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Looking Back on 2021

A review of what happened in the trucking industry in 2021 and what we accomplished at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Episode 131:  In this episode, we review what happened in the trucking industry in 2021 and what we accomplished at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

2021 was an unprecedented year in many ways. It was the second year of the pandemic, we saw the rollout of several vaccines, and the introduction of vaccine mandates that impact many aspects of our lives.

We have seen crushing supply chain issues, employee shortages, and issues related to the right to repair legislation which all impact the heavy-duty parts industry and the trucking industry.

While all of this was going on, at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report we published Season 4 of the show. We started the year with episode 80 interviewing Hengst Filtration, and next week in episode 132 we will end 2021 with a sneak peek into Season 5 and what to expect in 2022.

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Complete Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile. Welcome to our annual episode where we look back on the year that we are now concluding. It is December 2021 already. And it has hard to believe that 2021 is almost in the history books. So let’s take some time to look back on the year 2021.

What happened at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, what happened in the industry. To start off, this is year two of the pandemic, and there have been all kinds of issues related to the pandemic that have continued to impact the trucking industry and the people who work in the trucking industry, as well as in the heavy-duty parts industry. The rollout of vaccines happened this year, and there was a lot of support for them, but also a fair amount of opposition. And so many people had a very tough, personal choice to make and sometimes getting access to accurate information was a challenge. So the pandemic continued to plague us as we moved through 2021.

Of course, in the heavy-duty parts industry, In the trucking industry, one of the by-products of the pandemic is the supply chain issues. The disruptions caused by the lockdowns early in the pandemic in 2020, really were felt in 2021. Everything from trucks not being able to be manufactured because of a shortage of critical parts, especially computer chips and other electrical components, right through to aftermarket parts, not being available due to disruption in the availability of raw materials. And then also disruption to the actual shipping of these products around the globe. So this has been a subject that has been front and center in people’s minds. Another big issue, the trucking industry already had a shortage of parts and repair technicians and drivers in the trucking industry, and really the massive, almost seismic shifts in society.

And so many people being off work and receiving government subsidies while they were off work because of the pandemic has reorganized or shifted the ground underneath of us, if you will, to make the employment situation more challenging than it has ever been before. Add to that, mandates around who is vaccinated and who can go to work. And in the U.S., of course, there’s the mandate from the presidential mandate about companies over a hundred employees having to do certain things. Really 2021 is unprecedented on so many levels. Another issue that really came to the forefront is Right to Repair and how that impacts the independent service channel. And so there was meetings on Capitol Hill in the U.S. to talk about legislation that is being lobbied for by the manufacturers to limit the ability of the independent service channel going forward to participate in repair work and supplying of parts and covering of warranty.

Of course, the Right to Repair legislation is there to try to protect the independent service channel. So this is the kinds of things that were occurring in 2021. And while all this was going on over at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, we did our best to publish a complete season season 4/ 2021, where we talked about relevant subjects. We provided insights for manufacturers and industry experts. And throughout the year, we worked very, very hard over at The Heavy-Duty Parts Report to cover the subjects. January 4th was how we started 2021 with Episode 80 on January 4th, where we had Hengst Filtration on the show. That’s how we started the year now, as we progressed through the year, we interviewed a lot of tier one manufacturers, as well as other manufacturers who are very innovative on the aftermarket side. So that was really good. By May 21st, we reached a big milestone for the show Episode 100 on the podcast.

That was very exciting, of course, as the year went on the parts shortages and that issue became more and more important. And so we covered that in detail in Episode 108 on July 12th on August 16th, we had Robert from The Technology and Maintenance Council on the show, and that was on Episode 113. That was an exciting episode because that was where we announced our membership into TMC. We’re so proud to be part of TMC now. And we had other episodes where we talked about Right to Repair, where we talked about the technician shortage. And throughout the year, we just tried to cover these subjects that are so important to the trucking industry. We are ending the year next week with our final episode of the year, that’ll be Episode 132. And that is where we’re gonna give you a sneak peek into the content that we will be publishing on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report in 2022.

So make sure you come and check that out next week. And that is how we will end season four and go into season five, starting at the beginning of 2022. Now let’s talk a little bit about the results of the show. At the beginning of the year, I set a big audacious goal for the team. We wanted to hit 1 million impressions. Now we are very excited because we hit that in August and that’s with the support of you, the listeners. So thank you very much. We’re now concluding the year. I don’t have the final numbers, but we are well on our way to becoming, if we don’t hit 2 million, I’ll be surprised, but it’ll be very close if we don’t. And so actually we are accelerating as the year goes on in the amount of impressions we’re generating and that’s based on the excellent support from you, the listener so thank you very much for that. In 2021, we expanded our staff, adding a graphic designer, Diana joined our team this year. We’re so happy to have her. She has a Masters in marketing and is going to be working in an expanded role in 2022 inside of our team. Of course, Taron, you may have heard of him in the past. He started off as an editor and is now working as a producer and marketing manager for the show. So we’ve got this great little team we’re actually in the process right now of planning 20, 22. There’s gonna be some changes to responsibilities so that we can expand. We’re gonna be adding more staff. So that is exciting. And during the 2021 season four year, in the middle of the year, we launched a new website. So we updated our website, heavydutypartsreport.com.

