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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What's NEW for Diesel Motorsports parts - at the shows!

Every year DIESEL Motorsports attends and displays at industry shows in order to promote diesel performance in the automotive marketplace. I just returned from the SEMA MPMC which is the Motor Sports Media Council where you meet with manufacturers for 3 days every 30 minutes with a different manufacturer.

It is always interesting to hear about new products or the manufacturer wanting to know more about our sport so they can maybe make products for the market. It helps build the excitement about our segment in automotive aftermarket.

I will list some of the new parts I found at the show that would work for our trucks and new items for our diesel shops to sell. Some are pretty hi-tech and some are a must have!

First to hit some highlights from a few of our regular loyal sponsors that I saw on the trips.

Fron Mahle, the big news was that they sold Victor Reinz but held all of the great gasket sets made for our diesel trucks and other vehicles. They now sell under the name Mahle Original! So when you order ask for Mahle Original not Victor Reinz!

From CP-Carrillo they informed me they had doubled their production and machining for the diesel rods so you can now get orders faster than before with still the quality and detail in place.

ARP now has a bolt kit for Cummins 4BT engines and will soon have them for the NEW Cummins 8cyl and 4 cyl diesel engines! Plus they had on display a very nice set of piston ring squaring tools which is much easier to use than those old plier version and a lot more accurate!

 The bore sizes are prominently engraved for easy identification and range in size from 3.150” to 4.800” SAE and 80mm to 122mm Metric. 

Autometer had new electronic plug-ins that will let you bluetooth your gauges (NO MORE WIRES)! And bluetooth to their new BT gauges, CT screen or your smart phone or pads! Plus a few fun items like a HD tire gauge that really goes to 100 lbs and a battery charger that can be switched to different voltage level of batteries (great for farm use)!

Driven Brand (Joe Gibbs) Oil has a new Diesel oil available for our trucks in a 5-40 synthetic with great additives already in it to protect and quiet down our diesels engines. Plus they will soon have NEW products for the diesel lubrication applications such as grease, additives and more oils.

Mychanic showed us a couple of new battery jumper cables that were pretty slick, one is a 4 gauge rewindable 20 ft cable so no more wads of them in your truck. Plus a 6 gauge HD set with a electronic gauge showing the charge in your battery! Very nice HD jumper cables that we have all used!

A couple of more charge units with mentioning is from a old name we all know "DIEHARD"! Yep owned by craftsman which is now owned by Black & Decker the DIEHARD brand is coming out with some NEWER electronics for batteries and chargers that is what us 2 battery truck owners need! Soon to be release a bigger battery for diesels with an electronic chip that will link with a app on your smart phone to alert you when the charge is getting low or below charge. Plus a battery charger with the same technology that you can leave on all of the time with no overcharging, plus it also will alert you with a smart phone app! You can even check on the progress while you are warm inside by pulling up app.

They didn't stop there so they showed us their NEW Emergency charge battery that will start a vehicle in Emergency situations, has a high intensity flashlight/flasher and will power your smart phones and pads! All of this and it fits in a small bag that will fit in your glovebox!

Not yet available but DIEHARD representatives informed me that a line of DIEHARD tires will soon be available for our E Rated diesel trucks, the auto tires are already released.

Mothers polish has released a clay polisher along with a new line of SPEED cleaning products for it for those who want to touch up at the shows. A new Waterless Wash product for those over dirty trucks who do not have a hose available at some of the shows is released!

So as you can see a lot of new and fun products that is coming to our diesel shops or auto stores, some are already available. Keep these companies going by buying these great products for our diesel trucks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Is more better? . . . . or is it best to put everything into one basket?

I see this scenario in business all of the time, put all of your efforts into one show or area and base your results on that effort. For many years as a consultant I advise clients to diversify and weigh the best options, it's like a cog in a big wheel, remove one or two of the cogs and the wheel stops turning.

That is why DIESEL Motorsports runs an event a month in different states where diesel performance is dominant. Starting in April and ending in October we have put an event per month in a different state during the past 10 years. We have tried many different areas of the country to find diesel performance from the coast lines to north and south DIESEL Motorsports has held events.

We are constantly looking for new areas of interest where there is potential for diesel performance to expand and grow in that area. The existing events that do not change year after year have become stable and successful shows for what we want to represent.

