This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kelletts chats with Bruce Mallinson, Founder and President of Pittsburgh Power. During the episode, Bruce and Jeremy discuss many aspects of the trucking industry including a chemical fuel additive that improves fuel mileage and reduces emissions, the importance of community and innovation in the trucking industry, the passion for optimizing truck performance, and more.
Key topics in today’s conversation include:
- Live from the Mid-America Truck Show (0:27)
- The story of Pittsburgh Power (1:40)
- A love for trucks (3:30)
- Bruce’s personal interests and journey (9:01)
- Factors affecting truck performance (14:34)
- Misconceptions about truck drivers (17:59)
- The value of an owner-operator’s truck (18:31)
- Hurdles with emissions standards (20:49)
- Benefits of max mileage fuel borne catalyst (27:32)
- Mechanic shortage and public misconceptions (36:32)
- Improving the country through owner-operators (37:41)
- Collaborating with OEMs (39:17)
- Treating your truck like a queen (41:11)
Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.
Bruce Mallinson 00:00
The general public thinks a truck is a truck. But an owner operator’s truck is his livelihood. And he loves that truck like he loves his family. And it’s a special piece of equipment to him and it has to be treated as such.
Jeremy Kellett 00:27
Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley trucking headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner operators and their families by giving them up to date information concerning Oakley trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories, also to give an insight to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. So, here at Mid America truck show in Louisville, Kentucky, this is the 2023 and, you know, it’s always great to be here and meet drivers and not just drivers were drivers families face to face is fantastic to be able to do that and, and get to know him because I’m gonna tell you we get a lot of Oakley owner operators make a priority to come to this show and bring their families. Some of them it’s a family vacation and we enjoy meeting them face to face. It means a lot to us too. And, of course we got a great booth if you’ve never seen it, it’s fantastic. So we got couches to sit down and we always run the podcast here at the convention. He’s got a TV Go on. And for the last couple of years we’ve been doing a live interview. We’re not live interviews, but podcast interviews here at the show and then putting them out after that. So we’ve already got some great stories here and I will try to find good ones. For you guys, for our listeners to help you be successful as an independent contractor in the one I have today, I think it is a success story that is fantastic but also can help you guys down the road. I’m sure a lot of our owner operators know who I’m talking about when I’m talking about Pittsburgh power. So today I’ve got Bruce Mallinson sitting with me with Pittsburgh power and gonna visit with him a little bit about Pittsburgh power and what’s going on with Pittsburgh power these days. But I also think about the story of Bruce Mallinson. I think that’s an intriguing story. Before we get into it, Bruce, I visited with one of our owner operators, Joe McCall. And you are what you call him. Cape Cod, J God, Joe. And you know, he gave me some insight on you. So he gave me a little entail there to find out and some things to ask you. So we asked him some of those questions but he was super excited about you coming on the Oakley podcast because he knows what kind of good man you are and your story is good. Aero truck sales has been in business for over 60 years and a longtime partner of Oakley trucking and the Oakley podcast. Dre visor and Keith Wilson do a great job at putting you in the right truck to fit your needs and our needs here at Oakley. They carry all makes and models to choose from with on site financing through transport funding. So whether you’re a seasoned owner operator or a first time buyer, be sure to contact Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales at 573-216-6047. And tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast. Thanks for joining me, I appreciate you coming on. It’s
Bruce Mallinson 03:31
always our pleasure. You know when you love trucks, you love talking about trucks all the time. And it’s just a way of life. It’s been my way of life since I was 19 years old, got involved in the trucking industry was going to community college would work the midnight shift that motor freight express in dock form and then road dispatch and that’s when I met my first owner operator who was at motor freight guy hold Red Wing shoes in from Minnesota. And we would crosstalk them and deliver them and he drove a cab over Chevrolet and wore a cowboy hat and had his big belt buckle and beautiful cowboy boots and about a 32 inch waist. And I just really enjoyed talking to that guy when I was 19 years old.
Jeremy Kellett 04:12
That’s a great that’s fantastic memory
Bruce Mallinson 04:14
Now I wish I was still alive and he hears this. I hope he comes and sees me.
Jeremy Kellett 04:21
You know you were telling me a story a while ago of what got your gears turning when your dad bought a car when you were 16 years old?
Bruce Mallinson 04:30
Well, my dad had a 59 Chevy Impala convertible to 83 to barrel power glide. I think they had 195 horsepower in western Pennsylvania. It’s all hills but when that’s what you learn to drive on, that’s what you know. And so I was 16 and had my learner’s permit. He bought a brand new Impala SS 396 with a floor that grew 125 horsepower, naturally having a Rochester Quadrajet four barrel on it. And the first time I drove a Have that I rolled into that throttle in second gear, and that shot up the hill and I said, Oh my gosh, what a difference. This is what horsepower and torque is all about. And you know, I gave up golf, I gave up baseball. I was heavy into golf and heavy into baseball. And when I discovered the internal combustion engine at age 16, it changed my
Jeremy Kellett 05:22
life. No kid. No, that’s great. And you’ve been doing it ever since ever since
Bruce Mallinson 05:26
I couldn’t get away from it. It’s still a car guy, a truck guy, motorcycles, snowmobiles, Turbo charts. Once you have a turbocharged snowmobile, you don’t ever go back to a regular one that goes for a turbocharged car
Jeremy Kellett 05:40
coarseness. So, that put the seed for Pittsburgh power. And how did Pittsburgh power get started? Here are some notes: it was founded in 1977. Is that right?
