and other assets for decades. While vehicle components and systems such as engines and transmissions have been remanufactured for years, no one had yet established a standardized assembly-line system to remanufacture trucks and other vehicles to like-new condition. IronDirect Reman Trucks have a three-year 75,000-mile drivetrain warranty that attests to the quality built into remanufacturing.
The IronDirect Reman Trucks system focuses on class 1 to 5 trucks (19,500 pounds and lighter). These include pickups like the Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado, vans like the GMC Savana and Ford Econoline, sport utility vehicles, delivery trucks, and other commercial vehicles. A typical remanufacturing candidate will have more than 100,000 miles and be six to seven years old, although vehicles up to 20 years in service can also be reman candidates.
The launch of the truck remanufacturing system comes at a time when the industry is coalescing around “reman” as a trusted type of product. Six leading global automotive associations in late 2016 adopted a definition of remanufacturing as a “standardized industrial process by which previously sold, worn or nonfunctional products or parts are returned to same-as-new or better condition and performance.” In February 2017, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) adopted “specifications for the process of remanufacturing,” setting standardized benchmarks. In late 2016, the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association launched a “Manufactured Again” certification program.
“Up until now, remanufacturing of vehicles has kind of been like the Old West, untamed but full of potential,” said Greig Latham, managing director of Vehicle Reman LLC. “With our process, we have a predictable method for fleets to harness the fullest value of their trucks and cars. It’s a carefully designed system that allows us to remanufacture a pickup in as little as 48 hours.”
The Ford F-350 given away at ConExpo underwent a dozen-step remanufacturing process. In the initial steps, all fuel and fluids were extracted from the vehicle before teardown began. The cab and bed were separated from the frame. The engine, transmission, and drivetrain were removed and later replaced with reman systems. The frame was inspected. The body was patched and sanded before painting. Interior upholstery was replaced. New glass was installed where needed. New tires were balanced and installed.
The goal in truck remanufacturing is to save 50 percent off the cost of a comparably equipped new vehicle. The final savings will depend on customer choices for the level of fit and finish on the exterior and interior. Three recent Vehicle Reman projects demonstrate the savings created by remanufacturing:
- Chevrolet 2500 LS (2005): New, $40,645; Reman, $20,230; Savings: 50%
- GMC Sierra 4WD (2007): New, $36,000; Reman, $20,973; Savings: $42%
- Ford F-350: New, $37,300; Reman, $19,169; Savings: 49%
Fleet managers who adopt reman as an ongoing practice will benefit greatly from these types of savings. They will no longer have to worry about vehicle failure or major repairs near the end of vehicle life, since remanufacturing will solve any issues and bring the truck back to like-new condition, performance, and reliability.
Henry Ford first envisioned engine and component remanufacturing during World War II as a way to keep the auto industry healthy. The Checker Cab Mfg. Co. used remanufacturing for more than 40 years to benefit cab companies across the United States. More recently, the U.S. Army began a reman program in the 1990s for its fleet of transport trucks, spurred at the time by lack of funding for new fleet assets. In 2015, the Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act took effect, urging federal agency heads to use remanufactured components, such as engines, starters, alternators, and clutches. The federal government maintains a fleet of more than 580,000 vehicles at an annual cost of about $1 billion.
“We’re excited to help bring truck reman to a wide market,” Frank said. “Truck reman will be one of the memorable business trends of 2017 and beyond.”
For more information on IronDirect Reman Trucks, contact Dan Collins at (281) 309-1201, or via email, Dan.Collins@IronDirect.com.
Joe Hanneman, Director of Industry Engagement for IronDirect.