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Podcast

Driving Fleet Savings: Wheel Ends, Additives, and Air Springs

Discover the role of FPPF fuel additives, Goodyear air springs, and ConMet wheel end solutions in driving cost savings, improving fuel efficiency, and enhancing overall fleet performance.

Episode 269:  In this episode, we showcase three top suppliers who have shown a strong commitment to their resellers and end users by addressing market needs. FPPF, Goodyear, and ConMet are members of HDA Truck Pride’s supplier network. Their innovative solutions in fuel additives, air springs, and wheel end optimization play a critical role in driving fleet efficiency and generating cost savings.

Learn how FPPF fuel additives optimize combustion, improve mileage, and reduce fuel consumption, resulting in substantial cost savings. Explore the benefits of Goodyear air springs in enhancing ride comfort, reducing driver fatigue, and improving suspension performance. We also discuss the impact of ConMet wheel end solutions in minimizing maintenance expenses, extending component lifespan, and enhancing reliability.

Discover the role of FPPF fuel additives, Goodyear air springs, and ConMet wheel end solutions in driving cost savings, improving fuel efficiency, and enhancing overall fleet performance.

Links

Sponsors of this Episode 

FinditParts: Are you looking to purchase heavy-duty parts and get your commercial vehicle repaired? Get access to the largest source for heavy-duty truck and trailer parts in the United States and Canada. Buy your parts from FinditParts

SAMPA: Looking for suspension, steering, and 5th wheel parts? Buy now from SAMPA.com

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 commission.

Transcript of Episode

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine, and this is the place where we have conversations that empower heavy-duty people.

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally has changed the way we do business in our industry and has impacted the entire world. I’m Jamie Irvine, and on this episode of The Heavy Duty Parts Report, we are going to talk to three of HDA Truck Pride suppliers who have risen to the challenges that were presented, not only during the Covid Pandemic, but continue to be a challenge today. Now, I was at the annual meeting in Denver, Colorado a couple months ago, and this is where these interviews took place.

Today’s guests have implemented creative solutions to keep the trucks rolling during very difficult times. First up, I sat down with Doug from Goodyear. Now this legacy company had to deal with supply chain issues and disruption during the pandemic like everyone else, and I was interested to find out what they did to deal with this significant challenge to the trucking industry.

Doug Wills:

Hi, I’m Doug Wills. I’m the Director of Sales with Goodyear Airs Springs.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, and I have an opportunity to sit down with Goodyear and we’re going to focus on Air Springs. We’re with Doug. Doug’s been in the industry for 40 plus years and he has worked in his current role for the last five years. Doug, welcome to The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

Doug Wills:

Thank you. Appreciate it.

Jamie Irvine:

Glad to have you here. Let’s talk a little bit about trends over the last couple years. Many of my guests on the show have talked about the supply chain problems. You want to talk about a trend where that is starting to correct itself and I’m really interested to learn more.

Doug Wills:

Yeah, Jamie, thank you. We have spent countless hours adding resources specifically in our engineering staff at Goodyear Airs Springs, and we have a very niche product and therefore we require a very niche raw material demand. And our engineering staff has spent just countless hours finding additional suppliers on our end or tier two, tier three to gain those second and third level of supply. And so we’re in a really good position for growth because those engineers have found alternative suppliers of those very niche resources that we need.

Jamie Irvine:

Sometimes when these kinds of events happen, the bad stuff happens, it forces us to re-look at things and come at it from a different angle. And it sounds like that’s what you’ve done as a company, correct?

Doug Wills:

Correct. I think if Covid has taught us, or the pandemic has taught us anything, is that you can’t be single source. And we understand that from our side, the raw material suppliers that supply us and from our customers as well. We don’t expect to be their only single source of an airs spring supplier, but that is a hard learned lesson over the past, what, two and a half years.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah, that makes sense. So for people who have never been to an HDA Truck Pride meeting, what we have a bunch of meetings and then you guys have one-on-ones with some of the members. Then there’s an exhibition. So just over there is an entire exhibition hall with all of the suppliers. You’ve got your booth set up there, you’re talking to independent parts distributors, service people. What is the conversation that you’re having with those HDA Pride members?

