Landmark Services Cooperative vehicle adds efficiency through versatility

October 5, 2011 By    

Cylinder exchange customers of Wisconsin-based Landmark Services Cooperative have seen a new, unique delivery truck roll onto their property in recent months.

Landmark’s combo unit gives its driver the capability to deliver and exchange 20-pound cylinders and the luxury to refill forklift cylinders and larger tanks on site, without having to return to the company. This is done with a truck carrying a 425-gallon bulk tank and space to haul 168 cylinders – 120 on the sides and 48 on the floor.

“We’ve actually turned a non-profitable truck into a profitable truck,” says Greg Higginbotham, the energy division maintenance coordinator.

Since putting the truck into operation earlier this year, Landmark has upped its production two to three times, Higginbotham says. The company went to Westmor Industries with the idea, focused on driver efficiency, driver retention and customer satisfaction. Westmor built the vehicle, the first of its kind for the company, on a Kenworth T370 chassis.

“There’s not another one out there like it, with the capability of filling off the truck and hauling cylinders on the back,” says Daniel Dresen, driver of the combo unit, who covers a large portion of Wisconsin with the vehicle. “It’s made my job a lot more efficient, and I’m managing my hours easier.”

The combo unit replaces a vehicle that carried only cylinders and didn’t have the bulk capability. Dresen was forced to hand deliver the bigger cylinders. Now, the unit allows Dresen to make his scheduled daily deliveries and service customers who call with an unexpected request, such as filling a 100-pound cylinder.

“Whether I’m in the area or not in the area, I don’t have to run by the shop. I can hit them at my earliest convenience with the 425-gallon tank,” says Dresen, noting that the company sells Cenex propane.

Landmark’s 20-pound cylinder exchange customers include gas stations, hardware stores and grocery stores, while its forklift cylinders might go to home improvement companies, steel companies and beverage distributors.

Dresen says his current customers have noticed the new vehicle – “just that image they get when they have a new truck delivering versus an old and rusty one” can only strengthen the company’s reputation.

The unit is one of 15 delivery vehicles at Landmark – the rest bobtails.

BEHIND THE WHEEL: Daniel Dresen, propane cylinder sales and distribution driver

LOCATION:
Cottage Grove, Wis.

FOUNDED:
1933

EMPLOYEES:
347 (50 in energy)

PROPANE CUSTOMERS:
10,000

ANNUAL GALLON SALES:
About 11 million

ONLINE:
www.landmark.coop – and watch a video of the combo unit at www.westmor-ind.com

Brian Richesson

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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