Bruce Mallinson 05:54
Well, it actually was Diesel Injection and Pittsburgh by Chuck Pasmore. I met Chuck in the Golden Triangle waterski club. And we became really good friends. He let go. I love to cook and I love him and he was just a neat guy. And he had a 68 Corvette or 27 390 horse and it had leaky disc brakes and a local Chevrolet dealer. This is a 1976 wanted $500 to fix it. Now you have to go back and pick what $500 was worth in 1976. And I heard him telling somebody in our waterski club I said you know Chuck, I have the parts to rebuild those in my Corvette shop I had in the evening I build race cars for people and I also race and that was my weekend job. Friday nights I’d get home from my day job. I’d work all night. So the sun was coming up Saturday morning, working on Corvettes and race cars and going to bed for four hours and back into the garage. I love garages. And so I fixed Chuck’s brakes for they were $4 apiece for the kits. It was $16.02 hours labor. I couldn’t charge him labor because he served me surf and turf. Let me become best friends a year later he said I want to move to Tampa. Why don’t you take over my diesel shop. It was a small, no garage. All he did was Cummins fuel pumps and injectors and occasional water pumps. So he showed me how to build a water pump, a fuel pump and redo injectors, and he headed for Tampa, Florida, December 1 1977. Wow. And you know, rest was history. I was in a storefront and my rent was $100 a month. Yeah. 100 a month included natural gas, though. You know, being a mechanic and being, I started meeting owner operators and I found that after about the second or third owner operator that there are a bunch of gear heads just like me, you know nothing wrong with that term gear head nodding our heads keep this country going. So I was a gearhead jock. And I still love sports. But if there’s an engine with a sport like snowmobiling, or motorcycling, I even like it that much more makes it more interesting. I like my downhill skiing. I’ve been skiing downhill for 60 years, boating and waterskiing for 50 years, and snowmobiling for 30 years and got into motorcycling in 97. Wow. So
Jeremy Kellett 08:21
you still waterski
Bruce Mallinson 08:23
I kind of just within the last couple of years. I’ve backed away from water skiing, but I still enjoy boating.
Jeremy Kellett 08:29
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s impressive. Yeah. How old are you?
Bruce Mallinson 08:34
I’m 74 years old. Well, you don’t look at it. I try not to have an old body like driving a 1961. Pete every day, you got to work on it every day to keep it running. But every time you get something small wrong with your body. You got to go after that problem though. Just like with a semi truck. If there’s no small minor problem, you’ve got to go after that problem because small problems manifest into big
Jeremy Kellett 09:00
problems. Now you still live in Pennsylvania.
Bruce Mallinson 09:03
I live part time in SaxonBurg Pennsylvania five miles from our shop. I spent a lot of time in the summer because I bought in the Chesapeake Bay in Edgewater, Maryland. And in the summer now I’m in winter, I’m sharing my time between Florida, Colorado because I still like to ski and snowmobile. Well, but my body is saying that it likes to warm better than the cold now. You guys, I never thought that would happen. Do you have a family? Yes. I have a daughter in Austin, Texas. And right and I got a brother and sister in Florida. Not far from me. And I have a sister in Maryland. I’m the youngest of four. Oh, really? Yeah. So you know when you’re the youngest, you don’t know anything? Steal don’t know. But anyway, Chuck Pasmore came to me and asked me to take over his business and that was December 1-19. 77 And I left my office job in downtown Pittsburgh, I was Traffic Manager for Loftus engineering. And I wasn’t working with my hands, I was working with a pen and pencil. And just we didn’t. We didn’t have computers then. I was on the fourth floor of one Oliver Plaza and had to ride a bus to and from the city. And I said, you know, I went back into the shop. And I went to that diesel engine shop. And then we would ship pumps and injectors to and from Tampa, Florida and he’d rebuild them. And in 1981, I was too busy and he couldn’t keep up. So it cost me $35,000 for a machine to calibrate Cummins fuel pumps. 1981 35,000 was like three and a half million today was your first big investment in the business. He gets started, I borrowed from the bank $3,500 in spending with snap on tools. Still have some of my first thoughts on the arbor press. We’re still using the arbor press in the pump room to build fuel pumps that I bought for $350. Wow. And we’re using that every day or you have an arbor press when I walk into the pump room. And I see that brings back memories. So anyway, we bought this fuel pump machine and then we had to get to the comparator to do the Cummins injectors. And it just grew from there. And we took a 335 but we would take a 335 with a 183 cc injector. So every 1000 strokes had put out 183 cc’s of fuel, and we would set them up to 185. And a guy could notice that difference. I saw that two CC’s make that much difference what 10 do so we build a 180 No 193 versus 183. And I put them in Dennis Stitz. A model can work with a 335. And you know, Western Pennsylvania has three rivers and lots of bridges. We’re going across the Highland Park bridge and he rolls his foot into it. He smiles and he says My God, this feels like passing here. I said you can notice that much of a difference. He said absolutely. So if 10 CC’s do that, what’s 20? Do not come from the racecar industry. In 1972. I set the track record at Nelson’s ledges road course in Warren, Ohio, and it held till 79. And I just never liked second place. And when I played baseball, if you were on my team, if you were screwing up, I was in your face, and I only weighed 145 pounds. But I always liked first place. Boy Scout camp, we would race canoes across Lake tie in. So I had to paddle that canoe first until my heart was coming out of my chest. But I’ve always had this, every day I wake up, I want to improve. I want to improve my body, I want to improve work, I want to improve my personal vehicles. I want to improve my stuff. And sometimes it’s just cleaning and maintaining and still changing all my own oils and rotating my tires and stuff like that to do my own brake jobs. I try not to do major work at this age, but I just like to improve things. And I’m having a real problem with a lot of the state’s not taking care of their roads in the United States. You know, our roads are just getting so bad. And especially in our cities. It’s just so rough. And why aren’t we improving our country? We’re giving all this money away. And that’s a terrible thing to me. Yeah, but so I met these owner operators and found out. They love a great running truck. The better you make their truck run, the more they like to drive it. And the more they like to drive it, the more money they make, the more money they have to spend. And it’s all a win-win situation with performance. A great running truck makes a guy love his truck. He takes better care of it. He treats it better. It actually gives better fuel mileage, it lives longer, because it gets better care. Knowing great running tracks like having a great wife
Jeremy Kellett 14:12
Is that why that is? Why? You think? I mean a lot of your clients are independent contractors. Are they Bruce ebayer?