Doug Wills:

Well, the question from everybody is still how are you able to supply and what is your level of supply? And that’s really what the conversations are surrounding. And we entered into 2021 and 2022 with a serious back order situation. Raw materials were in short supply and everybody had the same issue. And so now the conversation has completely turned to, hey, we’re in a great position for growth because we’ve sourced and resourced, and now we have the raw materials that we need to meet, demand and grow. And that’s what the conversation’s surrounding.

Jamie Irvine:

That makes a lot of sense to me. Let’s talk a bit about the nature of when you work for someone. Like I’ve worked for companies that have sold thousands of different products, and then sometimes you have companies like yourself that are really focused on just one product category. So when we’re talking about the different kind customers out there that you’re servicing, how do you match up products to vocation and really find the solutions for, let’s talk about the niches in the trucking industry.

Doug Wills:

So that’s a great question. My previous employer had a multi-line situation and when now going to a single focus, just different. But the thing we love about it, and I love about it being involved in this team, is that you can go out and really solve problems and you’re not trying to sell, if you will, 14 different product lines. It’s one and the airs springing is a non-discretionary part when it’s broken your vehicle’s down.

So I love the fact that you can put a high quality product such as a Goodyears springing on a vehicle, whether it’s a truck or a trailer or other departments that we also service. And we know that with confidence that vehicle’s not going to lose a load because it broke down on the highway. It’s interesting that you have different mindsets out there and what I need for my vehicle. And some folks have a situation where they only have, especially the independent owner operator, they only have so much money in their pocket.

They can’t afford top of the line products, and so they still need to be having their truck run down the road. But we try to focus on the fact that it’s a premium product and in a heavy duty application or a light duty application, we can service both sides of that fence.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah, okay. That makes sense. When I was selling parts and I got a chance to work with manufacturers like yourself, we’d be out in the field and when you talk to those smaller fleets, you talk to those owner operators, if it goes wrong, maybe their kids and their wife suffered. It’s not just a corporation, it’s a family that relies on that piece of equipment for their livelihood. And so to me, that always gave me purpose. How do you view your time in the field with distributors like HDA Pride members?

Doug Wills:

Whether you’re a big fleet or even a small owner operator, this is your livelihood. And so when we go out and promote our product and work with field sales or counter folks or even the end user, that’s part of our spiel, if you will, and our features and benefits. You put a quality product on your vehicle, you have the confidence to roll down the road and continue to feed your family without, in the back of your mind, boy, I hope this doesn’t break delivering this load that someone’s going to reject because I’m late. Or it spoils, in a food situation or something like that.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah exactly. Or needed medication on a truck or something like that. Not that we’ve needed that recently. So when you’re working with HDA Truck Pride members, these are also independent family owned businesses often, and for them it’s very important to have a product that when they sell it, they have confidence. Correct. And so how are you working with the members to instill that confidence in your product line?

Doug Wills:

I mean, the Goodyear name has and brand has been around for many, many decades and as a quality product. And so that name carries a lot of weight yet. And we have maintained the intellectual property, the manufacturing processes, and really the good features and benefits that have come along with the Goodyear name since it’s inception.

And so when we work with the counter folks or the outside salespeople, we talk about that brand image and we just remind them that, listen, we have a quality product with quality, raw materials and quality and manufacturing and a very strict quality control process so that they can have the confidence that they need to sell the product and not have to worry about, well, I hope this lasts more than six months. Yeah, I’m just picking a number.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah, exactly. Well, and now you can also add to that, and we have stuff actually in stock.

Doug Wills:

Right? And we have inventory.

Jamie Irvine:

So tell me a quick story about a customer who’s had success with your product.

