Populous territory, new customers boost deliveries

June 3, 2014 By    

Roger Floerke, who’s been driving a bobtail for Landmark Services Co-op these last 25 years, has reached some rather impressive individual milestones for gallons delivered throughout his career.

Landmark Services Cooperative

Roger Floerke is always in pursuit of delivering 2 million gallons.

One such milestone is the 2.5 million annual gallons delivered mark. According to Floerke, he delivered about 2.55 million gallons during one fiscal year several years ago. He barely missed the 2 million mark during Landmark’s last fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, finishing with 1.992 million gallons delivered.

“I was one truck short,” Floerke says, jokingly.

He is unlikely to miss the 2 million mark this year, though. Through March, Floerke had already surpassed last year’s grand total with 1.995 million gallons delivered for the Wisconsin company. And, with several months remaining in the company’s fiscal year, he’s positioned to break his personal mark and have his best year yet.

“Two million [gallons] is always kind of the goal,” says Floerke, who delivered 100-pound cylinders for Landmark during one 10-year stretch. “There’ve been a couple of years – the last three or four – where I’ve been between 1.7 million and 2 million. We had a couple of warm winters, and with the new corn dryers drying corn so much faster, you don’t have the big corn-drying years [much] anymore.”

Landmark has 14 bobtail drivers, and Charlie Hallquist, Landmark’s energy operations and distribution manager, says the company’s drivers deliver between 1 million and 1.2 million annual gallons, on average.

“When I was managing drivers in Minnesota, they were doing 700,000 to 800,000 gallons,” Hallquist says.

Considering the production Hallquist has seen from drivers, Floerke’s marks are exceptionally high.

“I’ve got a well-populated area with a lot of propane usage,” says Floerke, whose territory is east of Madison, Wis. “I’ve gotten lucky over the years. I retain a lot of customers and gain a lot of new ones because they recognize Landmark. Word of mouth really helps a lot. If somebody new puts a corn dryer in, they ask around and hear about us.”

According to Floerke, his average drop during the company’s last fiscal year was 391 gallons. The average among Landmark’s other drivers was about 346 gallons, Hallquist says.

“I’m usually close to 700 to 800 gallons per [ag-related] stop for the truck,” Floerke says. “For most of the year, I average 350 to 360 gallons per drop. I work on degree-days, and I set my degree-days for a tank at 350 gallons. It makes you more efficient.”

Hallquist says another factor that makes Floerke more efficient is that Landmark has its own transports.

“Roger’s really good at making sure those guys are on schedule and those bulk tanks are full when he gets there,” Hallquist says. “If they’re late, they’ll hear about it.”

Hallquist says the fact that Floerke and Landmark’s other drivers are salaried and commissioned is another benefit to productivity.

“Each truck is its own profit center,” Hallquist says. “That way the driver takes ownership of their truck and their route.

COMPANY: Landmark Services Cooperative

LOCATION: Cottage Grove, Wis.

FOUNDED: 1933

EMPLOYEES:359/28 in propane

CUSTOMERS:14,000 for propane

PROPANE SALES:17 million annual gallons

ONLINE: www.landmark.coop

Photo: Landmark

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the senior editor of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at kyanik@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3724.

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