Bruce Mallinson 14:19
Some of them are small fleets, small fleets, 810 trucks maybe up to 28 trucks
Jeremy Kellett 14:26
or do you do that special for them? I mean, is it just improving their fuel mileage or their power or all the above?
Bruce Mallinson 14:34
Well, the first time it usually starts with a phone call. You know, my truck doesn’t have much power. I need more power in the hills. I need better fuel mileage. So you talk about what engine you have and what truck you have. You talked about the exhaust system a lot has to do with the exhaust system. You know if the exhaust system is choking, it’ll choke the engine. If the turbocharger is too small, it chokes the engine. You Need to know what turbo they have, they need to have a turbo boost gauge that is the number one gauge for letting me know how your trucks are running. And I want to know what your total boost is when you’re pulling the hill with your foot on the floor. And I want to know what your boost is on the level at your cruising speed, whether it’s 6065 70 or 75. Cruising speed on a level no wind blowing a loaded trailer. That’s the important number that tells you a lot about the fuel mileage. If you’re at 1820 22 Pine a boost on the level there’s no fuel mileage, you need to be between four and eight Ponta boost to have the fuel mileage, and it’s my job to get you there. So we have to know what transmission you have, what gear ratio you have in the rear of what size tires, what tires you have, what air filter you’re running, what the CFM of that air filter is. So that’s all a lot involved. A semi truck is like a racecar. It’s working all the time.
Jeremy Kellett 16:01
Yeah, that’s a lot of information. But I guess that you can’t just do one thing and that fixes it.
Bruce Mallinson 16:08
There’s not one thing that fixes everything to give you the power to give you the fuel mileage and engine longevity.
Jeremy Kellett 16:15
And y’all, you do all these services there at we do at your you just have one location or
Bruce Mallinson 16:22
We have one location, but we have about 145 dealers that sell our max mileage fuel borne catalyst. Okay. And we’ll get into that a little bit later.
Jeremy Kellett 16:33
Okay, that’s kind of what I was wondering. And I’m sorry, I’m not really familiar with Pittsburgh power. That’s why I wanted you on to learn about it and tell our listeners I’m sure our listeners, especially our owner operators going you idiot Jeremy, what, don’t you know what’s going on? I don’t I don’t. That’s why I’m asking the questions I’d find out. But, you know, I got some too. We talked about Joe sending me some stuff to ask you.
Bruce Mallinson 16:57
Let me say something about Joe. Okay. His people like Joe, that keeps me from saying, I’m done. I’m retiring. Because when you talk to Joe, he’s high on life. Yep. Cape Cod, Joe. And there’s so many like him in this industry. So many wonderful owner operators. They’re just a lot of fun to be with. We do an owner operator snowmobile conference at the first weekend in March every year, usually in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and we ride by day and have dinner and have a couple of adult beverages and then sit around the fire lay. So we talk about trucks, we talk about snowmobiling. We’d probably talk about women but there’s women there too. But it’s so much fun to be away from trucks and be with these owner operators. Yeah. And if anybody needs help you get stuck on your sled breaks or your pickup truck breaks, man, there’s help. The camaraderie is so well
Jeremy Kellett 17:59
The knowledge probably can fix anything with that too. You know, it’s a whole nother episode. But the general public in the way they perceive truck drivers and independent contractors is just frustrating to me a lot of times because, you know, they’re not in it like we are and understand that these people are one they’re very smart, very smart. And I keep this country running. And I’m very appreciative of them. But the general public don’t always realize that you know what I mean? Bruce,
Bruce Mallinson 18:31
The general public thinks a truck is a truck. But an owner operator’s truck is his livelihood. You know, he loves that truck, like he loves his family. And it’s a special piece of equipment to him. It has to be treated as such. And a general repair shop doesn’t seem to realize that a lot of truck dealers don’t realize that you know, in our dyno in our engineering facility, when your trucks going on a dyno we want you there we want you you can be in the truck you can be in the control room watching the controls, you’re talking to our electrical engineers. We’ve got three electrical engineers and three dinos we’re the only shop in North America that has that and you have to have electrical engineers today because you have a computer on your transmission a computer and a cab computer on the engine and they all have to talk to each other
Jeremy Kellett 19:21
how you’re keeping up with all that technology and not
Bruce Mallinson 19:24
hire an electrical engineer. I have the best. I’m a mechanical guy. I need to see a piston pushing down on a connecting rod, turning a crank shaft and turning gears. That’s me. Yeah, I’m not electrical.
