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Shifting Gears with High-Quality Clutches

Learn about how going with a new clutch assembly from IATCO can lower the total cost of operation for fleets.

Episode 193: We are in Orlando, Florida at HDA Truck Pride’s Annual Meeting. In this episode, we had the chance to interview IATCO and learn about their wide range of new clutch assemblies and parts.

Today, my guest is Jordan Stein the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at IATCO which stands for Illinois Auto Truck Co., Inc.  

Today, my guest is Jordan Stein the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at IATCO which stands for Illinois Auto Truck Co., Inc.  In this episode, learn about how going with a new clutch assembly from IATCO can lower the total cost of operation for fleets.

Started by Jordan’s great-grandfather, IATCO is a family-owned business dedicated to manufacturing NEW clutch assemblies, supplemental clutch parts, and flywheels for class 6, 7, & 8 vehicles. 

Guest Website: IATCOinc.com

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

Sponsors of this Episode:

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  2. Looking for high-quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications? Visit AMBACInternational.com/Aftermarket

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Are you looking to purchase heavy-duty parts and get your commercial vehicle repaired? Get access to one of HDA Truck Pride’s 750 locations across the United States and Canada. Visit HeavyDutyPartsReport.com/BuyParts.

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 keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.

We’re in Orlando, Florida at HDA Truck Pride’s Annual Meeting. And today my guest is Jordan Stein. He’s the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Illinois Auto Truck Company or IATCO for short. This company was started by Jordan’s, was it grandfather or great grandfather?

Jordan Stein:

Great grandfather, fourth generation

Jamie Irvine:

Fourth generation. They’re focusing on class six, seven and eight vehicles. Jordan, welcome to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Jordan Stein:

Thank you very much, Jamie. I appreciate it.

Jamie Irvine:

It’s been great. I’ve really been looking forward to this conversation. You know, you’re here, there’s 150 members. They’re all independently owned. They form the HDA Truck Pride group. So what kinds of products have you been sharing with them? What have you been talking to them about?

Jordan Stein:

Yeah, so obviously our whole portfolio and our breadth of coverage that we offer class six, seven and eight, but really it focuses some of our newer products. Over the last few years, we’ve focused a lot on bringing the AMT clutches to the market. So we have several different options and that’s part of what we’re talking about, is some things that we do different that we offer that other aftermarket companies don’t have available in the clutch category. And it peaks their interest. They’re excited to hear about it because these are products that they didn’t have access to before and now they do.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. I promise I wouldn’t throw any curve balls, but now you mentioned AMTs they’re automated manual transmissions. One thing I’ve heard is that drivers sometimes when they first drive a truck with an AMT, the RPM differences, climbing hills, like it’s a real different feel. And how does that impact the performance of the clutch? Like, is there things that are unique about that setup over the older manual setups?

Jordan Stein:

Yeah. Well, people would argue both ways. Now, you know, in previous you had control of the clutch, right? They would use the clutch pedal, they would determine when it engages and disengages. With today’s model, with the AMT offering, they don’t have that luxury. Right. It’s all done by a computer. So I know that the feedback has been extremely positive in terms of what they’re putting into the market today is making it easier on the drivers. They don’t have to make those decisions. They don’t have to decide when to push down on the clutch pedal. So the feedback that we’ve gotten and from truck drivers is that it’s obviously easier to drive. And it’s performing and it’s lasting and that’s what they’re looking for. Especially fleet owners or small, medium sized fleets, whatever it may be. They want their product to last and this product is lasting.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So for the driver’s perspective, that’s a positive thing. And for fleets, that’s music to their ears, anything to make it easier on their drivers. From the technician’s perspective, both on the repair side and the parts, what’s changed with the new clutches for this new system.

Jordan Stein:

A lot, definitely a lot. And I think it’s a lot getting used to, right. Especially when you’re talking with, you know, whether it’s the technician or perhaps in the independent distributor network, it’s new technology, right. It’s not stuff that they’re used to in the past. So there’s a lot of things that they need to go through, whether it’s software and calibration or different parts that they haven’t seen before that now they need to know how it works. They need to know how to set it up. They need to know how to install it properly in order for it to operate properly.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. Makes sense. Makes sense. So have you been providing some training to your customers on that so that they’re able to be more proficient?

