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LPG Spotlight: MS Propane

May 20, 2022 By    
Photo courtesy of MS Propane

MS Propane works closely with its sister company, Green-LP, to test out new equipment and technology for drivers. (Photo courtesy of MS Propane)

Whether it’s between customers, retailers, suppliers or manufacturers, a solid relationship can progress business and grow gallons.

MS Propane, a retailer serving residential customers throughout southwest Missouri, capitalized on a unique relationship with its sister company, Green-LP.

Green-LP is a provider of propane equipment and trucks. Its creation began when Drew Sanford, David Sanford and Jim Morris – owners of MS Propane – experienced difficulty finding trucks for their retail operation. Thus, they founded Green-LP, which manufactures, sells and performs maintenance on trucks from its Strafford, Missouri-based facility.

One unique aspect of MS Propane and Green-LP’s relationship is that MS Propane serves as a “testing ground” for Green-LP. Before the manufacturer puts new equipment or technology on the market, it tests them in MS Propane trucks. The drivers provide feedback to Green-LP, which makes adjustments as necessary.

MS Propane has tested a variety of products such as backup cameras, interlocks and power distribution boxes.

Some technologies don’t always yield success for MS Propane’s drivers, Drew Sanford admits, but he says the partnership has overall improved MS Propane’s business and safety.

“MS has benefited a lot,” he says. “And they’ve also gotten kicked in the teeth a couple times by trying it. But at the end of the day, it’s been a really great partnership with both companies to help everybody gain.”

One incident in particular where MS Propane benefited from testing Green-LP’s technology took place when a bobtail rollover occurred with a brand-new driver. Nobody was hurt, Sanford says, and no leaks occurred. When Sanford and his team brought the truck back to the Green-LP facility, it was inspected to determine the cause of the accident, which was later deemed driver error.

Sanford says he, of course, hopes to avoid that situation going forward, but he is grateful for the ability to take the truck to the facility and ensure that the safety equipment worked.

“To get that truck back to our facility at Green-LP, get it pumped down, look at it and just tear it apart and see what happened on the rollover, we were jumping up and down,” Sanford says. “The truck did everything it was supposed to do. The safety features of the truck worked. It flipped, spun, went through one ditch, hit another ditch, hit a culvert, hit a fence. I mean, it was not a pretty situation, and everything held up like it was supposed to.”

The relationship between the two companies is mutually beneficial, both parties agree.

“Using MS [Propane] to troubleshoot and run all of our ideals off them to see how it’s going to form, fit and function out on the road every day, they put [the equipment] through some hard conditions,” says Ron Dinwiddie, general manager of Green-LP. “And when [equipment] breaks and they show up at our shop, we jump through hoops and put them right back on the road because we want to see how these trucks are going to hold up in the middle of wintertime when these guys are pumping gas 24 hours a day.”

Additionally, MS Propane drivers are welcome to bring new product ideas to Green-LP, says Eric Morgans, sales manager at Green-LP. He believes the open channel for communication between drivers and Green-LP ultimately allows MS Propane to better retain drivers during a time when it is difficult to do so.

“Whether it’s a driver or one of our guys in the shop that comes up with an idea, if there’s communication between an MS [Propane] driver and one of our guys, and we think we can make it happen, then we try to make it happen,” Morgans says. “I think that’s been a big part of our driver retention, which is not one of the easiest things in the industry right now, keeping your drivers happy, keeping them around.”

Company profile: MS Propane

Year founded // 2014
Founders & owners // Jim Morris, David Sanford and Drew Sanford
Headquarters // Springfield, Missouri
Website // mspropanegas.com

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is the managing editor at LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at 216-363-3930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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