How To Order Caterpillar Parts?

Introduction

With over 90 years of expertise producing heavy machinery, Caterpillar offers an extensive catalog of parts and components for their equipment. From engines and power systems to undercarriages and work tools, Caterpillar has the parts you need to keep your Cat machines operating at peak performance.

When ordering Caterpillar parts, it’s crucial to identify the exact components required for your particular machine. With hundreds of models across many industries, no two Cat machines are identical. Referencing your owner’s manuals and obtaining your machine’s serial number is key to ordering the proper parts.

Determine the Model of Your Machine

Properly identifying the specific model of your Caterpillar equipment is crucial when ordering replacement parts. Each Caterpillar model uses unique parts that are not interchangeable across different models. Locating the correct model number ensures you get the exact parts needed for your machine.

The model number can usually be found on the machine’s serial number plate or data tag. Serial plates are typically located on the frame of the equipment or the left side of the engine. For older Caterpillar models, check near the differential housing. Newer models may have the serial number engraved directly on the frame. Refer to the Caterpillar serial number guide for specific locations on your equipment type (https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp/cat-serial-number-identification).

Write down the full machine model number and serial number before ordering parts. You may also need secondary ID numbers specific to the engine, transmission, or component. Taking photos of all identification plates can help ensure you have the precise numbers needed.

Find the Part Number

When ordering Caterpillar parts, you need to find the exact part number for the part you need. Caterpillar provides detailed parts manuals and diagrams to help customers identify the right part number. These can be accessed on the Caterpillar Parts website (https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp/PartLookup).

Start by entering your machine’s serial number on the Parts Lookup page. This will pull up the parts manual specific to your equipment make and model. The parts manual diagrams will provide a visual breakdown of all parts assemblies. Click on the section you need for a close-up view.

The parts lists will provide the Caterpillar part numbers, descriptions, and quantities needed. Make sure to match the part name and description in the diagram to the parts list. Identifying the position and location of the part you need will help ensure ordering the correct part number.

If you need additional help identifying the part, you can contact a Caterpillar dealer. The dealer will be able to assist you in finding the right part number by having you describe the part and where it is located.

Referencing the Caterpillar parts manuals and diagrams is crucial to find the exact part number you need. Taking the time to properly identify the part will ensure you receive the correct replacement part for your machine.

Choose New, Remanufactured, or Used Parts

When ordering Caterpillar parts, customers have the choice between new, remanufactured, or used parts. Each option has its own pros and cons.

New Caterpillar parts are manufactured to the latest specifications and designed to fit your machine perfectly. They come with a full warranty from Caterpillar. However, new parts are the most expensive option.

Remanufactured Caterpillar parts, also known as Cat Reman parts, are used parts that have been completely disassembled, inspected, repaired, and rebuilt to meet Caterpillar’s stringent specifications. According to Caterpillar, “A remanufactured Caterpillar product is not a rebuild. Nor is it a refurbished or reconditioned part. It’s Cat Reman.” [1] Reman parts cost 20-40% less than new parts, come with a warranty, and provide equal performance compared to new. The main downside is availability, as not all parts are remanufactured.

Used or salvaged Caterpillar parts are previously installed parts removed from a machine. They provide the lowest cost option but come with no warranty. The quality can vary greatly depending on age, wear and tear, and how the part was removed. Used parts may require repairs or modifications to work properly. However, for older machines no longer supported by new or remanufactured parts, used parts may be the only option.

In summary, new Cat parts provide reliability and fit but at a premium cost. Remanufactured parts offer cost savings while maintaining quality and warranty protection. Used parts are affordable but risky in terms of longevity and performance.

Verify Part Availability

Before ordering a Cat part, it is important to verify that the part is in stock and available. Lead times for parts can vary greatly depending on demand and manufacturing schedules. Checking availability upfront can help avoid lengthy delivery delays down the road.

The best way to check Cat part availability is through the online Cat parts store at https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp. After entering the part number, the site will indicate if the part is in stock and ready to ship or if it is on backorder. For some parts, you can see estimated lead times to give you an idea of when the part may become available.

You can also check availability by contacting your local Cat dealer. The parts department can look up stock levels and provide up-to-date estimates on when a backordered part may arrive. Some dealers may have access to parts in transit that are not yet reflected in the online system.

Knowing part availability ahead of time allows you to plan accordingly. You may decide to choose expedited shipping on an in-stock part to avoid downtime. Or if the part is backordered, you can make interim repairs while waiting or decide to source an aftermarket or used part instead.

Bottom line – avoid throwing a wrench in your operations by verifying part availability before you order from Cat.

Select a Dealer

Choosing an authorized Caterpillar dealer is an important step to ensure you get quality parts and service. Here are some tips for selecting a good dealer:

Check for an authorized status. Make sure the dealer is listed on Caterpillar’s website or one of their official dealer locators. This guarantees they meet Caterpillar’s standards.

Consider their inventory. Larger dealers will have more parts in stock and greater access to the full Caterpillar parts catalog. Look for dealers with multiple locations or large warehouses to improve part availability.

Ask about pricing. Caterpillar does not dictate dealer pricing, so shop around for the best deal on the parts you need. Dealers may offer discounts or price match.

