You know, I've been employed here at Diesel Tech Magazine a full year now. Sure doesn't seem like it's been that long. It's been a very interesting year, to say the least.
When I got started here, the main focus in the aftermarket diesel industry was horsepower. Any product that offered more power or torque was destined for good sales, but with diesel prices reaching upwards of $5 a gallon this summer, that all shifted. Power is no longer the end goal, the demand and aftermarket swing toward economy has been huge these past few months.
As I write this column, diesel prices have been on a constant downfall for more than a month now. Here in Idaho, we're down to $3.21-that's over a dollar and a half drop in just a few weeks. I've got to admit, it's a welcome sight. As the owner of not one, but two, diesel burners, I can finally start to justify having them again. I'd almost forgotten that the pump at the service station could shut-off because my tank was full, not because my credit card was maxed.
You know, thinking back, a year ago everyone was buying diesel trucks because it was the cool thing to do. I can think of a lot of acquaintances who bought diesel trucks for their daily drivers, even if they had no use for one-guys who don't own big trailers, guys who know nothing about diesel fuel, other than that it stinks. They all bought trucks based off the big trend, black smoke and lots of horsepower. One thing about high fuel prices, it helped weed out those in it for the "cool factor." If you're still driving your diesel truck after the horrendous fuel price era we've seen, you've got a reason: either you depend on your diesel truck to pull your equipment to jobsites and your travel trailers on vacation, or you're just a diesel freak in every sense of the word. For guys like us, cost isn't a concern. You either need the truck that will get the job done or you're like me and can't bring yourself to stoop low enough to be driving a half-ton around town.
I'm not too proud to admit it. I eat, sleep, and breathe diesel performance. I'm on my third set of injectors, third turbocharger and I've even bought a second diesel truck in these past 12 months and all that stuff is for nothing other than just the constant need for more performance. Yes, I do use my truck for towing big trailers now and then, but not often enough for me to justify paying $5 a gallon. I'm just a diesel addict, that's all there is to it. I bought a car a few months back in the fuel crunch, but that only lasted a few weeks. I just couldn't do it. The gas mileage just wasn't enough to overcome the diesel addiction that churns inside me-especially when you consider that the 2wd Power Stroke that replaced my car is getting over 20 mpg.
The past year here at the magazine has been great for me. I've learned so much about our industry and continue to learn more and more with every person I meet and talk with in our market. Thanks to you readers and the continuing growth of this magazine, it looks like I'm in for an even better year to come. Hopefully we can keep things rolling in the right direction and help the aftermarket grow. We can't do it without you guys though, so keep the emails, suggestions and Reality Truck submissions coming.