Technology, the future and the aftermarket

Before diving into his keynote presentation Thursday at the HDA Truck Pride Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Derek Kaufman, president at C3 Network, joked with attendees that he was going to present information so fast they’d feel like they we’re drinking from a fire hose.

And when he was done it was clear he wasn’t lying.

Looking ahead at the future of technology in the trucking industry, and the aftermarket in particular, Kaufman poured on the information.

He addressed onboard systems like collision mitigation, dash cams and platooning (he sees a bright future for all of them). He talked about telematics (which he loves), over the air truck and engine reprogramming and how digital short range communication (both great tools, he says) will change the trucking industry. He even touched on complete vehicle autonomy (still not close to around the corner, he says).

In an hour Kaufman took a group of independent aftermarket distributors decades into the future of their businesses.

Then he brought it back to today.

“What’s important now is determining how emerging technology is generating opportunities for members of HDA Truck Pride,” Kaufman says. “Which of these systems have great potential [to sell] in the aftermarket?”

Kaufman says the most obvious sales opportunity for distributors is retrofittable technology. Specifically sensors, such as the ones found in electronic logging devices, collision mitigation systems or onboard cameras. The former also will need to sold to customers as complete systems ahead of the 2017 ELD mandate.

“All of those systems runs on sensors, and those sensors have to be running all of the time,” Kaufman says. Which means when one goes down, they need to purchase a new one immediately.

Kaufman believes trailer aerodynamic devices offer another great opportunity for sales. The EPA Phase II greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards will require trailer performance standards for the first time, and Kaufman believes most of those standards will be met with aerodynamic products distributors are already stocking, or could easily add, into their product offering.

He says HDA Truck Pride’s new telematics partnership with iMatics has giant sales potential as well. It will allow distributors and service providers to track customer assets and diagnostic information in real time, and give them the capability to proactively address customer issues — sometimes even before customers have asked for help. 

“Telematics will become a CRM tool for service shops,” he says.

And because HDA Truck Pride is the only independent aftermarket operation that has committed to telematics, he says the distributor group has a major head start over its nearest competitors.

“Others have not taken this step yet. You are the game.”

Learn how to move your used trucks faster
With unsold used inventory depreciating at a rate of more than 2% monthly, efficient inventory turnover is a must for dealers. Download this eBook to access proven strategies for selling used trucks faster.
Used Truck Guide Cover