00:00 00:00

Podcast

Keeping Your Fleets Cool with Coolant, HVAC, and Hoses

Learn how Prestone, Everco, and Flexfab are helping fleets maintain uptime when it comes to their cooling systems, and the benefits of choosing the right parts for the job.

Episode 268: Warmer weather is here, and with the change in season comes a new focus for fleet maintenance. In this episode, we’re staying cool with Prestone coolants, EverCo HVAC components, and silicone hoses from FlexFab.

Learn how Prestone, Everco, and Flexfab are helping fleets maintain uptime when it comes to their cooling systems, and the benefits of choosing the right parts for the job.

Links

  • Colin Dilley is the Vice President of Technology at Prestone. If you’re a regular listener of the show, you’ll recognize him from episode 199.
  • Dave Illes is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Standard Motor Products commercial vehicle division, which encompasses Everco.

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.

Warmer weather is here, and with the change in season, it requires a new focus on fleet maintenance. My name is Jamie Irvine. I’m the host of The Heavy Duty Parts Report, and in this episode, we’re going to keep cool with Prestone Coolant. We’re going to talk to Everco HVAC components, and we’re going to talk about silicone hoses from FlexFab. If you’re a regular listener of The Heavy Duty Parts report, you will recognize our first guest. Colin Dilly with Preston. He’s a returning guest from Episode 199. I caught up with him at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting in April of this year to talk about how Prestone supports its distributors.

Colin Dilley:

Hi, my name is Colin Dilly. I’m Vice President of Technology and R&D with Prestone.

Jamie Irvine:

Colin has been in the heavy-duty parts industry for 28 years, almost 30 years. And you’ve been in your current role for a decade, correct? Yes. Welcome back to The Heavy Duty Parts Support Colin.

Colin Dilley:

Good to be back with you.

Jamie Irvine:

Fantastic. So we’re at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, and this is a great opportunity for us to talk to independent parts and service companies and the suppliers who provide them with great products. Let’s talk a little bit, Colin, about what Prestone’s been doing at the fleet level to try to make sure that they have the best product on the market.

Colin Dilley:

Absolutely, and that’s a great place to start with any product and any service you do if you’ve got to understand the new technologies that are occurring out there in the industry. Because as things change, we’ve got to change our products to better meet the needs of all our customers.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, and there are changes, like in December, the EPA announced the new regulations for engines in 2027, for example. We know that’s going to change engine specifications and obviously that means you’re going to have to change along with that, but there’s other things that are motivating changes in technology in the engine platform. So can you speak a little bit about what some of those changes are?

Colin Dilley:

The big changes are being driven by miles per gallon still, right? You want to make the engine as lightweight as you possibly can, and because of that they’re using a lot of lightweight materials that haven’t been used before, be it aluminum alloys, right? Due through to polymers, even things like 3D printed parts, which is something we’ve never come across before.

Jamie Irvine:

Sir, I got to stop you there. So are they using 3D printing parts, not just for prototyping, but they’re actually using them in engines now?

Colin Dilley:

In engines using 3D, not just for prototyping as with it, but it’s full-scale 3D printing to produce these.

Jamie Irvine:

Wow. So a couple years ago we did an episode with some engineers that used 3D printing, and at that  time we really hadn’t found anybody that was actually using them in production. They were using ’em for testing, for prototyping, things like that. So that technology has jumped, which then has influenced engine technology.

Colin Dilley:

Very much so.

Jamie Irvine:

Wow. So what other things are influencing or changing engine technology?

Colin Dilley:

Well, I mean everyone’s aware of electrification of the industry, which faces some barriers, but as we all know, the government is breaking down those barriers with incentives and plans that they have. Just trying to make sure that we have our fluids in the new test platforms out there on the road doing miles, doing their normal jobs to make sure that our coolant is fully protecting all those parts.

They want to go to lighter weight engines, as I said, but that also includes the materials. Coolant is heavy, so they’re trying to reduce the size of the cooling system, and the only way to do that is to have a coolant that will keep that cooling system the same from day one to a million miles in when that truck’s getting to the end of its lifetime. So we are, we’re out there testing, all our products are fleet tested. Our product is in the midst of a test with 18 trucks out in Minnesota.

So we’re always there at the forefront and we’re not just using trucks and testing them, we are working with the engine builders, we’re working with their engineers, we’re visiting them at their places. I mean, I’ll be in Detroit next week again to understand what they’re doing, to understand what their next step is so that we can provide fluids to help accommodate what they’re trying to achieve.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So testing can mean a lot of things. One of the manufacturers I talked to, I don’t think it was you, but they talked about a five season test and the idea was you got to get through all of the different seasons at least once because the different environments trucks work in from Canada, minus 40, minus 50, you’re in the desert. It’s quite the opposite, and you’re running in all of these different conditions. So when you’re doing these tests, how in depth are they? And then what do you do with that information once you get it back?

Colin Dilley:

So I’ll give the same example of the fleet test. We got running for heavy duty. It’s a five year test. It’s run in northern Minnesota, so we’re going to get the seasons for sure. At the end of this year, we’re tearing down two of the engines, one of the engine with the core guard, one of the engines with the current factory fill for those engines. We will dissect those engines, photograph record them. Also during the process of the test, every 10,000 miles we’re taking fluid samples and oil samples out of those vehicles, looking at the chemical analysis. And from that chemical analysis we can see if anything’s breaking down, we can see what might be corroding, what could be causing a concern, and then we’re feeding that back to the engineers of the engine manufacturers so that they can understand what’s going on as well.

Jamie Irvine:

So my brain, as a former sales account manager that used to work for distributors and cell parts, I immediately start, I hear that and I start to think, wow, this is the kind of information I need to have a business development conversation with my customer about lowering total of operation, about making their fleets more efficient. This is something that I don’t just have to come in with a flyer and a box of donuts. I can have some real value.

So how does Prestone work with members like independent distributors like HDA Truck Pride members, to use all of this information to give them confidence to sell your product and to be more effective in their role of distributing the product?

Colin Dilley:

And that’s the exact reason why I’m here, because as we talk one on one, and as people come to the booth, they have a chance to hear the story, to see the data, and then we give them data and presentation materials and learning materials that they can take back to their teams. They can teach them because the best way to sell a product is to be the expert.

If you can guide your customer with your expertise that we’ve given and help them with, it helps them run their businesses better, it helps their customers run their businesses better. Trucks are expensive. You want that to last as long as possible. Well, you want to avoid having anything that can compromise the warranty. So we give them that advice as well. What trucks will this cover? Where are the warranty’s good? If you’re out of warranty, how do you make that truck last as long as possible?

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. I assume that you have a package product line. You do. You have a bulk line as well that you sell that your fluids in bulk to distributors.

Colin Dilley:

We sell everything from a gallon to a truckload and drums, totes, the whole gamut.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. So if you’re out in the field and you’re a distributor working for an HDA Truck Pride member and you’ve got, maybe you see 80 customers a week and their fleets are working in different vocations, have things changed? When I was selling parts, especially in early in my career, things were simpler, the engines were simpler, the technology. So do we now have to match coolant to vocation?

Colin Dilley:

Very much so. The coolants have changed. There’s a lot of old technology coolants still out there in bottles, which has not been able to keep up with the new materials of construction of the engines. So it’s very important for us to identify with them who your customers, are they on road? Are they off-road construction, mining, agriculture, which will tell us what engines are being used. Then we can guide them to the correct choices for those engines to maintain warranty and to maintain the best performance for those engines. Because uptime is everything when it comes to this.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. Well Colin when you’re working with a group that’s independent in nature, they’re part of the independent service channel, how do you feel as a company and as yourself working with them, how do you view that group? How important are they to the trucking industry?

Colin Dilley:

I think they’re monstrously important. Everybody’s important to the trucking industry. I mean, you don’t say one group is better than the other or more important. Our view is to service them all equally, to give them as much information as possible to make them the technical experts so they can make those choices based on their expertise, not on some marketing claim.

So no one is more important or less important to us, and frankly, the more knowledgeable the customer is, the better it is for us as a company because we can show the data, the new technology.