Doug Wills:

I have many, but one that when you had asked me that question, one that popped in my mind immediately is I was in a fleet visit with one of my sales team members, and it was in Leon, Mexico. And this particular fleet, small fleet, five or six trucks, they were making runs from Leon up to Laredo the border every day.

And they’re the incumbent airs spring supplier for them was lasting around a hundred thousand miles, and which for them was only about six to eight months. Right. And he’s like, every six or eight months, he said, I just know that this is going to fail. He said, I hope it fails when it’s close to home so that I can repair it because he had his own a couple of technicians, and if it’s close to home, it’s not that big of a deal.

They pull it in, they replace the airs springing and they go, but if it’s halfway Laredo or in Laredo, and now he’s got to wait in line to get the vehicle repaired. Not that there aren’t repair places in Laredo, there are, but then he’s got to pay much more money. So we encouraged him to try our airs spring in replace of the incumbent, and he’s getting close to 275,000 miles without fail. So it’s still going. I don’t know the end of the story, but he more than doubled the life when he moved to ours.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, that’s a significant drop in total cost of operation, cost per mile. And if they time the maintenance correctly, then they will be able to get that truck back in their own shop, in their own supply and service system, which is far less cost to them.

Doug Wills:

Correct, correct. He’s very, very happy. It’s downtime reduced, just all the things that you just said, which is very happy customer.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. We’ve been speaking with Doug Wills, Director of Sales at Goodyear Airs Springs. To learn more about Goodyear Airs Springs, go to infinity airs springs.com to infinity and beyond. Doug, thank you for being on The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

Doug Wills:

Jamie, thank you. Always a pleasure. Appreciate it.

Jamie Irvine:

The technician shortage has existed for many, many years long before the pandemic hit, but since the pandemic, we have experienced a really acute issue with labor shortages and the technician problem has only gotten worse. The pandemic also put a light real spotlight on the importance of the men and women that work in both repair and the supply of parts to keep trucks and trailers rolling.

So when experienced technicians were at a critically low rate during the pandemic, ConMet identified a way to make wheel ends more easily serviceable and safer, and also a way to make it so that the actual servicing of that wheel end could be done in a more efficient way. This took pressure off of those technicians who were already being overworked listening to my conversation with ConMet.

Richard Moss:

Hi, I’m Richard Moss, Director Aftermarket National Accounts with ConMet.

Jamie Irvine:

We are at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, and I have the opportunity to sit down with somebody who has nearly 40 years of experience in the heavy-duty parts industry. You’re currently been in your role for six years. Richard, welcome to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. Thank you. Great to have you here. We are surrounded by the HDA Truck Pride members.

These are independent parts and service people. The heart of the Independent service channel, I like to call them. When you are fixing commercial equipment, there’s a number of challenges, and as we know, there’s labor shortages. There’s the part side of it, there’s the repair side of it. What is one of those challenges that historically caused a lot of problems for both the service tech and the parts person?

Richard Moss:

Well, historically, we have been on a wheel end truck since the mid-nineties, and that was with a hub that truly they had never seen before. When I say they technicians, so with the shortage of technicians and the proliferation of part numbers, ConMet is designed an aftermarket program that will allow your best technician or the one that just showed up yesterday to put a wheel end together again correctly.

Jamie Irvine:

So in my day when I started in sales, late-nineties, there was, when it came to wheel end, there was a lot of parts and there was a complicated process to put that all together safely so that we didn’t have a wheel off. We didn’t have a major problem. What kinds of problems did that cause for the repair technicians?

Richard Moss:

Well, you had to look at, you’re not dealing with iron all the time anymore. So 99% of truck is aluminum. So when you go to take a steel bearing out of there, you’re pressing it out. If you’re very, very good you’re 1% off, most of the time they’re catching a drift. Sometimes it’s screwdriver and they’re beating that race out, and when they do that, that still takes aluminum with them. So you have changed the diameter of the inside of that wheel. There’s just not a very good quick way to do the job correctly.

