LPG Spotlight: A&B Propane

January 11, 2019 By    
Photo courtesy of A&B Propane

Photo courtesy of A&B Propane

Winter brings cold and snow, ushering in the busy season for the propane industry.

Retailers and their employees work longer hours, face supply and travel challenges, and operate in harsh conditions to provide propane to millions of homes throughout the U.S.

Ricky Hobday, owner of Arizona-based A&B Propane, is a retailer facing the busy season, but with one major advantage: No snow. Hobday says the mild winter weather in Arizona is an advantage for his operation.

During the winter in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, tourists escaping cold northern climates spend the season in A&B Propane’s service area. These snow birds, as they’re called, still need propane to heat their homes. But no snow, little to no wind and mild temperatures make for an easier work environment for A&B Propane.

“We have a lot of snow birds that come because the weather is mild,” Hobday says. “What we think is cold is not as extreme as other areas. This is a major benefit.”

Hobday explains the operation services mainly residential customers and supplies fuel for heating and appliances in the RVs many snow birds use during the winter.

Many of these customers are new users of propane, which presents a set of challenges to Hobday and his team.

“The biggest problem we face is people think propane is extremely dangerous,” Hobday says. “About 50 percent of what we do when we fit an install is talk to the customer about the safety, efficiency and the green energy propane provides.”

A&B Propane employees use presentations on tablets containing information from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and other sources to teach customers about the safety, maintenance and other key points of the propane industry.

Presentations vary based on the customer and the project, so Hobday chooses material that is offered to a marketer’s employees and other residential information available from PERC to create A&B’s educational presentations.

Topics covered include the temperature of propane, the efficiency of propane, common gas pressures for inside and outside the home, how propane converts from a liquid to a gas and how that process relates to what size tank a customer may need.

On average, A&B Propane provides additional education, on a range of topics, to 80 percent of the customers serviced, Hobday explains.

“We go over the fallibility, the safety of the install and the safety of using [propane-powered] appliances,” Hobday says.

Most customers are thankful for the presentation, Hobday explains, which provides a beneficial two-way road for A&B propane and the customer for future business.

“We hope that going above and beyond with information for the customer will ensure a solid relationship that we can build on for growing future gallons,” Hobday says.

A&B Propane
Founded // 1989
Headquarters // Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Owners // Ross Hobday, John Hobday,
Richard Hobday
FOUNDERS // Ross Hobday and John Hobday
Employees // 9
Bobtails // 7
Website // abpropaneaz.com

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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