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Maximize Uptime with Prestone Coolant

Learn how Prestone continues to innovate with their lines of coolant, and how they can maximize uptime for fleets.

Episode 199: We are in Orlando, Florida at HDA Truck Pride’s Annual Meeting. In this episode, we got to talk with Prestone about their innovative line of coolants, and how they help maximize uptime for fleets.

Our guest today was Colin Dilley, the Vice President of Technology at Prestone.

Prestone Logo. In this episode, learn how Prestone continues to innovate with their lines of coolant, and how they can maximize uptime for fleets.

Guest Website: Prestone.com

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You’re 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 keep trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per -mile. We’re at HDA Truck Pride’s Annual Meeting in beautiful Orlando, Florida. As a Canadian who just endured six months of winter, I am so happy to be here. It’s like paradise. We’re surrounded by the independent service channel, which is really what HDA Truck Pride is all about. And I’m very happy to be here at the Prestone booth with Colin. Colin, maybe you could introduce yourself to our audience.

Colin Dilley:

I’d love to. I’m Colin, Colin Dilley. I’ve been working for Preston for about 26 years. I’m currently Vice President of Technology. So I’m the R and D guy that does the formulating for all the Prestone antifreezes.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. So let’s talk about the products. What have you been talking to the members of HDA Truck Pride about here at the booth?

Colin Dilley:

I think the big thing we’re really talking about is the way technology in engines has been changing so rapidly over the last few years, trying to get every last mile per gallon. And it means that what’s in the engine, what’s in the cooling system is very different from what it used to be. So the big thing we are talking about is really new technology that we do in the way of coolants for the new technologies that’s in the engines.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So when I think about, I mean, we’re in Florida right now, I’m from Northern Canada. I think of the way that trucks can go in many different environments, even in the same day. So there’s a route from where I live to the coast in Vancouver, where you cross the Tundra, the Rocky mountains, a semi-desert area. And then you end up in Vancouver, which is basically like a mini rainforest or a semi rainforest. That’s a lot of different environments in one day of driving. So how does the demands of, first of all, the environment, and second of all, the way that the engines have been changing, like how is that changing your product?

Colin Dilley:

That’s a great question. And really that’s the heart of what we do right now. The engine, the day one when it’s designed, is designed to be able to run at a certain temperature. And the most important thing is to keep that running at the same temperature. If you have any antifreeze coolant that is not suitable with a new technology, corrosion’s gonna start. You’re gonna get build up of gunk in the cooling system, it’s gonna go to the radiator, the heater core, the engine’s gonna start overheating. We have developed the first technology that absolutely eliminates all corrosion from the cooling system. So we’ve been working with Cummins, Detroit Diesel and the other OEMs to run fleet tests and Dino tests. We’re currently running a test in Minnesota for it’s a five year test, and we are comparing it to the factory fill cooling that they are running. We are doing it with Cumins to help them understand how the coolants are working with the new engine components. Because today a great big truck’s got everything from cast iron to 3D printed components in there. Those things were never around before, but they wanna lighten the truck. They wanna reduce the size of the cooling system. So you have to have new technology, new coolant for the new engines. You gotta make that match. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. We’ve actually had a couple engineers on the show where we talked about 3D printing and its role in, in the advancement. But I think of also the, the way that trucks are changing so rapidly. So as you look forward, how is the technology that’s coming, because we know that there’s new emission standards coming for 2027. We’re not even quite sure what they’re gonna be yet, but there’s all these changes. So how is your product going to adapt to that?

Colin Dilley:

So when we design, we design for the future. So right now we have trucks out there, we have electric vehicles out there doing fleet tests. We test with police municipalities. We work with the engineers, for example, on the light duty side, we factory fill for Ford. We factory fill for GM. We develop technologies and we bring those technologies from light duty to heavy duty. We have to bump up that technology to make sure they handle it. So we are looking at what’s coming, what are the changes? Doesn’t matter where it’s gonna be electric vehicle. Doesn’t matter whether it’s gonna be solar, fuel cell, all these different things. We have fluids that are in development ready for the future. So when those vehicles come on off the assembly line, we have the coolant ready for that.

Jamie Irvine:

Makes a lot of sense. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high-quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications. Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability. Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket. We’re back from our break. And before the break, we were talking about some of the things that are coming in the future and the way that you’re designing your products for the future. Let me ask you something, might be a silly question. I don’t know the answer though. So I’m gonna ask it. When I was selling parts, I sold a lot of oil products. And one of the things I know about the oil industry is that when they come out with like a new standard, they often make it so that it works with the older vehicles as well. So it’s gonna meet the needs of the new vehicles, but it is compliant with older vehicles. Is it the same kind of thing with coolant?

Colin Dilley:

Absolutely. So reverse compatibility is how we…

Jamie Irvine:

That’s the word I was struggling for.

Colin Dilley:

Our newest product it’s Prestone Command. It’s got core guard inhibitors in it. When we designed that we had to design it to be fully reverse compatible, going all the way back to the old fluids of the eighties and nineties, where it was conventional silicate fluid. We had to have something that is not gonna cause a problem in the engine. So we fully test that both for performance and what we call no harm. We want to make sure that whatever we use is not gonna cause harm with the engine, not gonna cause harm with the fluids and not gonna cause harm with the old polymers and the elastomers and the new polymers and elastomers so there’s a lot of work goes into that. It takes us about two to two and a half years to fully test the reverse compatibility on everything out there.

Jamie Irvine:

Wow. So your job’s not complicated at all.

Colin Dilley:

<laugh>

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So we’re here with HDA Truck Pride. When you looking at this independent service channel, there’s a lot of challenges on the independent side and really getting access to good information training, that kind of thing. It’s a big priority for the industry. So what steps does Prestone take to ensure that you’re supporting the independent service channel and like the members of HDA?

Colin Dilley:

We have a number of training programs where we have trainers who will go out to shops, go out to fleets, go out to our customers, help explain our job is to try and simplify the very complicated, coolant industry so that they can easily direct themselves or their customers to the right product to use.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. Okay. So one of the things I’ve had over the last three years of running this show, I’ve had a lot of people on to talk about diesel emission systems because of how much of an impact it has. And one thing just got repeated over and over and over again is upstream problems, downstream problems, not just looking at what is failing, but looking at the whole system. I’m sure on the cooling system, it’s very similar, but could you talk to us about the importance of identifying the source of the problem as opposed to the symptom?

Colin Dilley:

The source of the problem is usually something that is no longer working the way the engineer designed it. And it could be anywhere in that system. Our goal with antifreeze coolant, which is often overlooked, is to make sure the cooling system remains unchanged from day one for the life of that vehicle. If you can have the cooling system unchanged, the heat transfer from the engine to the environment is always gonna stay the same, right? The engine’s always gonna run at the same temperature. And it’s gonna perform the way the engineers designed it to perform. If you have a substandard coolant in there, corrosion will start, that corrosion causes corrosion byproducts they’ll travel to the radiator, the heater core, the engine’s gonna start running hotter. When an engine’s running hotter, you’re gonna get more wear in that engine because the oil viscosity has been reduced. So the protection has been reduced. People think oil is the heart of the system. I know I’m biased, but we think coolant is the heart of the system because it affects everything that truck’s gonna do from how long it’s gonna last to miles per gallon, right across the spectrum. So we wanna make sure that that investment is kept to the best of its possible ability to avoid those problems that can occur later on.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. We’ve been with Colin from Prestone. And if people wanna learn more, where should they go? What’s your website?

Colin Dilley:

You can either get it to www.prestone.com or prestone.command.com. Both will get you to our information.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. So our production staff will make sure that the links are in the show notes for this episode. Colin, thank you so much for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Colin Dilley:

It was a pleasure. Thank you.

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