Q&A With Dayco’s Tom Tecklenburg

Q&A With Dayco’s Tom Tecklenburg

Tecklenburg shares with AMN details of the company’s latest products, motorsports initiatives and other exciting plans.

Dayco launched some new products for the heavy-duty market this year, including a new HD serpentine belt kit and a 2-piece tensioner. What goes into creating products like this, that address known repair issues and help technicians do their jobs easier?    

Making it as easy as possible for our customers (and their customers) to do business with Dayco is a priority. We listened to our channel partners and repair technicians and heard loud and clear the DD 13 and 15 engine tensioners were a concern in the market. Our product team, along with Roseville, Michigan tech-center engineers, and several people at our Arkansas plant evaluated the concern and got to work prototyping the new 2-piece tensioner to meet OE fit, form and function. Bench testing, installation evaluation and road testing followed before launch. 

This tensioner helps solve a common application-specific installation problem by cutting installation time in half. The response from heavy-duty repair technicians has been phenomenal and this product is flying off Dayco shelves. *Kits with Dayco’s 2-piece tensioner also include (2) heavy-duty serpentine belts and (2) premium pulleys, helping to ensure that fleets and technicians have all the parts in the box to complete this install correctly the first time. 

Dayco also launched its newest line of powersports belts – Dayco POWER – in January. We’ve seen a significant spike in powersports (from a consumer standpoint) since the pandemic. What are your thoughts on this product segment and its continued growth?  

The Dayco POWER brand repositions our entire CVT belt offering to make it easier for channel partners and enthusiasts to determine what product to choose for their machines, maximizing both performance and off-road excitement! Whether you need a belt for work or farm equipment or you are a weekend enthusiast with a 200+HP machine, we have a CVT belt for you. The most exciting development is our CTX belt. It’s a carbon fiber belt that delivers significant performance compared to competitive products and fills a gap we saw in the market for enthusiasts with highly modified machines. The development of the CTX belt was a global team effort led by our product management team in N. America, all of whom are serious powersports enthusiasts. They worked alongside a brilliant rubber compound specialist at our Tech Center and with R&D and manufacturing experts in Chieti Italy.  We benched and field tested these belts with some of the powersports teams we sponsor until we found the winning formula that we could all stand behind. 

Along those same lines, Dayco is a passionate supporter of motorsports. Can you talk a bit about the 20 teams and drivers Dayco is sponsoring this season and how they work with Dayco’s technical team? What are some of the biggest mutual benefits of motorsports sponsorships?

Credit goes to the Dayco team that started the process with DSR racing in 2018/2019, developing and producing a top fuel blower belt that performed better than any other belt on the market and lasted up to 7 to 10 races. This started our tech team down an exciting path where we became highly involved with teams and now work collaboratively to create new products used in racing. We have many motorsports enthusiasts on the Dayco N. America team who are taking it to new levels with sponsorships in drift, drag racing, SXS and snowcross using products that again highlight our technology and superior manufacturing process and enable teams to win!! For example, our new supercharger belts were tested on the factory stock cars from Watson Racing, our 8mm blower belts are being used by Chris Duncan Race cars and our newest product, the CTX CVT belt was developed with input from Angel Performance. We also personally tested the CTX belt on a 500HP Can Am SXS sand drag car and it’s lasting 10 runs longer than any competitor’s belt.

Motorsports also is a great way to communicate brand value. What are the brand attributes Dayco wants to communicate to consumers and customers?  

Dayco’s passion for motorsports coupled with our team’s experience in engineering, technology and vehicle repair gives us a unique perspective when we set out to develop new products. We never sacrifice quality over cost and our entire mission is based on providing products that improve performance and installation – whether the customer is a racecar driver, technician, or DIYer.    

Tell us about the Dayco corporate culture and what sets it apart from other aftermarket brands.  

Dayco was founded on in 1905 as the Dayton Rubber Company in Ohio, just 15 miles from where I was born and raised. So, I’ve always felt an affinity for the brand. I am second generation auto industry lifer – and 30 years in this industry goes fast. I still love it – especially at Dayco.

Since 2019, under the leadership of Joel Wiegert, we follow the principles of the Dayco house – to innovate, deliver superior results, and build a passionate, dedicated team. We’ve done that and our talent bench is second-to-none. In fact, we recently celebrated several employees with 20, 30 and even 40 years of service to Dayco. I love to see their dedication to making this team better every day. It’s clearly our people, their passion and commitment to move forward, always that sets us apart from other aftermarket brands.

What’s next for Dayco – any big announcement to expect this year?   

We are always changing and evolving to make Dayco better, improve customer satisfaction and increase the ease of doing business. We definitely have new products and expanded coverage on the horizon and intend to make a big splash with a couple new product launches at AAPEX!

In addition to AAPEX, what other trade shows can we find Dayco at this year? 

Dayco will be involved in several shows across different market segments. Of course, you’ll see us at AAPEX as well as PRI and the HDAW show in early 2023. We’re also regulars at multiple motorsports events like the SAND Sports Super Show, Michigan Mud Jam, and the Toronto International Snow Show. We believe it’s important to attend shows and interact with our customers and consumers as much as possible. Their feedback is invaluable – there’s no better place than a tradeshow to gather voice of customer research. 

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