If Diesel Motorsports took our entire budget and did one event/show per year it would be a BIG three day show! However, does this grow the sport or pad our pockets?

It would definitely be more profitable to do a single show since it is one location and one cost, so try doing that same scenario 6-8 times a year!

The costs have just gone up tremendously and you learn to budget the shows tightly so each can be done efficiently or you will lose money at every show. But in doing so many shows we are going to different states and helping the local diesel market promote the sport so the shops can get more business every year.

We have gone to areas where diesel competition was just starting and we brought in some outside trucks that are powerful. Soon the shops are getting requests to make their local trucks more power, more HP and more torque. The next year there we see a big difference in the quality of trucks competing. That is spreading the sport in a new area.

Every year I get a lot of requests at PRI to come into new areas so it takes us a couple of months to evaluate the new requests along with existing events to try and work some new events into the schedule! The NEW schedule will be out by the end of January with the old and new shows laid out for the year!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Why rules are changing for 2017??? DIESEL Motorsports . . .

Well, I guess I caused a few eyebrows to raise over my last post regarding rules and ruffled a few feathers. I have spent 32 years of being in business for myself and in the automotive market, companies have paid me a pretty good living for solving their problems when launching a product into a market or geographical area.

One thing I do good is listen, that is how you solve issues, sell product and get results. I have listened to everyone concerns over the past week regarding rules for pulling. Another thing I'm good at is being passionate about what I do on a daily basis. People ask all the time how do you stay in business? (most businesses fail in 4-5 yrs) It's being passionate about what you are working on and trying to accomplish.

I tell industry leaders all the time our enthusiasts are passionate about their sport because I have seen many work 2 maybe 3 jobs to afford their truck, some heat with wood they cut and split so they can afford parts for their trucks. Their passion is conveyed by me because after I speak at conferences those listening tell me I'm passionate about our sport and what we are trying to accomplish.

Many people hire me because I have had the ability to see the bigger picture or see into the future of what will happen in a marketplace or a company's direction. It's nothing special I can just evaluate people's reactions and conclude what the results or outcome will be in the future.

So after explaining all of that and listening to all parties this last week I can now see what is happening.

I have a large group with lots of money wanting everyone to (quoted), be on a fair playing field, all trucks would be the same and all trucks would be easier to tech and control. Everyone would be running the same turbo and suspension in all three classes for pulling. This large group also controls the technology and sells those parts plus they have pulling trucks competing against their own customers.

What I'm hearing is controlling the sport and industry with parts and rules.

I don't know about you folks but this sounds like the government which has tried to control farming, healthcare, banks and utilities. Our rural enthusiasts are innovative people who do not like to be controlled. I'm one of those people who do not like to be controlled and neither is my partner.

It's a free market and that is what has made this country great! I think the public just elected the next president based on this same principle.

We want diesel enthusiasts, shops and pullers to be able to come up with the next best thing whether it's a turbo, tranny or suspension that fits the basic rules but can exceed everyone's efforts for power and distance. We want the innovative mechanic to take the power and torque to the next level and progress the sport.

A progressive sport will stay in existence longer than a stagnant sport where competitors are selling their trucks on a monthly basis and numbers are dropping. I have heard for two years what has happened to the fun days of pulling when you could drive to the pull, change tires, adjust tuning and pull for the distance.

One of the biggest surge this next year will be the NEW Work Stock class that will allow high powered trucks to compete in pulling. We listen and we deliver what the enthusiast wants for the sport. We don't sell parts or service trucks so we want what is best for the sport.

Can the others with smoothbore pull in our classes, of course they can in the proper class. But why hold back the smartest kid in the class and try and make everyone equal! I think we have had enough of that in our society! I'm ready to see some diesel heads come out with killer trucks, kick some butt and progress the sport into the future.

Remember control brings anarchy and those at the top will benefit and those at the bottom will not and drop out!

DIESEL Motorsports is all about being innovative and relying on our youth to be aggressive, progressive and go for the ring (winner)! We want all trucks to compete and have fun doing it!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What rules are changing for 2017? DIESEL Motorsports

We get asked this every year since so many change their rules every year in order to sell more parts for their shops. It seems to be the on going trend is to keep the enthusiasts spending more money every year on new turbos or suspensions.