Evaluate their reputation. Read online reviews and talk to other customers about their service experience. A knowledgeable and responsive dealer can make a big difference.

Assess convenience factors. Choose a dealer located near you or with easy ordering/shipping to minimize delays in getting parts.

Prioritize certified technicians. Well-trained technicians will provide higher quality installation and repair work. Certifications like Cat Certified Service demonstrate advanced expertise.

Consider full-service options. Many dealers offer remanufacturing, equipment rentals, on-site repairs and other services beyond just parts sales.

Taking the time to select the right Cat dealer will ensure your parts ordering and service experience is seamless.

Order the Part

There are several options available for ordering Caterpillar parts:

Ordering Online

You can order Caterpillar parts directly through the Cat online parts store at https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp. On the website, you can search for parts by part number, equipment serial number, or category. Once you’ve located the parts you need, add them to your cart and proceed through checkout. The website accepts various payment methods including credit card, PayPal, and wire transfer. You’ll need to set up an account to complete your order.

The advantages of ordering online are 24/7 availability, fast order processing, and shipment tracking. Most in-stock parts ship within 24 hours when ordered online.

Ordering by Phone

You can also order Caterpillar parts over the phone by contacting your local Cat dealer. Dealer contact information can be found on the Cat website. When calling, have your machine’s serial number and part numbers ready. The dealer will verify part availability, pricing, and payment. Parts ordered by phone typically ship within 1-2 business days.

Ordering by phone allows you to consult directly with knowledgeable dealer staff who can help ensure you get the right parts.

Ordering In Person

Finally, you can visit your local Cat dealer to order parts in person. By ordering at the parts counter, you can get assistance locating and selecting the exact parts you need for your machine. The parts staff can look up parts based on serial number, walk you through schematics, and make recommendations. You’ll also get hands-on customer service. Payment can be made on the spot when ordering in person.

The advantage of in-person ordering is getting customized service and expert advice. However, part availability is dependent on local inventory so you may need to wait for shipping.

Expedited Shipping

When a machine goes down, getting it up and running again quickly is critical. Caterpillar understands the importance of fast parts delivery and offers expedited shipping options to get parts where they need to be as soon as possible.

Caterpillar has offered expedited parts delivery services since the 1920s when it started using airplanes to quickly transport parts across the country (Caterpillar Archive 2021). Today, Caterpillar continues this tradition through services like Fast Track and RapidParts.

With Fast Track, urgent part orders can be expedited to arrive within 24 hours for most areas. Using courier services, dedicated transportation, and priority order processing, Fast Track aims to deliver critical parts overnight so machines can be repaired and returned to work the next day. This 24/7 service has a flat rate fee added to the order for expedited handling and shipping (Caterpillar Fast Track 2022).

For even faster delivery times under 4 hours, Caterpillar offers RapidParts. This service uses priority order handling and chartered flights to deliver parts anywhere in the world that has an airport. By bypassing traditional shipping routes, RapidParts can deliver parts from distribution centers directly to dealers near the customer site. Because chartered flights are very expensive, RapidParts is recommended only for the most critical down situations where getting a machine running again quickly is vital (Caterpillar RapidParts 2022).

The costs for Fast Track and RapidParts vary based on part size and delivery destination. For specific pricing, customers can contact their local Cat dealer. But in general, the more urgent the delivery time needed, the higher premium charged for expedited shipping and logistics.

Payment

Caterpillar dealers accept various payment methods for ordering parts. The most convenient option is to pay with a Cat Card, which is a credit card specifically for purchasing Caterpillar parts and services. According to the Cat Card website, “The Cat Card is the quickest and easiest way to shop for parts” (https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp/catcard). When using a Cat Card on Parts.Cat.Com, customers can get 0% financing and equal payments for 6 or 12 months. The card also allows you to earn rewards on parts purchases.

Other payment methods likely accepted at Caterpillar dealers include major credit cards, checks, wire transfers, and financing through the dealer. Many dealers offer financing options to structure payments over time when purchasing expensive parts. For example, NMC Cat states “NMC Cat offers several financing options and we structure loans with affordable payments for our complete line of Cat equipment” (https://nmccat.com/service/financing/). It’s best to discuss payment and financing options directly with your Caterpillar dealer when ordering parts.

Returns and Warranties

Caterpillar provides standard warranties on new parts purchased from authorized dealers. According to the Caterpillar Limited Warranty, new parts are generally warranted for 12 months from the invoice date (see https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp/warrantyandreturns). Remanufactured parts typically have a reduced warranty period.

For returns and exchanges, parts purchased from Cat authorized dealers can usually be returned within 365 days as long as they are still in the original, unopened packaging (see https://www.miltoncat.com/parts/return-policy). Always check with the specific dealer for their return policy and restocking fees. Items must be in new condition to be eligible for credit or exchange.

If you need to return a part due to defect or warranty issue, contact the dealer right away for instructions on the return process. You will likely need to provide proof of purchase and documentation showing the issue. Returns directly to the Caterpillar Parts Distribution Center may be arranged for certain situations.

Understanding the warranties and return policies ahead of time can give you peace of mind about your Caterpillar parts order. Reach out to your Cat dealer if you have any questions.

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