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Electric Power Solutions for Heavy-Duty Trucks

Learn what causes heavy-duty alternators and starters to fail and what can be done about it.

Episode 81: In this episode, we discuss everything you need to know regarding high-quality alternators and starters with Jonathan Smith who is the Assistant Director of Aftermarket Sales/Marketing at Prestolite Electric, manufacturer of Leece-Neville heavy-duty starters and alternators.

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Interview Questions and Answers

Question 1: When you talk about the expertise that your company has developed over the years in manufacturing heavy-duty parts, Broad-Ocean plays a part in that legacy, can you explain the connection? 

Broad-Ocean invested in Prestolite Electric 6 years ago, and has become not just a financial partner, but is a strategic partner as well. They’re working with Prestolite to develop world-class technologies on the alternator and starter side of the heavy-duty market.

Question 2: What does it mean to you when I say that fleets sometimes are on autopilot when it comes to alternators and starters? 

Fleets sometimes get in the habit of doing the same things over-and-over again for decades. For example, doing the exact same repairs with the exact same parts on your alternators and starters.

Question 3: What is the economic impact of being on autopilot when it comes to alternators and starters? 

The heavy-duty industry is constantly evolving and changing. Trucks are getting more and more advanced, and if you aren’t using the right parts for the necessary application, you will in effect be lowering your cost-per-mile. If you don’t have the right size alternator for your truck, your alternator will have to work much harder to keep up, lowering its life expectancy, as well as other electrical components.

Question 4: Your company has made engineering industry-leading products its priority along with serving as a business partner to the fleets, how does that mission impact a fleet? 

When Prestolite Electric works with a fleet, they analyze their current truck to see all the power requirements, even sometimes attaching a data bucket for a few weeks to log all the information to get perfect data. They want to figure out what alternator is going to be the best fit for the fleet.

Question 5: I wanted to specifically talk about performance at idle, vocational fleets need this technology, how does it work and why is it better? 

With their Leece-Neville line of alternators, you get high output even at idle. As an example, their 210-amp alternator has 140 amps of idle, which covers all the loads you need it to, even on your worst day.

Question 6: What solutions do you have for those that are looking to lower total cost-per-mile or cost-of-operation with the highest quality products? 

They have their value line, however, it’s not just a lower-cost product, but rather they focused on having a high-quality lower-cost product. With their higher-end products, they have their Idle Pro and Idle Pro Extreme which is covered with a 3-4 year unlimited mile warranty. These alternators range from 220 Amp to 420 Amps.

Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission. 

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