So what we’ve designed and what we have now is a replacement hub. You don’t rebuild alternators anymore. You in fact, don’t rebuild wiper blades anymore. So what we have now in our line is the ability not only on truck, but on trailer to take the hub off, clean the axle, put a brand new hub back on, and you can do that in a third to a half the time.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. Yeah. So these preset hubs, I mean, when I hear time savings of that much, that’s a significant change in the cost composition for the shop and for the end user customer, the vehicle owner. So talk me through the math on that. So we take a third reduction in time, but what does that translate into an economic impact?

Richard Moss:

There’s not only a time labor, but you also have something that most fleets kind of shied away from talking about before, and that’s downtime now with equipment being so, so important to have on the road and the scarcity of drivers. So you surely don’t want your drivers sitting somewhere waiting for something to be fixed. That’s when the economy of scale hits. On the counter, two bearings in a seal against a hub. Absolutely.

Jamie Irvine:

So that, that’s the labor side of it. That’s that economy of scale that you were talking about. But there’s still also the need. I remember before these preset hubs were available, there’s a lot of individual parts that you had to source to put it all together. And then now with the vehicles being more complex, a lot of parts people, they want a year, make, model lookup or a VIN lookup to be able to do it. What is your company doing to help parts people figure it out, but doing it in a different way?

Richard Moss:

I would tell you, Jamie, we have a great sales department. I think we have great sales people, but nobody is as good as our app. With our app, you can go in exactly as you’re saying, make what it is, what position you’re looking for, what’s the hub made out of? Do you have steel or aluminum wheels?

Yeah, you have your part number. This allows you to do a couple things. One, it’s very quick, what used to be a half day job with a wire brush now turns into about five seconds and you’re done depending upon your bandwidth. And the other thing is we have an aftermarket part. So your inventory is not very deep and you are not making that call to your buddy at the OE store hoping….

Jamie Irvine:

That happens every day.

Richard Moss:

And hoping he’s got a minute to look that VIN number up for you. But it makes a good choice from an OE quality company that you can now replace something wheel end and have a good quality part that you can work with.

Jamie Irvine:

And beyond just the preset hub, there’s also other options. So if you go down, for example, on a trailer, what other options are available? How does that impact the warranty? Because when you’re talking about the independent side, that’s a consideration for the fleets. They got to think about warranty.

Richard Moss:

Absolutely. It’s become a sales tool. Everybody uses it, and we offer, actually, we can slice it three ways. So we have a conventional hub, and then we also have the preset hub, which comes without our nut. That’s three years, 300,000 miles. And then the best option I feel is the Preset Plus. And with Preset Plus, you get Iron Nut, which really is only for our hub is designed for it.

At that point in time, you’re five years, 500,000 miles in. The beautiful part of it is you take that old hub off, put it in the metal bin, you clean up the axle, you slide that new one on, tighten that nut on a trailer to 500 foot pounds, one click and you’re done. And it’s right. Yeah.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. So you’ve simplified the process all across the board from the amount of inventory has to be stocked, the identification of the parts, the actual installation of the product, and then the end user customer gets this lower total cost of operation cost per mile because of that extended warranty. Tell us a story of how that all came together for a customer of yours, and then what was the impact on the customer?

Richard Moss:

It was working very well. We have a ton of confidence in what we say you should stock. In fact, we have a recommended stocking list that if you should in your parts store decide to put that on the shelf, we guarantee that for 12 months, if it doesn’t sell, we’ll bring it back, no questions asked.

Jamie Irvine:

Change it out to something that will sell.

Richard Moss:

Absolutely. And nothing shined a light on the ability to have all those parts together than covid when you had, maybe I had this bearing, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I had this seal, maybe I didn’t. At that point in time, we had owner, after owner, principal after principal, fleet after fleet saying, this is how I want to do this now. Because once they begin to put it all together that way, they see how quick it is, and they see that they don’t have any issues, they’re done. They get the whole monetary difference at that point in time.

Jamie Irvine:

So can you walk through the app that you’ve developed? Talk me through how it works and explain to me how it impacts the customers, not just the distributors, but also their customers.