What they don't realize it makes the sport overall smaller because many local pullers or racers can not afford the large purchases every season so they drop out. Why do we see so many trucks up for sale?

Since DIESEL Motorsports does not sell parts or garage services we try to keep the rules universal so all enthusiasts local or national can compete at all levels year after year in some classes and win a purse. The more local events are attended and enthusiasts can compete it will only make the regionals even larger in participation.

The Modified, 3.6 and dual turbos class will not change for 2017. Same as the 2.6/3.0 class, we did not see any reason for changes based on last year. Only request we had is if the 3.0 Smoothbore can run in a class by themselves and we reply with sure if enough of them show up (at least 8)! The 2.6 trucks won pretty much most of the time last year.

2.5 class will see some safety changes like adding driveshaft loops, shutoffs and trans blankets added for safety since they have become a trailered class. Same as the upper class, if a 2.6 smoothbore wants to run they will be allowed since it is a drop in HP. Same rules apply other wise.

Work Stock will see some significant changes since we plan on making into two classes!

We plan on making a WS/Super Street Class where enthusiasts can again drive to an event and compete in pulling with their performance street trucks. Rules are being formulated but the larger OEM like turbos will be allowed, xtrawheels, etc as long as they can plug 2.55. The rest is under review and will be available in a couple of weeks.

Work Stock will become a true OEM turbo class where only air intake, programmer, exhaust can be added for competition. This will be for OEM trucks who still want to pull but do not have to compete against the larger turbos.

Things may change a little in each class per Regional event but the rules we submit to SFI will follow what is listed above.

Remember, we want the sport of pulling to grow not diminish in size! So keep your costs low and keep on pulling!

Rules will be posted in a few weeks!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

PRI SHOW . . . WHAT happened?

For those who did not get to go to the PRI Show last week I will attempt to give as much information as I can about the week. I was in Indianapolis from Tuesday through Sunday morning even though the show was Thursday through Saturday.

I came in early to get our booth setup on Tuesday with the help from a couple young diesel enthusiasts who later attended the show. That is one thing you can count on is some youth to help in hauling in over 12 big boxes of sponsor's decals and literature plus the booth banners and tables.

Wednesday was spent at the Race Track Business conference where I had the privilege of being a speaker on a panel for sanctioning bodies. This is a 5 year conference held for track owners of circle, drag and racing facilities across the US so that they can learn from people in the industry how to better market and advertise their tracks. It was very enlightening to hear from industry experts and the track owners themselves as to what challenges they face during the year. In a effort to further expand DIESEL Motorsports as a mainstream sport I explained what and who we are to the tracks, many who had never heard of the venue.

The PRI Show started Thursday with a very cold start since a front moved through during the night and it was a little slow till people got going around noon and it was like the flood gate opened. It was far busier in the afternoon with lots of diesel enthusiasts visiting our booth looking for information on future shows, rules free DM t-shirts and sponsor's decals/literature.

Diesel Motorsports had a limited supply of DM t-shirts for free and you could get them if you wore the shirts during the show and pose with the DM Girls at the booth. Plus they received DM insulated coffee mugs along with goody bags from sponsors. This definitely attracted diesel people to the booth all three days and we quickly ran out with large crowds in front of our booth many times during the show.

Friday was the largest single day attendance (60,000) in the history of the show and it showed at our booth in the main performance hall. We gave out over 150 free t-shirts and mugs/goody bags to many people and was soon out of the shirts. That didn't stop people from coming by the booth for information, decals and swag. Vendors on both sides of us thanked us for attracting so many people to our area and aisle. At times people couldn't even get down our aisle because of the people crowded around our booth posing for photos with the DM Girls and picking up items from our booth.

Saturday started busy and as the showed slowed down fell off in the late afternoon as the show closed on Saturday. In the morning was real busy and again our aisle was full when Diesel Motorsports presented our Awards for the year for Points Champion including inducting Brady Williams of Industrial Injection into the Diesel "Hall of Fame". By Saturday most of the items we had to give out was literally gone, of the 3,000 DM decals I had brought we had 25 left to give out on Saturday. The same could be said of the sponsor's decals, literature and swag by Saturday. Of the 12 cases of materials we had hauled in Tuesday we only left with one case a quarter full of materials.