Jeremy Kellett 19:38
So I guess it’s been a challenge like everything dealing with the systems on the trucks that they came out with back in oh nine the the
Bruce Mallinson 19:45
fight now it started.
Jeremy Kellett 19:47
Oh 303 Dinner
Bruce Mallinson 19:48
with the EGR It was an absolute nightmare. Well, the first nightmare was whenever they took and made the low sulfur fuel. It was killing O rings in seals in fuel systems. And we didn’t have electronic engines. I knew we had mechanical engines. And we had guys waiting in line with their fuel pump for us to rebuild their pumps. And the seals had to be redesigned. They had to go to the Viton O rings. The ultra low sulfur fuel was an absolute nightmare back in the 90s. And that was the first hit we took. And then and then we got over that hurdle. And then they did it a second time. They took aromatics out, they took care of figuring out them, and they lowered sea tans. And diesel fuel isn’t what it was whenever we were young. And neither is gasoline. Yeah, you know, when we were young, and you were dumping gasoline into your lawnmower vapors came on the tank, and it’s vapors that burn, well, the vapors are gone. It’s hard to believe that cars can run as well as they can. But 2003 EGR, putting swift diesel exhaust in it, doesn’t hurt anything. But they put it back in the intake, and it was just clogging up everything doesn’t even make sense. Hmm, it was horrible. Now, the emissions of today are okay, but you still have to treat your fuel. If not, you’re going to have problems. But we’re gonna get into that. So 240 260,000 miles in 2000 345, and six engines are being worn out because of the sun. So it is very abrasive. If you look at a piece of soot, and you magnified it 1000 times it would look like a lump of coal. So it’s just killing engines. And the warranties are skyrocketing Commons cat Detroit Mac, and they were all losing 1000s or millions of dollars. So there’s only one way they make that up. And they have to raise the price of parts, because they don’t make a lot of money selling the engines to OEMs and make money on parts. But today an engine will run a million miles treated properly. So it’s a long time before they sell parts. So it’s a tough situation for engine manufacturers. So then in 2008, we took another hit. The DPF guys were buying brand new trucks. They weren’t and run the SDP cat and a twin turbo 2008 I fell on what passport transport out in New Jersey. I won’t say his name, but his first load of cars went to the West Coast 28 breakdowns. Oh my gosh. 28. Caterpillar was sued over that he actually won. I mean, it was horrible. That was the engine that caterpillar said to the US government 2009 Were done with the US that built engines for the rest of the world, but not for the US. And it was a shame. It was a shame the loose Caterpillar buying operation came and stuck through it. And Cummins has done really good with their emission systems. So that was a problem. The problem continued, and then we got D E F. You got the urea. And now what do we do with this stuff? I’m telling you it was a hurdle. And it was tough. And everybody starts doing deletes in the US government doesn’t want to hear that. But you’re taking the man’s livelihood away from him. When his truck is sitting in a driveway. He’s leasing a truck to try to make enough money to make payments on his new truck. Because if it won’t run, you can’t drive it. And then at this shove, in 2018 I met Dr. Jane Gates, and she was or booths down from us. And I saw this lady standing there. And it was Friday afternoon. And I said I’m gonna give this lady five minutes of my time, because Boris Lucas and I from Lucas Oil are personal friends. And I love Lucas Oil Products and I know a lot about Lucas products and I know what made his product great. I’ve spent time at his plant. I’d spent time in his house. He’s a great guy. He’s also from Columbus, Indiana, started driving his first truck at age 14. I think it was a Ford 29 Ford gas. He couldn’t wait to get out of high school to get home and deliver dirt. But anyway, Forrest is a great man. And I met Dr. Jane, and she has this chemical Max mileage fuel borne catalyst. And to me it was another chemical. And she said, We love your engineering department. We know all about your emissions testing equipment and your dinos and we want to come and test for a couple of days at your facility. Well, this usually shuts everybody up. I said, you know, you’re looking at $8,000 a day 16,002 days. She said that’s no problem. surprised to hear that. She said you’re $92,000 a day Less than Southwest Research in San Antonio. I said, Hey, I know there are 100,000 a day. And that’s really hurt the automotive industry by the way. That’s a whole story about that. And that’s why you can get a five speed or a six speed manual ship transmission and a power stroke board now, because if it’s an automatic versus a manual, it’s two different tests. Why? Because a transmission doesn’t make sense, though. We’ve lost a lot of common sense in this country. And so, Dr. Jane and her partner, Brett Beal from Santa Clara, San Diego, show up a week later, we have an iOS x and a W nine 2015. And our engineers went