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Drydene is Back!

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More than simply dusting off the name and putting some marketing muscle into the brand. “The comeback is built on key criteria of our brand and products: heritage – of American industry and the ideals that hard work matters; top-tier performance in every product; no shortcuts with quality and no ‘me too’ mentality; and nothing short of being the easiest brand to do business with…PERIOD!”

JobbersWorld has reported on several racing events sponsored by Drydene Performance Products this year. Most recently Drydene was the title sponsor for the Drydene Doubleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway and sponsored two NASCAR Cup Series races, two NASCAR Xfinity races and FIVE – yes, FIVE – cars across the ARCA, Xfinity and Cup Series races. Understanding Drydene is a brand that has been around since 1943 but seemingly went silent for nearly three decades, JobbersWorld reached out to Dave Klinger, President of Drydene Performance Products, to find out what’s behind all the news about Drydene. 

In a few words, Klinger said “Drydene is back!” And more than simply dusting off the name and putting some marketing muscle into the brand, Klinger adds, “The comeback is built on key criteria of our brand and products: heritage – of American industry and the ideals that hard work matters; top-tier performance in every product; no shortcuts with quality and no ‘me too’ mentality; and nothing short of being the easiest brand to do business with…PERIOD!”

For those who may not be familiar with Drydene, it was the brand of Dryden Oil Company, a family owned business founded in 1893 and based in Baltimore, Maryland. Dryden established the Drydene brand in 1943. Over time, the company expanded to 17 locations (including six blend plants) servicing most of the East Coast and as far west as Michigan. It grew to become one of the nation’s largest independent lubricant manufacturers and a well-recognized brand in commercial automotive and industrial lubricants and greases. The Drydene brand was particularly strong in the off-road sector (i.e. construction, mining) and in the industrial sector, where it was respected for both the performance and quality of the product line, and the value-added services offered by Dryden Oil. Notable among those services were Dryden’s preventive maintenance programs, which were supported by its well-equipped, in-house oil testing laboratory.

The Drydene brand, however, all but disappeared when Castrol acquired Dryden Oil in 1991 for a reported $30 million and in 1998 changed its name to Castrol Heavy Duty Lubricants Inc.

But although gone, it was not forgotten.

PPC Lubricants, a leading lubricant distributor headquartered in Jonestown, PA, secured the Drydene brand name in 2016. Klinger states, “this was never meant to be PPC’s private label brand. It was resurrected to be a national brand.” Therefore, Drydene Performance Products was formed as separate entity to launch the brand. From what JobbersWorld learned in an interview with Klinger, it’s clear the company has big plans for the brand. Klinger says, “We were fortunate that PPC Lubricants, as a sister company, was the test marketer/distributor in the Mid-Atlantic region for the brand since the fall of 2017. This afforded us the opportunity to evaluate the brand’s recognition and acceptance. Drydene’s acceptance has been nothing short of stunning!” Klinger adds, “PPC has been very successful selling Drydene not only in the Heavy-Duty market, but also in the passenger car and industrial markets.”

Klinger says, and from what JobbersWorld learned, “Drydene’s comeback is based on a combination of retro, old-school customer service ideals and modern technology, including digital portal functions; packaging; quality additive packages, and the company’s ALL Technology®.” According to Klinger, ALL Technology (Advanced Lubricity Life) is the crystallization of this “top-tier quality ideal: it’s a high-performance mindset, a business direction, and the promise that Drydene uses the best possible technology and additive packages in every product we develop and market.” Importantly, Klinger adds, “Our legacy is also our future and this means a commitment to seeing things from our customers’ perspective.”

In listening to Klinger talk about the brand and its plans, it’s clear the company is working to leverage the advantages smaller companies have in being nimble and highly responsive to customer and distributor needs, while at the same time, offer products and services equal to or above that of the majors. And according to Klinger, the results of this combination and commitment are already being realized in the racing community where Drydene recently launched its line of racing oil, DRF™ (Drydene Racing Formulas) at the World of Outlaws Can-Am World Finals in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“The DRF line is a result of listening to and working with high-performing race teams to deliver a racing oil that reaches maximum performance levels on America’s toughest tracks. We spent over a year testing both in the lab and on the track, and the results speak volumes,” says Klinger. To add this point, he points to Drydene being the official oil, lubricant and diesel exhaust fluid sponsor of The World of Outlaws, the premier dirt track racing series featuring the most powerful race cars on dirt. Drydene also sponsors two drivers in each of the World of Outlaw Sprint Car and Late Model series, as well as numerous regional dirt track drivers across many racing tiers.

When JobbersWorld asked about the commercial and industrial sectors where Drydene’s name rose to fame, Klinger smiled and said, “Racing is important to us because we love the sport and the fans. The fanbase is the demographic that represents a large portion of our customer base: the blue-collar, hardworking American who has no issue getting their hands dirty, busting a knuckle working on their equipment and always has an eye on the quality and performance of the lubricants they use. They represent a significant market in all sectors of the lubricants business, including passenger cars, commercial automotive, and industrial.”

To this Klinger adds, “They value leading additive technology and product quality, excellent field and technical support, ease in doing business and, importantly, old-school customer service ideals. Listening to and meeting the needs of this customer base in all sectors of the lubricants business is Drydene’s legacy and its future.”

Klinger added, “Drydene is back. And now, we’re seeking qualified distributors who will join us in bringing Drydene to the nationwide customers that are looking for our products. We know Drydene is a unique opportunity for distributors: the brand has all the Core lubricant products you would expect for all segments of business, but has also launched products that aren’t typically offered by competitors, including specialty synthetics, metal working fluids, cleaners, DRF race oils, other specialty products and a state-of-the-art oil analysis program.” Additionally, Klinger states, “Drydene has robust and unique programs that are customizable to fit distributors’ needs and are not ‘me too’ programs versus competitive brands.”

In closing Klinger states, “The Drydene comeback has been an amazing journey to date and the best is yet to come.”

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