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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 17:21 #213326

  • Lang
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Looking for a part for the Mack. Eventually got onto a major supplier in NSW. This company is a Mack specialist.

"Welcome to Acme Parts, press 1 for, 2 for, ........99 for"

"Acme Parts this is Ralph how may I help you?"

"I want a part for a 1985 Mack Midliner"

" One moment, I will pass you to a Parts Interpreter" (I didn't know parts talked a foreign language)

Perky voice "This is Chantelle how may I help you"

"Hello Chantelle, Lang here, I want a part for a Mack Midliner"

"What model Mainliner is that"

"No, Midliner 1985"

"Oh that is an old truck. I will have to look it up in our library. What is the registration"

"It is not registered and I don't know the previous registration but it is 1985 Midliner"

"That is Ok what is the VIN number?"

"I don;t know and I am not near the truck"

"I am sorry but I can not help you without a VIN number"

Out to the shed ring back ten minutes late after pressing buttons and the lovely Chantelle is awaiting my call.

"The VIN number is FH1342"

"No that is wrong it must be bigger than that"

"I assure you the Mack Australia plate attached to the truck has a box saying VIN number. In that box are the stamps saying FH1342. Unless there was some drunken employee on the day stamping random numbers on vehicles I would say it is a fair bet that number is in your system somewhere."

"I will have to talk to my supervisor" 10 minutes later "Hello, Lang we have found the number it was not in the usual place but under Midliner!" Absobloodylutely amazing, who would have thought?

"What part did you want?" Back and forth to supervisor because the Midliner is so old it only has parts on exploded diagrams in the parts manual and not listed numerically on a computer program. Hopeless information trying to describe the ball joint on the end of the gear stick results in her sending me a photo of the page in the book by phone.

"Did you get the photo on your phone"


"OK what part is it"

"I will call you back after I have looked at the photo"

"Can;t you talk to me and look at the photo at the same time"

"I have not got a bloody clue I can only do one thing at once"

"That's OK I will talk you through it"

"I have a better idea, why don't you email the photo so I can see something bigger than a postage stamp and I will call you back"

10 minutes later after Press1,2,3,4................................................................................................................!

"Hello Chantelle, fancy meeting you here. The part I want is number 7 on the exploded diagram"

"OK we have that in stock. I did not keep a note of your VIN number can I have it again please"

"It is FH1342"

"OK S81342"

"No FH1342"

"Sorry F81342"

" No! Foxtrot Hotel 1342"

"What is Foxtrot"

"It is a way to tell you that the letter I mean is an F and Foxtrot starts with an F"

"OK. How do you spell Foxtrot?"

"What I really meant was Flamin' Hell 1342 (I actually did not say this but was tempted)

Another few back and forward communications and she finally got it

God love her. Chantelle the Parts Interpreter finally says "I am sorry for that messing around I am not very good at numbers"
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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 18:59 #213330

  • Mrsmackpaul
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And welcome to Mack Australia

For what it's worth I find it quicker and easier to ring a Jenny in Townsville if Im really stuck
She is quick, knows her stuff and runs rings around the younger blokes there
Even if Im in there and the young blokes are serving me they will quite often turn around if Jenny hasnt already told them as she does about 15 things at once

The young blokes are better than my nearest Mack dealer at the moment who are as useless as that ash tray on a motor cycle

Dubbo Mack spares are pretty good as well

However if you can find a part number on the item itself then just google it and the part will more than likely be Europe

Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging
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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 21:19 #213337

  • V8Ian
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:lol: A lesser man would have justifiably spat the dummy, Lang.

My son is pretty cluey as to what parts are interchangeable in the car world. One of the Saab model is built on the same platform as a certain Holden. He was doing some maintenance on a mate's Saab⁴Holden and needed a common part. The price from a Saab dealer was exorbitant, so a Holden dealer was consulted, quoting a price slightly more than a third of the Saab price. On fronting at the Holden spare parts counter, he was refused the part unless he supplied a VIN.