to work and they ran at nine o in our truck for two days. And my lead electrical engineer came to me and said, Bruce, you got to take a look at this product. We’ve decreased no x by 30%. We’ve gained 14% in fuel mileage, but I don’t really look at fuel mileage on a dyno because that’s a controlled atmosphere, fuel mileage just tested on a highway. He said that we had a 70% decrease in carbon as 70% when you decrease certain carbon by 70%, there’s no hardly any emissions or pollution or the DPF to take out. So they left us 12 gallons. This stuff’s $225 a gallon, one gallon treats 3200 gallons of fuel. It ignites 33% Faster than standard diesel fuel. It burns hotter, cleaner, and quieter. Now that’s why it burns quieter? Why does it make an engine quieter, it increases the torque. That’s where you get some fuel mileage sometimes. But by cleaning the engine, cleaning the inside of the engine makes it live longer. You have two items that were out of an engine. One is silicone, which is ingested dirt that gets through the air filter system. And the other one is certain carbon which is a byproduct of burning fuel, whether it’s gasoline, whether it’s natural gas has very little but it still has some but diesel fuel has a fair amount of it. But now we eliminate 70. What’s the name of this product Max mileage fuel borne catalyst low and it’s available. All the Iowa 80 locations have it in stock, but there’s about 145 dealers in North America that happened. So truck dealers are hesitant because 80% of their work is emissions just like it was for us. Now we do not we don’t have any emissions. We’re even though we’re a DPF alternatives, DPF cleaning part of their franchise, and we can talk about that too. But we have very few emission problems because all of our customers are running the catalyst. It costs a penny a mile to use it, which is a lot. But no emission failures saves you five to six cents a mile. That’s common sense. If you’d like to go to a stockbroker and say I’m going to give you $10,000 January 1. January 1 of the next year, I want you to give me $60,000. That’s the savings the catalyst does. It keeps people from going bankrupt with emission trucks.
Jeremy Kellett 28:42
Does it work in gasoline engines?
Bruce Mallinson 28:44
Well, Wayne Erkki, good friend of mine, owner operator, ex dairy farmer, mechanic, snowmobiler , Harley rider, great guy from Wisconsin, got to know good people. Wisconsin and Minnesota. He called me up. He said you know that 2011 CVO Ultra classic Do you have that doesn’t run right and doesn’t get fuel mileage. As CJ says, you get home that I put six CC’s as a catalyst and top off the tank. Take it for a ride. I said, “Are you kidding me? I said you’re putting it in gasoline. He says you got to try it. So that’s the beauty of owner operators. owner operators are mechanically inclined a lot of them and they’re thinkers. You know, when they’re driving out across Nebraska and Kansas and Iowa if thinking time they have thinking time that the rest of us don’t you know and it’s three o’clock in the morning their minds going and he said I put into my neighbor’s model a board like a 1929 and neighbors said oh my god this thing’s never run this good. So I said okay, Dwight, I went home that night got a syringe and would say See sees it he said it’ll take 16 Miles and 10. The engine was quieter. I didn’t have the normal knock. I had a 2800 rpm. I could take it in sixth gear down to 1000 RPM, ease into that throttle and accelerate away. So now it’s in everything. I have chainsaws, snowmobiles, jet skis, everything cars, because it makes a difference. It really ignites gasoline. So I called Dr. Jayden gates. I said, What do you think of putting the catalyst in gasoline? She said, I know nothing about that. As well, let me tell you, it works.
Jeremy Kellett 30:45
So well. So a lot of great product
Bruce Mallinson 30:47
guys with leaf blowers are saying instead of five or six poles as started, we’ll start in one. I gotta
Jeremy Kellett 30:53
give me some of the high it’s awesome. Some of that, but that is a sound monster.
Bruce Mallinson 30:57
If you buy a brand new diesel engine, truck, pickup truck, car with a diesel engine semi truck, and you run that Max mileage catalyst in there, you will never have a forced regen, or a regenerative you’ll get a passive region every now and then going down the highway. Your def consumption decreases because you’re eliminating 70% of the sudden carbon. If you’re running on an older truck, like a 2002 and older, after 90 days, you pull the exhaust pipe off, there’s no sudden carbon. You can change exhaust systems and wear a white shirt and be clean.
Jeremy Kellett 31:38
That’s amazing. That sounds like an amazing product extends
Bruce Mallinson 31:41
the life of variable geometry turbos because there’s no certain carbon to get into the exhaust veins.
Jeremy Kellett 31:51
It’s putting you out of business. Now snow it
Bruce Mallinson 31:53
extends life because now the shops are filled with mechanical things changing gear ratios and taking 10 speeds out and putting in 13 and 18 speeds to rebuild engines and we have more room to do the type of work we want other than working on admission systems.