Jordan Stein:

Absolutely. Jamie, I mean, that’s has been our focus, right? If we’re gonna put something out on the market, training is key and support is key. And so what we do is a lot of technical trainings, right? Whether it’s working with a large fleet with a customer, who’s gonna distribute to them, or it’s working with our customer base to explain to them, you know, the importance of everything that they need to pay attention to because they never got that education in the past. Right. And so education is key with this so that they know how to properly install it, how to maintain it. So that clutch gets the longevity that the customer’s looking for.

Jamie Irvine:

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 products that you’ve been, sharing with HDA Truck Pride members. We’re talking about those AMT transmissions and the clutches that go along with that. Let’s shift gears a little bit in our conversation – that was a pun, and talk about the independent service channel. It’s such an important part of the trucking industry. What steps have you taken to support the independent service channel as we’ve gone through a difficult couple years?

Jordan Stein:

Touching base on what we discussed earlier is the training, right? We’ve provided not only technical training that we mentioned before, but the sales training. Right. I think it’s given us a really good opportunity over the last two years, lots of Zoom calls, a lot of Zoom meetings. And you know, the feedback that we get from the distributor network is that it’s easier, right? We do it at 7:30 in the morning or five in the afternoon before they depart and they go home. And that training, I think, has turned their minds a little bit. We we want them to seek new opportunities. And that’s what we focus on with the sales staff is who else can we sell clutches to? Right. How can we work together to grow your business together? So over the last two years, that’s really been our focus is providing that sales training to the network, while not being there in person, we’re focused on doing it via Zoom. And we see that it’s for the sales staff. Right. We’re not taking them off the road. And the feedback that we’ve gotten is extremely positive.

Jamie Irvine:

So when you are in a position where you’re either fixing trucks or you’re selling parts, one of the battles you always have, and I had this battle as a sales account manager and a parts person, is customers will look at the purchase price of a product, but there’s way more to the cost of a product than just the purchase price. So walk me through the pitch, how do you encourage owner operators and fleets to invest more in their clutches? Why should they do that?

Jordan Stein:

Absolutely. So when it comes to clutches or any truck part, I like to use a slogan called the lowest cost per mile, the lowest cost per mile. You know, a lot of end users may take shortcuts. They may go with a cheaper product. We manufacture everything new. So they may go with a remanufacture product. But at the end of the day, what is the lowest cost-per-mile? How many more miles are you gonna get out of that product when you install it right? When you install quality, when you install the additional components that go along with it, you know, we don’t just sell clutches. We also sell all the supplemental parts. And a lot of times those additional parts will get skipped over, right? They’ll say they’re not worn out, they can be reused, but in reality, that’s what allows that clutch to operate properly and get the longevity and ultimately the lowest cost-per-mile. So it’s a huge focus with us, not only with the end users, but also working with the distributor network as well, to explain to the sales staff, how to sell these additional components. So that that customer gets longevity, gets the quality, gets the price point that they’re looking for and ultimately achieves that lowest cost per mile.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, I know you listened to the show. You told me that. So you’ve heard us talk about lowering cost-per-mile, total cost of operation many times. I’m so glad that you said that, it reminds me of one of my mentors. He always said, “Jamie sell ’em what they need, not what they ask for”.

Jordan Stein:

Right. Exactly. Exactly.

Jamie Irvine:

I don’t think it was in that voice, but I always say it in that voice.

Jordan Stein:

Well, we encourage them to ask questions, right? For us, when you determine what clutch you’re gonna sell that customer, there’s questions that go after that, what’s the transmission, so we can get you an installation kit. What’s your application? Have you checked your linkage, your rear wheel, your flywheel, all very important parts of the system that again at the end of the day is gonna lower the cost-per-mile.

Jamie Irvine:

Awesome. My name is Jamie Irvine. I’m the host of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. We’re here at HDA Truck Pride’s Annual Meeting. I’m so happy to be with Jordan Stein. And it’s been a great conversation to talk about clutches. Thank you for taking some time. If people wanna learn more about your company and what you do, where should they go?

Jordan Stein:

Absolutely. Go on our website at IATCOinc.com or obviously give us a call, shoot us an email. And we’d be more than happy to talk further about our company and our products.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So we’re gonna put those links in the show notes. You’ll be able to just one click go right through to their website. Jordan, thanks for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Jordan Stein:

Thank you very much, Jamie. Appreciate it.

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