Richard Moss:

Right, in that there are a lot of options out there. What kind of wheel you have, what kind of axle you have, position. Our app allows you to do that and do it correctly, do it quickly. But the other thing on our app that we have, we talked a little bit about the financial part of it. On our app, we have calculators built in. So you can go from a conventional wheel end to a preset to a preset plus bring ’em all down, look at downtime, look at what everything is costing, and then you have a number that is reality.

Jamie Irvine:

See, I think that’s so important because when I was working for distributors selling parts, the conversation I was always trying to have with our customers, the fleets, was how do we lower your total cost of operation? Let’s not look at the purchase price of the part. Let’s look at the actual cost of it once we factored in all of those things. So having this app would be a great tool for salespeople. They could just literally bring it out and show them. Right?

Richard Moss:

And we don’t hold onto this. There’s no password, there’s no charge. I would guess that 95% of the members here have it on their phone, and once you open it up, you’re immediately the smartest guy that’s been in that shop in the last week.

Jamie Irvine:

My name is Jamie Irvine. I’m the host of The Heavy Duty Parts Report, and we are here at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting. We’ve been talking with Richard Moss, Director of Aftermarket National Accounts at ConMet. If you want to learn more, go to conmet.com. Links will be in the show notes. Richard, thank you so much for being on The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

Richard Moss:

Thanks for your time.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re going to take a quick break from our sponsors. We’ll be right back.

Commercial Break:

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Parts availability and quality have a big influence on fleets and owner operators’ total cost of operation. If they can’t find a part, it means more downtime. If they install a low quality part and it fails, it means even more costs like tow bills, hotels, meals for the driver, and lost revenue. That’s why we recommend Sampa. They manufacture a wide range of advanced parts for commercial vehicles. Their website has an intelligent product search engine, and broad coverage of suspension, steering, and fifth wheel components. Expect More. Expect Sampa. Visit sampa.com today.

Jamie Irvine:

Fifteen to 20 years ago, expectations were very high that fracking would help the US to free up more oil in its own, under its own soil, and to reduce dependency on the Middle East. Fracking has been a boon to the US economy and has enabled them to do just that. Interestingly though, my next guest from FPPF Chemical Company talks about how fuel grade has actually gotten worse since that time. Now their company has created a new all-in-one product to help fleets cope with dirtier diesel. Listen in to my conversation with FPPF Chemical Company.

John Diggs:

Hi, I’m John Diggs, Vice President of Sales and Marketing from FPPF Chemical Company.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, and today I get the opportunity to talk to someone who’s got over 40 years of experience and is worked in their current role for three years. John, welcome to The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

John Diggs:

Thank you, Jamie.

Jamie Irvine:

Very glad to have you here.

John Diggs:

Thank you very much.

Jamie Irvine:

Let’s talk a little bit about one of the trends that we’ve seen when it comes to engines and fuel. I’ve had guests on today, we’ve done a bunch of interviews and we’ve talked about engine platforms and things like that, but I’m really interested in learning more about what’s going on with fuel. So could you kind of give me an overview of what the trend’s been lately? Bring us right up to date to 2023.

John Diggs:

Yeah. One of the things we’re seeing obviously is more imports and the fuel that we’re importing is not as high quality as what we used to see. So you’re seeing also with ultra low sulfur diesel, less lubrication, we’re seeing more bacteria growth. So that results in greater emissions, problems with injectors, all kinds of other problems with fuel economy. So we’re trying to deal with those things.

Jamie Irvine:

And so is that something that you think is more of a permanent trend or was that some sort of reaction to a supply shortage because of the pandemic?

John Diggs:

I think that overall we’re going to see it as a long term trend because of the cracking, fracking, all these terms that you hear all the time. Yeah, the quality of the fuel just isn’t what it used to be.