Overall I can't tell you how many people came by the booth to learn about DIESEL Motorsports but it was a busy week for all of us. I did get a small chance of walking the show when I went to get more decals from a few sponsors who were there as vendors. It was people everywhere in the show and I noticed quite a few manufacturers with items for the diesel performance market. Some old but quite a few new ones with very interesting items that would enhance the performance of our diesels.

This was one of the most productive shows we have setup and attended as a vendor, with a full court press of making DIESEL Motorsports a mainstream motor sport!

Plan to attend next year, we will be in the same spot!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What can we expect for 2017 - in DIESEL Motorsports?

Well the election year is almost over and now back to normal business for 2017! I forecast quarters 2, 3 and 4 will be big improvements over last year's revenues. In fact I see them improving each quarter as the year progresses.

The first quarter will be good but it will take some time for the new direction business will be taking for the next four years. Manufacturing will be on the rise with less restrictions from the EPA which means the economy will slowly make a come back. Ford and GM has already announced moving manufacturing back to our country from Mexico.

More jobs and more money for our automotive industry! Add in the tax cuts (when implemented) and you will see companies freeing up the purse strings to hire more people, produce and stock more product. 

They will do this in order to anticipate the increase in sales from consumers. It's been a long haul for many stretching the use of their old diesel trucks for hauling, work and pleasure - frankly many are getting worn out!

The average ownership of a pickup truck is now 11-13 years according to Polk Research, even being a diesel I'm sure many of you have seen maintenance repairs go up the past years. Now you will see new truck purchases and the older trucks go to secondary used truck consumers. 

That is why the diesel industry will see a slow increase as the trickle down effect of new truck owners wanting performance and accessory items plus the older truck purchaser wanting additional repairs and upgrades to those used diesel trucks.

Be ready for both and decide which will be profitable for your business. There is profit in both if you know how to offer service on both. Do some research during the winter on new truck drivetrains and what fails on them.

I have already talked to some mechanics at dealerships and found items they are reporting failing on new Eco-diesels and new model drive trains. Use the winter to get smart because a change is in the wind for diesels.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What I saw at the SEMA Show 2016! DIESEL Motorsports

I saw a lot more diesel trucks on display than any year EVER! However, they were stock mostly with huge lift kit suspensions, large wheels and low profile tires! The typical CA lift truck that is hard to come by in the Midwest states. Why?

Because we have REALLY bad roads and highways that are full of potholes, ridges and low shoulders! These kind of trucks do not run smooth on our roads along with 6 months of cold, salt, snow and slop they have to tread through during Winter months.

Have you ever tried to clean salt residue off of a wheel that has run through the junk for weeks - brutal! There was some nice rat rod trucks along with some conversions.

Overall most of the diesel performance part suppliers do not display at SEMA but the hard parts and fluids are on display. I saw a lot of other companies jumping into the marketplace which is a good thing. Because if enough companies realize the potential then more people will display more items for diesels.

I did see some great looking grilles, wheels for 8 lug, exhaust tips, internal performance parts for the engines, new fluids, new cooling systems, and lots of accessories for trucks. SEMA is the only show on planet where you can see all aspects of the automotive world, be it performance, offroad, pleasure or customizing your ride.

But you gotta know where to look and how to offer those wanting to sell their products how you can sell their products. They are there to sell their products and make some profitable returns on their products.

Seeing new products for our diesels is very exciting but finding them on 27 miles of walking is somewhat over-whelming if you don't know where to go at the show. It takes planning in advance and scheduling your time during the day. Even by planning we still walked 6-8 miles per day visiting and viewing new products and companies.

Every year we come home tired and wore out but very happy we attended. If you want to go plan a year in advance, bring good walking shoes and lots of money$!

New Dmax headers from AFE

New Radiator from AFE

New iPad or smart pad holder from Carvelle that is magnetic and slips right over existing radio dash, play your tunes, videos or gauges right in front of you

Cummins 4cyl common Rail drop-in crate engine including wiring harness and chip

NEW 8-Lug Wheels from Weld

Killer Engine Build from Wagler with ARP products

New Camo design from Covercraft Seatsavers

New Engine pan from PPE

Rolling Big Power Grilles with several NEW designs

NEW DIESEL Cetane Boost from Boostane

RBP copper plated wheels for 8-lug market

. . .  and much more!