A person’s diligent, safe work efforts are sometimes rewarded in the long run.
Take Brian Adler, a yard and rail specialist at Paraco Gas’ Riverhead Long Island facility in New York. Adler has held this position for about 17 years at the same facility, starting his workdays at 1:30 a.m. and finishing by late morning.
Adler works at Paraco Gas’ lone rail yard, which is the only active propane rail yard in Long Island the company is aware of.
“There are other propane companies in this area, but we’re the only one with a rail system,” says Jimmy Leach, regional service manager at Paraco Gas’ Riverhead Long Island facility and a branch manager.
Earlier this month, Adler celebrated the unloading of his 5,000th railcar without incident or injury. According to Leach, no one at the company is aware of anyone achieving this milestone before. Paraco Gas and the New York and Atlantic Railway system will recognize Adler for his safe approach to work at Paraco Gas’ safety meeting in April.
“Everyone says, ‘If only we had 10 more of Brian, we’d be in great shape,’” Leach says. “He is a dedicated professional who does everything the right way. Brian’s job is not something everyone can do. You have to find someone who is conscious of what they’re doing and dealing with.”
LP Gas magazine reached out to Adler to learn more about his milestone and the factors that motivate him in his line of work.
LP Gas: What first attracted you to the propane industry and how did you end up as the yard and rail specialist at Paraco Gas?
Adler: It was a family thing. My father had a propane business in the 1970s and 1980s. So it’s basically in my blood. I worked for my father as a kid, and I worked for a few other gas companies before I arrived here at Paraco Gas. I was previously doing service work, and an employee at Paraco Gas told me to work for the company. It took me six months to train for the yard and rail specialist position. But it’s a much more exciting job than service. It’s exciting for me to climb on the rails in all conditions.
LP Gas: What do you do on a daily basis as a yard and rail specialist?
Adler: I receive the railcars and unload them into our storage tanks. Each railcar holds about 30,000 gallons and our plant has a total capacity of 240,000 gallons. I also do regular plant duties, like filling trucks, but I love doing rails most. That’s my thing and what I’m known for.
LP Gas: What has kept you motivated to keep doing your job safely every day the past 17 years at Paraco Gas?
Adler: I love the job. Also, I never get complacent with what I do. I remember each morning what I’m doing and make a conscious effort to stay alert. You just have to tell yourself these things each day to make sure you stay safe. I also change my routine sometimes to break up the work to keep things different.
LP Gas: How did it feel hitting the 5,000-railcar milestone?
Adler: It felt fantastic. I unloaded 2,500 railcars after 10 years of working at Paraco Gas. It took me only about six or seven more years to double that. Some of it is because we’ve done more business, grown, done things faster and found better ways to do things.
LP Gas: What’s your next career goal?
Adler: I’m totally happy where I’m at as a yard and rail specialist. I just want to do this as long as I can. Unloading a total of 10,000 railcars is my next goal. Anything below that won’t be as exciting.
LP Gas: What advice do you have for others in the propane industry to stay safe on the job?
Adler: Make sure you take things one day at a time. Focus on the task at hand, and always think ahead of your next move. Some of this is my own OCD that keeps me in order. I do some things routinely and other things out of order to shake things up.