Jeremy Kellett 32:13
They mean do you think the the OEMs take that in consideration like this,
Bruce Mallinson 32:18
the OEMs would save themselves millions of dollars if they sold it at all their dealerships and told people to put it in their engines. Forrest Lucas once told me if General Motors Ford and Chrysler would put his semi synthetic automatic transmission fluid in from day one it would eliminate automatic transmission failures. His cousin ran a Lincoln Town Car for over 300,000 miles in Los Angeles as a taxi cab never repaired the automatic phenomenal stuff that was Lucas automatic transmission fluid. So is his power steering SoftLayer on N 14 Cummins, they were not designed for ultra low sulfur fuel. So we tell people to use Lucas fuel injector cleaner along with the catalyst and you’ll eliminate that skip or miss if you have an idol. You eliminate having to change injectors on end Cortines. 30 core oh six, E and B and C caterpillars love it. The D decK twos threes and four Detroit’s love it because all those engines were designed on real diesel fuel, not ultra low sulfur fuel.
Jeremy Kellett 33:42
So to make that adjustment, you gotta have an additive.
Bruce Mallinson 33:45
You got it. Take what the government has made the oil companies give us and improve it. So hey, I got a call from Nick, service manager and parts manager, Clearwater Peterborough, Clearwater, Minnesota. And he said, I want to be a catalyst dealer. I said, Nick, truck dealerships don’t want it because it eliminates 80% of your shop work. He said, I have so much shop work, I don’t want to do mission work. I wanted to be able to sell a man, a brand new Peterbilt, put them on a catalyst and not have them come in and complain to me. There’s other words I wanted to use, but I’ll be nice. And complaining to me about always breaking down because of emissions. And it works for him. He puts his customers on the catalyst diet. And he has no emission problems, just like us.
Jeremy Kellett 34:40
That’s a huge problem in his business. It’s horrendous. We ever since that’s come out. It has been a problem with independent contractors and our guys. We get so frustrated, you know, because even down to dispatch, you know they get frustrated because sometimes it’s not the driver’s fault. You just can’t depend on The truck and then they take it in to get it fixed and they can’t. The police can’t fix it.
Bruce Mallinson 35:05
They can’t fix it, they can’t get parts. They just keep replacing parts replacing sensors. And you know, a lot of sensors don’t need to be replaced, they just need to be cleaned. You take the sensor on you clean and we’re brake clean, you put it back in and it’s still good. But if you pull the sensor out and you run the max Molly’s catalyst, there’s no sudden carbon on it. There’s a slight filament made, it’s going to be wack, but there’s no buildup of it.
LubeZone Commercial 35:29
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Jeremy Kellett 36:16
Do you have some more tea? Man I guess a lot of guys just buy your products or I don’t know if you have a shop where people come in and they get their truck fixed. Do you have some kind of warranty?
Bruce Mallinson 36:28
We have a cord. We put 14 trucks in our shop. Oh, okay. We don’t have 14 mechanics. That’s a hard thing to find today. You know, the general public is in for a rude awakening when the baby boomers retire. And there were no more mechanics because they brought, I mean, flying here on an airplane, there was this tree hugging lady in front of me. And I heard her talking to another lady and she’s talking loudly. She hates farmers, because she said farmers are polluting our water that we have to drink. I wanted to lean up and tap her on the shoulder and said, What are you going to eat? Really high. I bought it in the Chesapeake Bay. They hate farmers on the eastern shore. And that’s all farm. They said the fertilizer is running off into the bay, but they’re producing food for us to eat. So the general public has their head screwed on wrong. People in our segment of trucking, we all know what it takes to keep this running. You know we could eliminate every politician and take a group of the intelligent owner operators and run this country and do a whole lot better than these
Jeremy Kellett 37:41
guys, man do I believe that Bruce? Absolutely. Verbally that
Bruce Mallinson 37:45
we went away millions of dollars would be improving roads and bridges and everything that keeps this country going a man and a locket minute. There are some phenomenal owner operators. In this world. We
Jeremy Kellett 37:58
see him we got them at Oakley, you do this. We’ve got some fantastic guys. And I know they use your product to brag about it and brag about it.
Bruce Mallinson 38:07
And let’s talk about international companies. You know they have a horrible problem with that MaxxForce engine. Yes, people are now buying MaxxForce engines, we clean the carpet and so DOT put them on a max mileage diet and all problems are gone. Grilley was all sick and carbon related. All the problems with that engine makes me think about it looking at that international right behind you there
Jeremy Kellett 38:30
waiting time anytime you didn’t. I’m not a gearhead, I love doing some mechanic work, I changed my own role. I love doing things like that, you know, but it didn’t make any sense to me when they came out with it. And so we’re gonna put the exhaust back into the engine, like Well, now that doesn’t make any sense who came up with that idea. Right? You know, and it’s it has been devastating ever since you
Bruce Mallinson 38:53
know, the way you deal with engineers is you don’t force them. You don’t say you will do this by this date. Doesn’t work that way. There’s a lot of r&d, but what you do is you work with them. And you say, what is possible? We want to clean up the diesel emissions, what is possible and let’s all work together. You don’t come in and you don’t have a strong arm.
Jeremy Kellett 39:17
Have you ever been asked to work or been asked by these OEM people for your advice?