Jamie Irvine:

And then of course, we have do new engine platforms with new requirements too. So that’s changing things. It’s a very dynamic world that we live in. We’re here with HDA Truck Prides independent parts and repair facilities. They’re servicing commercial fleets. So what’s the products that you’ve been talking to these people about so that they can go and take that to the trucking industry?

John Diggs:

One of the key products that we sell is called Fuel Power. It’s been around since 1975. It actually disperses water by getting rid of the water. It prevents the potential for bacteria growth because bacteria grows at the interface between water and fuel. It actually helps clean and lubricate the fuel system and helps with the fuel economy. It acts as a combustion catalyst that reduces emission, that helps with DPF life or reducing regen.

So we took Fuel Power and we’ve created a new product called Fuel Power Maximum Formula. So fuel power’s still in it, but then we added a booster, an injector cleaner, a regen reducer, a stabilizer and corrosion inhibitor all in one. It’s the most powerful additive on the market today.

Jamie Irvine:

I just want you to say that like five times fast. That’s a lot. Okay. So there, there’s a lot of technology going into this. What’s the benefit for the customer? What do they get out of using it?

John Diggs:

Yeah, several different things. So with, again, ultra low sulfur diesel or with high pressure common rail systems that are out there, this additive is trying to reduce pre-ignition and post ignition so that it gets to top dead center with each stroke better. That actually smooths out the operation of the engine. It actually gives greater power with each stroke.

It gives more complete burn, which means less emissions, less carbon deposits. So that again, reduces the emissions that are going on. It helps lubricate the entire system so they’re getting longevity of their equipment, less downtime and maintenance costs and better fuel economy.

Jamie Irvine:

What are some of the maybe misconceptions about additives that exist?

John Diggs:

Well, I think that a lot of ’em that are out there have been marketed very well. And so some people call it mouse milk. They don’t know that it really, there are additives out there that truly really work that there’s science behind it. And that when we talk about alcohol’s, ketones, glycol, ethers, aromatics, all these different things that make up these products, the end consumer doesn’t really have the education to know one from another.

So that’s our job is to get the word out there and let ’em know that there are products that really will handle their own weight in water, that will kill bacteria. We have an EPA registered and approved biocide that will kill bacteria. We have additive, CTA approvers, and these different additives that we, for every problem, fuel problem, FPPF has a solution.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. Let’s break this down a little bit more. When I was selling parts, I had a wide range of customers who had different vocations. So we had some people that were in oil field and gas and logging and mining operations. And then we had other people that were over the road. So some people were operating transit buses right there. It was all over the map. And do you have a recommendation for specific additives for specific vocations, or is this a general product that it’s like, look, you got a diesel engine, you can use this one product?

John Diggs:

Yeah, that’s a very good question. And the truth is that this stuff will work with any internal combustion diesel engine. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a backup generator or if it’s on a piece of construction equipment or ag market or marine, it doesn’t matter if it’s a diesel engine.

We have additives that will help the fuel quality. And there’s a spec out there called ASTM D 975 that’s made up of 13 different tests. That is the quality measures, the quality of a fuel, and every load of fuel is supposed to meet that specification upon delivery. How much do you think that’s happening?

Jamie Irvine:

Not very much I’m guessing.

John Diggs:

Not very much. So that’s where it’s important to have the additives to support the fuel that’s out there.

Jamie Irvine:

So if you’re working for one of these distributors and you’re selling parts over the counter, what is the best way to communicate with that customer about the value of it right there at the counter? So they might be there to buy something else, but you say, Hey, are you using these? If not, we want to move more people towards it, if it’s got such great benefits. What’s the best way of doing that?

John Diggs:

Yeah. Well, we have different marketing materials that are available to people to use. We have demonstrations that they can actually do to demonstrate how the product gets rid of water. The demonstrations are great, which an outside sales rep can use, a counter sales rep can use. There’s videos that are available at our website. If you go to fppf.com, there’s SDSs, there’s sales sheets, there’s videos, there’s all kinds of things to help them in their sales efforts.

Jamie Irvine:

Fantastic. Nothing gets people’s attention at a commercial fleet more than economic impact and cost. So could you share with us some of the, maybe you can’t give us a specific example, but some general results that are created economically by using this in a fleet consistently. What does that do to their total cost of operation? How does it impact things economically?

John Diggs:

We have some fleets that have been used on the product that are getting up to 10% increase in fuel economy, which is huge. Then on top of that, let’s say that they were changing out their diesel particulate filter at 5,000 miles, and we can make it six or 7,000 miles. That saves them money.

Jamie Irvine:

In between cleanings, you mean?

John Diggs:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The regen reduction, if we can extend the amount of time before regeneration occurs, that’s money in the bank. So the fuel economy alone will pay for the additive. Then all the other benefits they get, including the reduction at downtime and maintenance costs, blowing injector tips, extending the life of the equipment is all money in the bank.

Jamie Irvine:

Money in the bank after that. Yeah. Tell me a story of a specific fleet. What problems were they having? How did they use your product, and then what happened?

John Diggs:

Yeah, the two just popped to mind. The recently I talked to, when we first had the meeting, they were telling me they weren’t having any fuel problems, but then as we were having the discussion, we found out about some of their vehicles that were actually gelling up. So we have an anti-gel that they put in that lowers the coal filter plug point of the fuel that keeps ’em running in colder temperatures. Then they’ve mentioned how that they experience some bacteria.

So we were able to talk about Kill ’em, which is an EPA approved biocide that kills the bacteria, dries it up, makes it like little carcasses like grains of sand, and then the fuel filter removes it. And then they were talking about, and I won’t mention any engine manufactured by name or anything, but they had these injectors that had a 300,000 mile warranty, and they specifically were taking them out and replacing the whole set at around 280,000 miles because they knew that they were going to blow in the next 50 to 70,000 miles.

So it’s using our product. They didn’t have to do that anymore, and they were seeing a half a million miles or more out of each one of their engines.

Jamie Irvine:

That is on every level. This is a company who said, we don’t have any problems.

John Diggs:

They didn’t identify any problems when I first walked into the room. Yeah.

Jamie Irvine:

Wow. That is significant. When you’re working as a supplier to a group like HDA Truck Pride, what steps are you taking to try to help them to be more successful with your product?

John Diggs:

Yeah. The best thing we can do is educate them, and really, instead of just being an order taker, somebody comes in, asks for a specific product, we want them to teach them and educate them how this product actually works and how that this is going to help them and benefit them. So we provided all kinds of different literature options for them, little stuffers to sales flyers. Currently, we have a special program going that they can get the display full of products for around $2,000. That retails over $6,000, so it’s about 68% gross profit margin to get them into the program and start selling the product.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah, that’s fantastic. And hey, some parts you can hardly make 10 or 15 points on these days, so to have something of that margins pretty appealing. You’ve been listening to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine, and we’ve been speaking with John Diggs, the VP of Sales and Marketing at FPPF Chemical Company to learn more, as he said, go to fppf.com. Links are in the show notes. John, thanks for being on The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

John Diggs:

Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, the world is certainly a very different place than it was back in 2019 when we launched The Heavy Duty Parts Report. The heavy-duty parts industry has made significant strides to address the difficult challenges facing the trucking industry since that time, and they continue to bring forward innovative solutions to help keep trucks and trailers on the road.

The three suppliers we talked to today have shown a true commitment to making the trucking industry better, to providing innovative solutions and to support the independent parts and service channel. And as we were at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, this was an opportunity for those independent parts and service companies to all come together and then to talk to these suppliers about these innovative solutions. HDA Truck Pride is the largest group of independent parts and service companies in North America with over 750 parts stores and 450 repair centers.

They really are the heart of the Independent service channel. Check out the show notes to find out more about our guests and to learn how you could become an HDA Truck Pride member. Thank you for listening to today’s episode on The Heavy Duty Parts Report brought to you by Find It Parts. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine, and as always, I want to encourage you to Be Heavy-Duty.

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