In a similar vein, he owns a 2 series Volvo. The Volvo and early V8 Commodores use the same U-joints. He went to a nationwide, Aussie parts and tool supplier and asked if they had Commodore joint. Consulting his computer, the purveyor stated he had one in stock and fetched it. My young bloke then enquired about a Volvo joint. The same procedure was followed but the parts bloke returned saying that the computer said there was one in stock, but physically it was not on the shelf. The young fellow said "No, it wouldn't be, it's here. I'll have that, thanks." The parts dude then tried charging the Volvo price, almost double that of the same Holden part. The part was eventually sold at the lower price after the claim "oi, I'm putting it in a Commodore. "
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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 22:17 #213343

  • hayseed
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Unfortunately Lang,that's the way of the world Today.
You're Flat out even buying a Wheelnut Today without supplying a VIN#

Gone are the days of the Bloke reaching under the counter Pulling out the right parts Book & looking it Up for you, Or Mumbling to Himself walking out the Back & coming back & plonking on the counter what you asked For ..
"Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter...
don't mind...
And those that mind....
don't matter." -
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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 22:30 #213345

  • cobbadog
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WOW, Lang, you need more than strength for enduring that marathon. I was waiting for the part where you said this is a Mothy Python skit, unbelieveable.
There is nothing as good as dealing with a Company that have staff that know their job. It makes buying a pleasure.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette
Coopernook, The Centre of our Universe.
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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 22:35 #213346

  • cliffo
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Sounds like you deal with Macks in Adelaide

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God give me strength! 03 Aug 2020 23:11 #213348

  • PDU
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Way back when I was driving my $80 1947 Ford V8 I needed an exhaust flange gasket and felt quite cocky going into a modern dealership to see if theycouyld help. I was sure they wouldn't have one, but when I asked the guy behind the counter, he was not at all confused, or wonder where the old parts books were - in fact he didn't even blink, but jut asked if I needed the big one or the small one!? :ohmy: :blink:

Fortunately I quickly guessed that my Ford required the larger one, and the smaller one was probably for the earlier 221 cu in V8.
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God give me strength! 04 Aug 2020 01:25 #213349

  • Brocky45
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Have any of you tried Tony Champion's Mack dealership in Rockhampton??? All I know is when we visited there 5 years ago he had a big sign on the wall of the parts room that said "We deal in finding older parts"..
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God give me strength! 04 Aug 2020 07:43 #213350

  • Lang
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I call in regularly to Champions (very nice people) but never thought to call them. I think they might not consider the Midliner a real Mack.

My Dad had the GMH dealership at Southport late 50's and 60's and even as a kid I was amazed by the numbers the parts blokes had in their head. Although they may not have been mechanical they knew where things went because everything had exploded parts drawings in the book and they looked at those pictures constantly.

Customers would come in describing a part. Numbers had nothing to do with the public they were a parts man's secret language. Those blokes could convert "the little round flappy bit that goes under the aircleaner" to 17-6785 instantly. They were truly Parts Interpreters.

Right up to a couple of years ago my local REPCO had two older blokes working there. You would be served by a younger fellow and say "I need a fuel filter for a 2012 Nissan Patrol". As he was reaching for the book, the older bloke, serving another customer beside me, would turn his head and say 67-789 to the youngster.

Went to REPCO the other day and was confronted with the can't do anything without a VIN story. I think next week I will not be able to buy a bottle of car wash without the VIN of the car it is to be used on.

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God give me strength! 07 Aug 2020 07:50 #213454

  • jeffo
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Think it helps if you front a counter instead of the phone.
Dad had a 27 Desoto back in the 70’s. An advanced car, 4-wheel hydraulic brakes.
Took the master cylinder in to get a kit, pretty hopeful....
Counter bloke takes one look and says he reckons a Girling such and such looked similar. Trotted one out and he was spot on.
Another trip was for universals. Couldn’t identify the top one. Same bloke has a look, reckons it looks like a Valiant uni, sliding yoke arrangement. Sure enough, a straight fit.
There were some smart old heads down at IBC ESCA in Brisbane. Huge wooden counters with old school blokes behind..
Long gone unfortunately.
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