Heavy Duty Alternator

Bob Jeffries: An Industry Icon Retires

An icon in the North American commercial truck world is getting ready to hang up his tools.BobJeffries.jpg

After 44 years in the industry—and 26 of those representing the Delco Remy brand—Bob Jeffries, Manager of Fleet Operations & Service, is retiring at the end of March.

“His are massive shoes to fill. Bob is one of a kind,” says Brian Thompson, North American Fleet Director. “He is highly valuable on the technical side and has devoted a significant amount of time to fleets around the country, providing training, troubleshooting and preventive maintenance. Bob has been absolutely instrumental in forging many of our long-term customer relationships.”

From Heavy Duty to Heavyweight
Bob started his career as a mechanic, working his way up to service manager at a Kenworth dealership. It was during that time that his wife saw a newspaper job ad from Leece-Neville for someone with heavy-duty experience. Bob got the job and started as part of the technical team, answering phones and helping troubleshoot customer problems. Bob spent 15 years at Leece-Neville where he eventually became the high-output product manager.

When his boss at Leece-Neville joined Remy International, Bob followed him. And it’s been a decision he never regretted.

“This has been a great job,” he shares. “I see customers when they have problems, and I get to help them remedy the situation. Fleets stick with us because we not only have great products, but we view the relationship as one of service. When they have a problem, we stay with them until we get the customer taken care of. That goes a long way.”

Silver Plug Standout
Bob’s commitment to troubleshooting and training was recognized in 2014 when he was honored with the prestigious Silver Spark Plug Award from the national Technical & Maintenance Council (TMC). As TMC’s highest honor, the Silver Spark Plug Award recognizes those who demonstrate industry leadership and contribute new ideas, practices or innovations in the management and maintenance of commercial motor vehicle technology.
And contribute Bob has!

He has chaired several task forces that led to the creation or updating of TMC-recommended practices covering charging, testing and handling of vehicle electrical systems. He has served as a panelist or organizer for mini-tech sessions within the study group and has also been involved with TMC’s National Technician Skills Competition’s Starting and Charging Skills Station and PTDC Training for several years.

“I have a lot of pride knowing that trucks going down the road have adopted practices that I helped implement—practices that make them better, safer and more efficient from a maintenance standpoint,” Bob says.

His True Legacy: People
During his time representing Delco Remy starters and alternators, Bob made significant contributions that have greatly influenced the company and the industry. For him, those top contributions include:
  • Pioneering the diagnostic training that the Delco Remy team still uses today
  • Setting the standard for alternator amperage for national school bus specification
  • Creating a widely used online electrical training program for technicians
  • Authoring the Delco Remy warranty approval book
While Bob’s list of accomplishments is long, those who have worked with him say his real legacy is in how he impacted people—his colleagues, his fleet customers and new technicians.

“When I came here, I had no fleet experience. Bob introduced me to the fleet and field side, and I am indebted to him for taking me under his wing and for sharing his knowledge with me,” says Brian.

Greg Hightower, National Fleet Manager, has a similar experience: “Bob helped me get hired here. He has always been there with a helping hand when needed,” he says. “While his mentorship has been amazing, it’s his friendship that I will cherish a lifetime.”

Greg says Bob’s impact on fleets and technicians is equally strong.

“He has provided training for countless mega fleets over the years,” Greg says, “and the technicians absolutely love Bob!”

Jeremiah Packett, Application Engineer, echoes that sentiment: “Bob has put in a tremendous amount of work and effort with several fleets to help ensure that their technicians are properly trained to troubleshoot heavy duty electrical systems.”

It’s the way Bob interacts with customers that stands out to everyone. Curtis Cummings, National Fleet Manager, says that he’s watched Bob work and admires how he educates and directs customers to a solution for their electrical concerns.

“Bob is extremely impressive with his industry knowledge—he’s one of the best technical minds I’ve ever worked with—yet he talks to folks in a way that anyone can understand.”

Shoulders to Stand On
Bob is extremely proud of the Delco Remy brand and believes he’s been able to contribute to its success because of those who shaped the path before him.

“I look back on the legacy that established Delco Remy, and I believe I’ve been able to stand on their shoulders to help us be successful,” he says.

Now, it’s Bob’s shoulders that others will stand on as they continue to carry forward the Delco Remy brand—his legacy of service, training and all-around support.
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