Bruce Mallinson 39:24
You know, they’ve done a lot of things, a lot of things that we develop. And just in the old big cam Cummins, myself and several of my employees, we developed over 42 items for that engine. Think about that. We took a factory engine and we develop 42 Whether it’s a setting, whether it’s a different housing, whether it’s a different compression ratio, different flow on the injector cup 42 items, we were able to take a 350 and 400 horsepower Cummins and develop eight 100 horsepower, and have fuel mileage and have life. Well, I guess I used to spend a lot of time at the Cummins plant back in the 80s and 90s. All those engineers, unfortunately, have retired. But I got called into a conference room. And they sat me down at the head of the table. We had to wear a coat and tie when we’re there. And there’s 12 engineers. And I’m looking and I was younger than and Oh, but you guys have some questions for me. They said, Yes, we do. Mr. Melanson. I said, Okay, well, they said, We know what you do. We know how you modify our parts and modify our engines. But we have a question for you. You have the least amount of warranties, and anybody in North America. I said, How do you know that? They said, because we look at all the dealers and we’re Cummins dealers. We look at all the dealer’s warranties every month, and you’re the lowest is it Oh, that’s nice to know. I didn’t know that. I said to tell us how you do it. Well, I had to think fast. You know, the rule was you take three seconds before you say something and think about it. So you know, it’s like the Playboy Bunny theory. But I got a smile on her face. Tell us about the Playboy Bunny peering. So let’s pretend Mr. Owner Operator marries an ex Playboy Bunny and she just absolutely loves this guy. And he comes home after being in his truck all week long. And she greets him at the truck, walks him into the house, ARM and ARM, sits him down in his reclining chair, pulls his cowboy boots off and gives him his slippers. hands him his favorite drink. I don’t care if it’s orange juice. You know, handing him his newspaper magazine or putting the news on says honey Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes. Friday evening. They have a nice dinner and they spend time at home and they talk about his week. Saturday. She gets up before him and she goes out and she details the interior of the truck, changes the sheets, takes his dirty clothes out and hangs his new clothes in. And we do have one owner operator. His wife tells him You wear this on Monday, this one Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. This guy is cool. Good luck and silver haired guy. a classy guy dressed well. But I said then he comes out and he cleans the outside of the truck. Saturday afternoon they have a nice dinner that goes country western dancing and or go to the show Sunday they get up and go to church. She has a great meal prepared for him and always has vegetables and fruit caught up in his cooler. And he leaves three four o’clock. How do you think he’s going to treat that woman? She treats him like a king? Yes. He’s going to treat her like a queen. Well, what do you think, is when he pulls into a truck stop. He’s got seven and 800 horsepower. Everybody else is 350 404 50. And he parks that truck. And as he’s walking into that truck, stop the papers, fuel or take a shower. He turns around and looks at that old model or 359 and it puts a smile on his face because he loves that truck. He doesn’t have to drive fast. He lets people pass him on a level so he just cruises by them going up the mountain. I said that the truck treats him like a king. He treats that truck like a queen. And the better the man treats that truck, the longer it lives and the better the fuel mileage because when you have excess power, and you only have to use a little bit of it, the fuel mileage improves. So it’s the brain going through the wallet through the right foot pushing on the throttle that makes engine life and makes fuel mileage. That is great. And that was my story to those rates. And then and where I got the Playboy Bunny thing is Frisco Colorado is a restaurant I used to always have breakfast in. I had lunch there one day. This guy is sitting beside me at the bar. This lady who ran a place was an ex Playboy Bunny and she hired good looking girls to be waitresses in a war very short cut offer blue jeans and they made a lot of tips. This is back in 9899. Those girls are walking out over 250 and $300 chips working a half a day. So this lady walks by this guy’s he’s having a reuben sandwich and she picks up and french fries. She walks by and she takes a french fry off his plate. He doesn’t look up when she comes back and takes another French fry. Third time she goes by she picks up his sandwich and takes a bite out of it. She’s beautiful. Retired Playboy bunny. Oh, and he doesn’t even walk up or upset bees. on them. I look at him. I said, that’s it that bothers you, this lady that runs us restaurants eating your food? He said, Yeah, she has a lot of guts, doesn’t she? I said, Can’t believe that, you know, we’re talking. And he says, I gotta tell you, it’s my wife. So remember Canon cameras? Yeah, that would have been a great
Jeremy Kellett 45:26
What about Glue saying, you older,
Bruce Mallinson 45:29
so. So what I like to do is a guy you know has a truck, maybe one day, maybe three days and you do this transformation. And sometimes it’s a week if you’re doing a rebuild, and you’re changing transmissions and rear gears, we do a lot with setting trucks up. So they run in direct gear, a lot of 264 gears instead of 355 and 240 sevens. That way, when you run in direct gear, you gain 80 more horsepower, and 240 foot pounds of torque. So you actually shift the last, you gain a half mile to the gallon, your engines cooler, quieter, your transmissions cooler and quieter. And it’s just a lot more fun to drive. Plus, when you’re out on like I said Monday and coming down off those plateaus in Utah, you can put her back in a big hole on just let her coast at 85 and 93 miles, there’s no police out there, there’s no traffic, you know, and you get your need for speed going down any slight grades, it doesn’t take any fuel. And then you can shoot up the next hill. Man, you hit the bottom of the hill at 85 or 90 miles an hour and you shoot over the top. So I’m not saying you do that on every hill. But it’s fun to do that every now and then. But you got to gear the truck for that. And that’s a whole nother lesson. But you can talk to all these people that sell gears and replace gears and mechanics and tell them I’m going to take out 350 fives and put into 64 Docker so you’re going to lose all your pull on fire. No, you gain polling pyre and we’re down as low as on a new X 15. We want to be down as low as 228 on gears.