We’re the only North American company that is actually formulating their own coolants. We’re out there formulating, we’re working with the engineers, we’re working with the engine designers, developers, so we’re getting it right.

Jamie Irvine:

Go a little deeper into how significant that claim that you can say you’re the only North American actually is. Could you tell us a real world example where that North American based production knowledge actually paid off for a fleet?

Colin Dilley:

We have worked so closely with some of the engine developers that we’ve designed, the actual dynos that they test their own engines on. We’ve built up the partnership through trust and through our expertise as a fluid expert, matching their expertise as an engineer to provide them the best fluids that they could possibly have for what they’re trying to achieve.

That has given us a great advantage over everybody else because we can now show the data why that was used, and it’s evident in the approvals of the specifications we have from the engine manufacturers.

So that is the knowledge we’ve gained that helps us develop the best product out there. Core Guard Command is the best heavy-duty fluid out there. We’ve got the data to show it. I mean, that’s because we developed it ourselves in real time. In real time fleets, working with engineers, developing dynos lab tests, all sorts of proprietary testing to give the best product out there.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. I’ve been here with returning guest, Colin from Prestone. Thank you so much for being here. If you want to learn more about these great products, go to prestone.com. Colin, thanks for being back on the show.

Colin Dilley:

It’s an absolute pleasure. Always good to talk to you. Thank you.

Jamie Irvine:

Everco is a division of Standard Motor Products specializing in climate control components. While some distributors have been hesitant to offer HVAC, Dave Illes was at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting. He was talking to the members who are parts distributors about the importance of selecting the right supplier when selling HVAC components because of the support that is needed when selling those components to the end users, the fleets, the repair shops, and the owner operators.

Dave Illes:

I’m Dave Illes. I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing for Standard Motor Products Commercial Vehicle Division, which encompasses Pollak and Everco heavy-duty product lines.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re here at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting. Dave, you’ve been in the heavy-duty industry now 28 years. You worked in your current role for a couple years now. Just found out we’re both good Canadian kids. Yes, sir. Dave, welcome to The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

Dave Illes:

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Jamie Irvine:

Appreciate it. So you’re based Detroit now. You’ve been working for this company in this role for a couple years. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the trends that you’re seeing. First of all, what is your product category and then what are the trends you’re seeing in 2023?

Dave Illes:

So we’ll focus on Everco Heavy HD, which are heavy-duty HVAC product line. Okay. So what we’re seeing a lot of the trends is that it’s a category typically that not every distributor carries today. Some of the times they see it to the OES manufacturer or the OES dealer, or it will go through a specialist. There’s a little bit of trepidation in carrying the category because of the fact they think they can’t compete with it. The trend we’re seeing is now going full line, not just undercarriage or under hood, have a full line offering, and this is a great way to compliment that.

Jamie Irvine:

So actually now that we’re at HDA Truck Pride, this is a bunch of independent parts distribution service companies. They would probably fit into the category of people who historically maybe have been a little hesitant to sell your line, right?

Dave Illes:

Yes. And what we’ve done now is to show them some of the data. We invested in some data from McKay. So we see in the category who’s actually doing the work and selling the parts. The specialist has only about 1% of that business. The OES or the OE dealer has roughly 15%, but then the balance of that market over 75 to 80% is through the traditional fleets and the same customers that these distributors do business with every day, but they’re buying those parts from somebody else.

So the opportunity is there, we just need to make sure that we help them recognize it, train them, and how to sell that to their customers.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. So how complete is the line? What are all the different products or that comprise the line?

Dave Illes:

So we pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop. So we have roughly 3,000 SKUs in the Everco line from your bread and butter parts like compressors, expansion, valve dryers, but then blower motors, o-rings, air door actuators, a whole assortment of products that help complete the line, and it makes that customer’s customer, our distributor’s customer, not have to source product from elsewhere. They can buy from one spot and that keeps that customer captive and buying the product from them.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, and it actually lowers their cost because then you know, can imagine how much time is spent chasing parts, right? That’s correct. Okay. So when you look at all those different products, some categories have been really dramatically affected by changing technology on trucks. What’s the situation right now with trucks in 2023?

Dave Illes:

So interestingly enough, if you look at the year, make, model lookups potentially of a certain compressor, it can go back a number of years back to perhaps the late nineties, early nineties, all the way up to 2018. So the technology hasn’t necessarily evolved over the last 20, 25 years. There’s some small pieces, expansion valves or txv valves have now become more prevalent. But in general, the technology hasn’t changed too much. It’s just having the comfort level of selling that part, understanding refrigerant, some of the ancillary parts of HVAC that get uncomfortable for some people sometimes because of hazardous goods, those types of things.

Jamie Irvine:

Oh, okay. Yeah. Well, that actually makes me think of vocation. So depending on what the vocation is, I used to sell in Edson, Alberta oil and gas logging, not a lot of over the road. A lot of times they were driving those trucks a hundred miles, then stationary working and then a hundred miles back. So very different environment than someone who’s practically living in their truck. So how does a distributor who’s selling these products to these kinds of fleets and they’ve got maybe all of those in their territory, should they go about adapting the way they approach that customer?

Dave Illes:

So the first thing is just much like they do every day as a fleet survey, going through that fleet and taking VIN numbers for that specific fleet, because there’s going to be those locations that vary across that whole fleet from a day cab to a sleeper cab. We’ve invested in a lot of data now to help identify that part for a day cab, sleeper cab, extended sleeper cab, because there could be some variance in the compressor.

So we’ve now tried to offer that level of detail in the project descriptions, but when we’re able to take those VIN numbers back, then we can help them really sharpen their inventory, improve their returns, improve profitability. The kind of key to it is understanding what your customer’s driving, what the power units are, and then inside those engines, what are the parts that we can help them,identify by VIN number?

Jamie Irvine:

Is that information readily available through your system, like year, make, model, what they call ACEs information? What does it fit? All of that.

Dave Illes:

So we pride ourselves as a manufacturer, center motor products as a long history of really supplying top-notch data to the marketplace and light duty side, much the same on the heavy duty side. We want to supply ACEs and PIES compliant data. So we’re making that available to all of our customers on request. There’s a small licensing agreement.

We sell it just to protect our IP just like a manufacturer should, but we’re very open to sharing that data and we make our website open to all of our customers and their customers. If somebody’s in a service bay, they want to look up a compressor with an OE number, they go to our website with a login wide open. So we pride ourselves on sharing data and being an accessible vendor to the marketplace.

What I like to say is you can’t sell what you can’t find, whether that’s a year, make, model lookup, that’s a competitive interchange, an OEM interchange, and we’ve now started to add that level of data, like I said, day cab, sleeper cab, and then take it to the next level of what the engine is. Is it Detroit Diesel? Is it Cummins? Because in HVAC, we find that engine just much other categories in heavy-duty, you have to get down to that engine to accurately identify the part.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay, so you’ve already touched on how from a sales perspective and an inventory perspective, we can do fleet surveys, we can work with you directly, get our inventory tailored for the region that we’re selling in. That’s going to give the salespeople confidence to say to the customer, you don’t have to go elsewhere, you can come to us. I’m kind of curious when it comes to this product category, are we seeing more sensors in the system that are detecting, creating fault codes and detectable by a diagnostic laptop?

Dave Illes:

Yes. So much like I mentioned that we’re shop, there’s sensors within our category. We offer other electric part relays that all play into the flow of an HVAC system, and those are a little bit more complex than just a simple expansion valve or even a compressor that’s, it’s an axle driven unit with a pulley kind of simple technology. These sensors are a bit more delicate, and we pride ourselves in making sure as a basic manufacturer of those products, which standard motor products is that we can offer a quality product that we know is going to last in the marketplace.

Jamie Irvine:

So you’ve got year, make, model and PIES information that’s like the weights and the dimensions of the product for the parts people. Sounds like you have repair information for the technicians. Fantastic. Well, I really appreciate you coming on the show, taking some time out of your busy day today here at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting. If people want to learn more about the Everco HD line, go to evercohd.com. Dave, thank you so much for being on The Heavy Duty Parts Report.

Dave Illes:

Thank you. I appreciate it.

Jamie Irvine:

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

Commercial Break:

This episode of The Heavy Duty Parts Report is brought to you by FindItParts your ultimate destination for heavy-duty truck and trailer parts. Discover a vast range of parts at FinditParts.com. Don’t spend hours a day looking for parts instead, visit finditparts.com and get them right away.

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:

Choosing between a rubber hose and a silicone hose may seem like a trivial choice, but when the weather gets hot and your cooling system is under strain, it can be anything but trivial. Listen to Episode 76 if you want to hear a deep dive on the differences between a black rubber hose and the EDM or the silicone style hose. Now FlexFab offers high quality silicone hoses designed to last the lifetime of the engine, and they play a big part in the trucks of the future.

Now at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, I got a chance to sit down with one of the owners of FlexFab to talk more about the importance of silicone hoses, why they lower total cost of operation, and how you should go about making that decision. Listening to my conversation with FlexFab.

Jim DeCamp:

Hi, my name’s Jim decamp. I’m with FlexFab and my current position is Community Liaison.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re here at HDA Truck Pride’s annual meeting, and I get the opportunity to sit down with Jim. Jim is someone who’s been part of the heavy-duty industry his whole life. His company has been around for over 60 years. Jim, welcome to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. Thank you, Jamie.

Thank you very much for taking the time to join us. So I had the opportunity of selling your product when I was working for distributors, and I remember having great conversations with fleets about the benefits of silicone over rubber. And what I’m wondering is it’s been a few years since I sold parts, what’s changed? It’s 2023, where are things going and how’s that going to impact your company?

Jim DeCamp:

Good question. One, what we see with the diesel engines in the world, they’re going to be here for quite a while. Yeah, that’s going to be a long time till we have the infrastructure that can handle the electrification, but that is part of the future. So from the standpoint of it’s going to be many, many years if not decades before everything is electrified. So there’s still going to be that need. The silicone hose handles the extreme variance within an engine, and so that’s still a demand there. You have options to use other hoses that aren’t silicone, and those options generally are lower cost,

Jamie Irvine:

I’m going to challenge that as I was taught when I was taught how to sell your product. It’s a lower purchase price but it’s not a lower total cost, isn’t it?

Jim DeCamp:

No. Yeah, it isn’t. So on average, you’ll pay one and a half times more for silicone than you will a non-silicone hose. But what happens in the life of that engine, that non silicone hose is going to be replaced at least three times. So now you spent more money in the end by going with a lower cost option. So silicone is always your most cost saving benefit. And silicone, really our silicone as we’ve designed it for the diesel engines of the world, is to live and exceed the life of the engine. So you put our hose on once and it’s good until you replace components.

Jamie Irvine:

And the minute you’re talking labor, the parts purchase price just gets blown out of the water. Okay, let’s talk about now the trend towards electrification. Is there going to be a need for silicone hose on these e trucks that are coming out? And obviously to your point, they’re going to be rolled out progressively over time, and that’s going to be almost by vocation. So what’s the future look like for that? And will people like HDA Truck Prides parts distributors have an opportunity to sell hoses to those fleets that are using that equipment?

Jim DeCamp:

So as we move into the E-mobility or the electrified engine, there’s going to be a hide need for batteries. Batteries are the power source for the engines. Those batteries are going to require to keep them cool. Not overheating. An overheated battery will not operate an engine. So there’s a lot of need for the silicone hose in that cooling system to keep the batteries where they need to be wise. Yeah, so there’ll be a lot of silicone needs because the battery essence of the electrified engines are a lot of hoses.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re here at HDA Truck Pride, so we got 150 roughly independently owned businesses. They are parts, they are service. They’re the heart of the independent service channel. How has FlexFab continued to offer them support over the years, and how do you plan on extending that as technology on trucks significantly changes?

Jim DeCamp:

Sure. We’ve designed the silicone hose for every different engine. So whether it’s Cat, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, what every different heavy duty truck platform, whether it’s Kenworth, Peterbilt, Mac, Volvo, Navistar, International, Freightliner, we’ve designed the hoses into those in infrastructures. So we have the solutions to the HDA network because we’ve designed and we know, and that’s what I offer in the HDA program, is the bulk of what they need.

There are specific proprietary stuff that isn’t available to them, but what I’m selling to them handles 80, 85% of what’s needed generally under the hood. So we have the background, we have the history, we know why it was designed for what application. The most important thing you can ever do for a customer is give them the right hose for the right application.

And if you don’t know it and they get the wrong hose, that customer will remember that you gave ’em the wrong hose. They may not remember you gave ’em the right hose, but the most important thing is never give ’em the wrong stuff. And so I always ask, what’s the application? What’s the temperatures, what’s the pressures? Here’s the right hose.

Jamie Irvine:

So in your role now, you’ve recently changed roles. What is Flexfab doing to give back? You’ve had a lot of success. You’re, it’s been a family business for many years and you’re doing some pretty important work. Tell me a little bit about that.

Jim DeCamp:

Through the success of our company, we’ve gained some wealth. So within that wealth, we’ve created a family foundation. So within that family foundation we give back to our local community nonprofits. So one of our main priorities is childhood education. So we put a lot of emphasis in helping the childhood education program. We’ve actually created a system where every kindergarten in our county, when they start kindergarten, we put $50 into a savings account for them.

And then over the course of their school years, they review their statement and then the bank works with the students to teach ’em about saving. And all the money that they put into that over the course of the next 12 years goes to a college or a trade school. And so they learn if I save, I can go to school and I can go beyond high school. And it’s, we’ve been doing it for maybe eight years now, and it’s just phenomenal.

The kids love it. The banks come to the school every month and they review their statement. The kids can go to the bank and they can put money in it, their parents can put money in it. Anybody can put money into these childhood accounts, and it’s an awesome experience.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, I enjoyed selling your line and I appreciate the work that you’ve done and the way that you’ve supported the trucking industry and also the community. That’s fantastic. Thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it. For those that want to learn more about FlexFab, they can go to flexfab.com and they’ll be able to learn all about the company and the great products.

And I encourage you to go over there. We’re going to include links in the show notes, so go there today, check them out. And if you haven’t started selling silicone, you need to start, trust me, it is well worth it for your customers. Thanks again.

Jim DeCamp:

Thank you.

Jamie Irvine:

All three of the suppliers that we’ve talked to in this episode rely on the independent parts distribution network to get their products into the hands of end users, the fleets, the owner operators, and the repair shops. And that’s why a network like HDA Truck Pride really is so powerful when you think about it.

Combine this group of independently owned parts and service companies hold more buying power or control more buying power than some of the larger corporate owned entities that are selling parts to the trucking industry. And this is also the place where conscientious parts, people in repair techs get quality information about the products that they sell and that they install. So let’s hear what our guests want you to know about their products that’ll make your job easier.

Colin Dilley:

I think the most important thing, which I think they know is service interval and to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. But where we see problems, our simple thing is flush and fill of an engine When it’s time to change out that coolant, put a new coolant in or change to a newer technology coolant, we see things such as them putting dawn soap in there to try and rinse everything else.

That’s a bad idea. We provide the correct flush and fill type products as well so that when you use these, it’s not going to compromise the performance of that fluid. If you put a soap in there and then you pour in your coolant and you haven’t rinsed it out correctly, you’ve got a lot of bubbles, and those bubbles are encapsulating all the inhibitors, you’re destroying the coolant.

You need a flush and filled product that’s going to aid the process, do it quickly, efficiently, effectively, and not compromise the performance of the coolant afterwards. Those are the simple things that people don’t think about. Yeah, they’ll spend a lot of time choosing the fluid, but what they do between fluid and fluid can often cause them some significant mistakes.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. So that’s some of the simple things. Now, when you’re selling product, there are times when a customer will come to you and they will ask you for a specific product. Let’s say they’re asking for a specific product to replace inside of a cooling system.

What kind of education can we provide them right here to help those parts people understand the larger system because I hated when I was replacing a part and then I found out later there was another issue elsewhere. That part then immediately fails again. And then they’re mad at us because they say we sold ’em a bad product. So when it comes to cooling systems, when I say that, what’s the first thing that came to mind?

Colin Dilley:

First thing that came to mind is if you are changing a part in the cooling system and you’re not changing the coolant at the same time, you might be causing that part to fail. Again, if the coolant is neglected, has not been changed when it should have been, or if it became low, air was entrapped in it and it caused corrosion or a failure of part, you’ve got to remember to change that coolant as well as the part. Otherwise, that part may not make it again.

Jamie Irvine:

And it’s not just about upselling for the purpose of selling more product. This is a legitimate way to lower the total cost for the end user customer.

Colin Dilley:

And if you consider the cost of the part compared to the cost of the coolant.

Jamie Irvine:

And the labor.

Colin Dilley:

You might as well put the coolant in because or not, might as well. Yeah, you have to. Yeah, you really do.

Jamie Irvine:

You mentioned the OEM specs for changing the coolant and staying within those. I know when it comes to oil and filtration, there’s been a move where they are now saying, look, we don’t want to change, obviously we want to change it soon enough. We don’t want to wait too long. But depending on the vocation, we also don’t want to change it prematurely. Is that scenario, does that exist on the cooling side as well?

Colin Dilley:

It does, but when you’re protecting your vehicle with a warranty, you want to keep it for number one to make sure you not have a warranty issue. They’re a lot more stricter on warranty issues right now than they were before. And my experience has been in, I would say 99% of all vehicles that I’ve taken a coolant sample. It’s been a mixed coolant sample and it hasn’t been the right coolant. So care has to be taken with that. Do coolants last longer for sure. If you have new technology coolants, like the command core guard will last a million miles. Remembering that million miles, you’re going to keep topping up. So by the end of the million miles, you won’t have all that coolant left. Right?

But that’s all taken into account, so it will last longer. That’s good because it gives you a sense of protection because when it comes down to it and you have a scheduled maintenance or you got to get a truck somewhere, they’ll usually choose to get the truck somewhere because that’s paying the bills. Right. So it gives you that extra sense of that extra barrier of comfort.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. So what is probably the biggest, oh, I’m trying to struggle for the word there. Not misinformation, but maybe where people just have the wrong idea about modern day coolant. What’s one of those old ideas that continues to live on and needs to be put to death?

Colin Dilley:

Green – let’s put green fluid to death. Okay. Green is sed conventional coolant. It used to be the coolant 40 years ago, and people never had a problem with it because cooling systems leaked and every week they’d put another gallon in. So you reinhabit the system, right? As engines improved, the leakage has been reduced. One of the simplest things is the new spring loaded hose clamps, they don’t leak through vibration like the old tighten ones did.

The old, old guys who’ve been in the industry a long time were like, I never had a problem with green. Well, that’s because you kept putting it in. Now no leaking. You’re not adding it. So 20, 30, 50,000 miles, it’s now lost us all it’s potential to protect that engine. Yeah, don’t use green.

Jamie Irvine:

But the parts, people still need to be able to field those calls and be able to get the right parts in the hands. One of my mentors always told me, Jamie, sell them what they need, not what they ask for. Is there any common combinations of parts that when a parts person is selling your category, they should be recommending, hey, look, if you’re changing that, you also have to change this.

Dave Illes:

So what we’ve done, again, it goes back to the comfort level of the counterman he’s unfamiliar with the category has a little trepidation that I can’t compete with a specialist. So we just went through this and we’re talking about be Canadian. I just spent the month of February in places like Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan.

Jamie Irvine:

You couldn’t have made that in the summer. Anybody who knows that geography, that’s rough travel that time of year.

Dave Illes:

I could have done much better planning that thing out. But anyway, what we really did in that, the course of those training sessions with the counter people is how do I just very briefly, high level, technically, how does an HVAC system work? So they’re somewhat familiar with it. But then we went into the details of how do you look up that part when the customer calls you? And having that accessibility of data again goes as a key part of that, of I’ve got the OE number now from my customer, I punched it on our website.

It’ll tell me my part number and I can identify it and sell it at that point. And then we’ve also trained them on, in HVAC, it’s very key to replace multiple parts, reduce comebacks. So when a compressor fails, in essence, even if you replace that compressor flush that there’s tiny particles of metal still flowing through that HVAC system, it’ll get caught in your txv expansion valve, your dryer.

So we always recommend if you sell a compressor, sell a expansion valve and dryer just to ensure you don’t have that comeback. And the investment for the fleet is very small. It’s relatively small and the scope of that sale, but we’ve had data on our light-duty sites show us that you reduce comebacks by over 10% when you replace all those key components at the same time at the time of service. And you know, don’t want that downtime for an HVAC unit.

That’s one thing you don’t want to risk if you’re selling it to your fleet is downtime because of an HVAC compressor. And it seizes and you’ve got pulleys on there, there’s other components now will be impacted.

Jamie Irvine:

And that downtime, I mean the labor is going to be far more than the replacement parts on the initial purchase. But in addition to that, then you have all those other potential expenses that come along to having a truck down, loss of revenue, so on and so forth. Can you tell us a story of a customer that’s had really good success distributing your product to a fleet or an end user?

Dave Illes:

So we just launched a customer in 2022 that they came into with, again, it’s a new category, get some comfort level with it and making sure inventory was in place where it needed to be to service the customer. So that counterman training was incredibly key to make sure that he was comfortable on how to look up the parts, source it, was comfortable with the category. And we learned a lot through the process with them too.

That point of sale is very important. Again, you can’t sell what you don’t have. And when you look at the environment around some markets, some big metro markets, there’s so many different players that have those parts in stock that we make sure we’ve advised them, we’ve learned that deploying inventory downstream at the place of purchase, it eliminates some of the sensitivity of price. Because again, downtime is so valuable.

And if we can get that part on the truck and replaced and get it on the road, that’s much more key. So that’s where the success came in, was training the counter people, comfort level, offering training. So one of the things we do as a manufacturer that is a little bit different is that we have a full training team in Irving, Texas, multiple SA certified technicians that will go to the field in front of our fleets, work with them one-on-one on technical training, reducing comebacks, troubleshooting, even certifications, give ’em the advice on that.

So that’s the kind of service we can offer them from selling the part, shipping the part, and then also making sure our fleets are comfortable with putting those parts on.

Jamie Irvine:

And then you can do that in the context of selling through distribution. So people like HDA Truck Pride can take advantage of that. Yes, correct. Yeah. Fantastic. And then one of the things that my mentor taught me, one of my mentors was he’s always said, sell them what they need, not what they ask for. So when someone comes in and they want to buy a hose, what should that parts person also be asking them? Do you need this? Do you need that?

Jim DeCamp:

Sure. So I just said, I always ask, what is your application? Because they may come in and they say, I need radiator hose. And so then I’d go, okay, what is your radiator? What is it in? Is it in a heavy-duty truck? Is it in a stationary power? What is it? So that we make sure we give ’em the right product? So perfect example is it’s say, I need stick hose radiator. And they go, oh, okay. Well you need the 3-ply. Well, I would go, what is the application?

What vehicle is it going into? And they go, well, it’s in a city transit bus. I’d go, okay, what you need is you need the 4-ply, right? Because of that environment for that vehicle, it’s critical that they have the right hose. Most people would just say, well, the 3-ply is what everyone uses. Yeah. So that’s where it’s always important to ask the questions, what’s the application? What’s it going into? And then there’s tells you what product do you need? Yeah.

Jamie Irvine:

I’m Jamie Irvine and you’ve been listening to The Heavy Duty Parts Report. If you’re enjoying today’s episode and haven’t followed the show, head over to heavy duty parts report.com and hit the follow button. That’ll take you to a page where you can sign up to our weekly email.

We only send one email a week to those subscribers so that they never miss out on any of the new content that we are creating. In addition to that, some people like to watch the podcast. You can always go over to YouTube and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you enjoy listening on the podcast player of your choice, you can follow the show for free wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks again for listening, and as always, don’t forget, Be Heavy Duty.

Share this:
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Email
Related:

FOLLOW THE PODCAST

Receive a weekly email with links to the latest episodes.

You Won’t Believe How Much You Will Save.

Your Complete Shop Efficiency Partner.

Provide Your Customers with Complete Parts Visibility.

The Heart of the Independent Parts and Service Channel.

Your Ultimate Destination for Heavy-Duty Parts.

Search