It got a brand new look. And in 2022, we’re gonna tweak that a little bit, but by and large, it’s gonna stay relatively the same in its look and feel, but we’re gonna make the navigation simpler. We’re gonna make it easier to the content that you’re looking to engage with, whether it be to listen, to watch, or to read articles that we’ve published. So we’re just gonna make that whole process a little simpler. And we’re really happy though, to update our whole look and our brand with our website in 2021. We had some amazing sponsors of the show. This year, Diesel Parts has been an ongoing supporter of the show. We had AFA Industries, NCCP, which is the National Credit Card Processing Group, Fullbay, Global Emission Systems. We’ve had Gen Alpha and we also partnered with the HDA Truck Pride group and they are acting as a fulfillment partner for us and a main sponsor of the show so when you go to heavydutypartsreport.com/buy parts, you can then buy the parts that we’re talking about in the show. So that was an exciting and important partnership that we formed in 2021.

We also started to have the show published on TNC radio live. So if you go to TNCradio.live five days a week, you can listen to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. We are in syndication on that internet radio station. So very exciting, 2021, we did a lot of really good work. We were able to really build up the show and expand the reach of our show. And I’m very excited about that. We also published a lot of live streams in 2021. I did so on my personal profile and I also did so on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report live stream. And we had a lot of amazing guests. There’s gonna be some changes to the way that we do live streams to the amount of content that we’re putting out in 2022.

So check out next week’s podcast episode, where we’re gonna give you a sneak peek of the content in 2022. We’re gonna explain the changes to the live stream, the changes to the podcast that we’re very excited to share with you so come back now next week and check that out. Another big milestone that we reached in 2021, not us personally, but the entire industry, was we returned to live in person trade shows, which was very exciting. So back in September, TMC had their fall meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. I was very sad to not be able to visit and be at that show. At the time there was some travel restrictions for the border and the situation with the cases and what not. I made the difficult decision to not attend, but in November I was able to attend APPEX in Las Vegas. And that was my first time at that show was excellent to be there.

Thank you so much to Redline Emissions Products for inviting me to come and attend that show. And there, I got to participate on the Wrench Nation podcast with Frank Lutz and we met some other amazing people, got to meet with some of our clients, which was exciting to actually meet them in person for the first time many of them. And that was, that was great. And it was like the first show for me personally, but I know some others were, were excited to go to other shows and just really, it was just great to have that feeling of normalcy return, even though that we had to have COVID tests and we had to have some masks on and things like that, but it still was so wonderful to be in person. Now, as we look forward to 2022, we are excited about going to a number of trade shows and we’re gonna be announcing those shows as the year goes on.

But of course in January, going to Grapevine, Texas to be at Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Week, that is the big, heavy-duty parts show of the year. So I am so excited about that, but the return to in-person trade shows a signal that things are progressing globally with managing the pandemic. It’s not going to end, COVID is not going anywhere. We’re gonna have to learn to live with it. We’re gonna have to learn to manage it and seeing the success of the shows that occurred in the fall of 2021 is a real signal that we have the capacity to manage these trade shows safely and effectively, and have people come. And for it to be an environment where we can do business, we can spend time with our colleagues and we can do so in a safe environment. So I’m excited about that moving forward. So 2021 was a big year for The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

We made a lot of progress. We accomplished some big goals and we are very excited about 2022. We’re excited about season five and in many ways, we feel we’re just getting started. So we’re looking forward to continuing to expand. One of the questions that I get all the time is how does The Heavy-Duty Parts Report make money? How does it fund itself? And, you know, I mentioned that we have some amazing sponsors and advertising revenue is one of our revenue streams, but another large revenue for us is our consulting services. And that has really solidified this year in 2021, we’ve really found a place where we can provide a lot of value to companies. And we’ve been working with heavy-duty parts companies, mostly manufacturers, helping them in several key areas. As we know, the pandemic has forced us to reevaluate how we approach people and we’ve had to learn how to leverage digital tools.

So one of the things that we help companies with is their overall pitch, how they approach people and talk about themselves, how they talk about the company and then how to do that in person, but also leveraging digital tools and how to bring that all together into a cohesive strategy. So we work with companies with their salespeople to help them to adopt digital tools and incorporate that into the way that they promote the company and that they engage in sales activity. Once you have a rock-solid pitch, you can take that as the foundation for much of your marketing. And so we work with marketing departments on developing consistent content. Content, not only that is consistent in how it’s published, but also in its actual content and how it relates back to being consistent to the company brand. And also to what the salespeople are saying out in the field in person and using digital tools.

So bringing this all together, the sales, the marketing, and being able to help companies to achieve their revenue goals, help them to expand into the North American market, help them with their overall growth goals. And that’s what our consulting services are focused on. You can go over to heavydutypartsreport.com/consulting to learn more about that. And so that’s how the whole Heavy-Duty Parts Report is funded. It’s a combination of the consulting services that we offer combined with the advertising revenue. And through that combination, we are able to support ourselves. But what we really need from you, the listener, is we need more people to listen to the show that growth needs to continue. And so one thing that you can do for us is you can tell one of your colleagues in the industry who maybe doesn’t know about The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, send them over to heavydutypartsreport.com so that they can start following the show for free.

And that will greatly help us. If you’re an Apple user, you can also go and give us a five-star rating and review, that’s a big help. And if you follow us on YouTube, you can subscribe to our channel and hit the bell. And that will also help us a great deal because the more we can grow our audience, the better our business model looks to prospective advertisers. And also the larger, our reach, the more companies we’re able to help with our consulting services. So you, the listener, you’re a big part of that. We need that word of mouth. We need that help from you. So please continue to support the show in those ways. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode where we reviewed 2021. We’re looking forward to next week being able to talk to you about all the things we’re gonna do in 2022 and give you that sneak peek on our content. So tune in next week, we’ll talk to you then.

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