Jeremy Kellett 47:14
Well, that you know you just have a wealth of knowledge and it’s a great story. And we’re gonna have to cut it short.
Bruce Mallinson 47:22
I’m supposed to have 20 more minutes with you.
Jeremy Kellett 47:26
You got more stuff to say, Oh,
Bruce Mallinson 47:28
I could talk to you for at least eight hours. I love talking trucks. I enjoy owner operators. These shows where a reunion guy was an owner operator that I’ve known for 35 years walked into my booth yesterday. Why does everybody here have gray hair? I said so do you? Because we can’t get away from this stuff. Keep
Jeremy Kellett 47:53
coming every year we’d love it the other day. It’s up we’ve been doing long
Bruce Mallinson 47:58
day. And I tell you it takes a great staff. You’ve got to have a successful business that takes great people. You go through a lot of people to get to the great ones.
Jeremy Kellett 48:07
You got some people running your crew, you got good people saying
Bruce Mallinson 48:12
I have wonderful people. I’m able to be semi-retired. And I work from wherever I work from Colorado or Florida , work from Maryland, work from Pennsylvania. I can take my phone with me. I can go to Singapore if I want to or the Bahamas and work from wherever. And it’s wonderful.
Jeremy Kellett 48:32
Yeah, it will. You’ve done a lot to create that. And I think it’s something that it goes under appreciated sometimes because it’s similar with Oakley trucking, you know, our owners have created a great system, great people and if it makes you want to make the people under you probably want to impress you, you know, they want to be better than Bruce Melanson. You know, and that’s hard to find, you know,
Bruce Mallinson 48:59
when you deal with owner operators, a lot of times they’ll complain to the company and their lease to you never hear a complaint on Oakley. I never hear complaints about landstar. I never hear complaints about Mercer. And so you remember stuff like this and you say, you know, I’ve always wanted to be an owner operator, but I’m running out of time, right? I just recently almost bought a 99 379 from a friend of mine because I’d like to truck two days a week. Yeah, I want to truck two days a week. But at 74 years old. You have to think really
Jeremy Kellett 49:38
Well, you could try it. I mean it does hurt to try it.
Bruce Mallinson 49:42
I had to T 600 Kenworth and I pulled a 39 foot pick wheel and a 24 foot garage trailer three feet long. And I crossed this country working in other people’s shops and working at their homes and working RV shows and truck shows. And I had an 18 Speed single over 18 and 342 two gears and a 500 horsepower big cam for 350 Cummins in it. And I love that
Jeremy Kellett 50:05
How long have you had your CDL?
Bruce Mallinson 50:06
You know? CDL no see the house. I went for that test. I disagree with how they do a test. You know, they just don’t you
Jeremy Kellett 50:14
argued with the people that do the CDL
Bruce Mallinson 50:16
Absolutely. No. You know when you do your thing or your whole life, and you see people doing stuff wrong, but you have to tell them yeah, you know, this is wrong. I didn’t fall on a cherry tree yesterday. Yeah, I know what I’m doing. And so you don’t know computers. So I hire people who know computers. Yeah. I can do email and type on a computer and bring up pictures and things like that. But
Jeremy Kellett 50:47
will you stick with the mechanical that’s what you’re good at.
Bruce Mallinson 50:50
Right? You’re good? It comes with Jeremy you ought to come to our shop.
Jeremy Kellett 50:54
Yeah, I’d like to learn more about it. Just sounds fascinating can
Bruce Mallinson 50:59
be an education we yeah, we do shop tours and we give people the 50 cent for sure not the 25 We
Jeremy Kellett 51:06
give you the 50% appreciate that. would expect that you know
Bruce Mallinson 51:09
We’ve been taking you to lunch. We’ve got a good hole on a wall that is great food Okay.
Jeremy Kellett 51:13
Work for me. lease on with Oakley trucking America’s drive we’ll call our owner operators the top paid in the country and we will prove it to you. We offer steady year round freight as well as a yearly annual bonus and increase each year your lease to this. Oakley has multiple divisions and dumps Hopper bottoms and pneumatic so we are sure to have something that works for your schedule and hometown. Check us out on YouTube as well as our weekly podcast or give us a call today and see why Oakley trucking was everything you had been looking for. We’re gonna get out of here, Bruce, I really appreciate it. You know, Pittsburgh power has got a great reputation. I heard from our owner operators about it. And I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and tell your story. It’s a fascinating story. It’s a great story. And I’m honored to have this recording, and be able to hang on to it for years and send it to you. Then you hang on to it and pass it down to whoever you like to. And we’ll keep this, we’ll keep this owner operator deal going the best we can.
Bruce Mallinson 52:17
Absolutely. And anytime you want us to join the podcast just let me know. I will
Jeremy Kellett 52:21
Thanks a lot. I appreciate you are quite welcome. Yes sir. Thanks for listening to this episode with Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show in the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience. So if you’ve got a question, comment or just want to say hello, head over to our website, the Oakley podcast.com and click the leave a comment button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening!