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Propane marketer uncovers trucking solutions at LP Gas Growth Summit

June 27, 2023 By    

Westmor Industries, a maker of energy storage, transportation and dispensing equipment, landed an important new customer last year thanks to four factors: teamwork, perseverance, timing and its decision to attend its first LP Gas Growth Summit.

The new customer was Sweetwater Propane, a propane delivery firm headquartered in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Sweetwater needed to order two new bobtail trucks in a hurry, and Westmor, based in Morris, Minnesota, came through.

It happened mostly because Westmor and Sweetwater connected at LP Gas’ annual event in the Orlando, Florida, area.

Paul Beiler

Beiler

“We never bought from Westmor before,” says Paul Beiler, president, CEO and founder of Sweetwater Propane. “We had ordered chassis from the dealer we had used since 2014, and at the last minute they said they weren’t going to give us any.

“Around that time, Westmor was following up with us from the LP Gas summit,” Beiler says. “I asked them if they had chassis available, and they did. That’s really the main reason we’re buying from Westmor – they were available.”

Westmor had laid the groundwork for a possible partnership with Sweetwater years earlier. Butch Reabold, an area sales manager with Westmor, had cold-called Beiler a few times over the years, hoping for a sale. Beiler always said no because he already had a truck supplier, but Reabold never gave up.

Butch Reabold

Reabold

At the 2022 LP Gas Growth Summit, Beiler met Jason Soulon and Brady Griffith, who also are regional sales managers with Westmor.

“They discussed their business needs,” says Mandi Carlberg, Westmor’s marketing communications manager. “Sweetwater currently has transport trailers, bobtails and crane trucks. Due to their breadth of product needs, Westmor would be a great fit for their company.

“Because Sweetwater was specifically thinking about purchasing some new bobtails in 2023, they requested more information on Westmor’s products and a visit from one of Westmor’s territory managers to discuss further,” Carlberg says.

Soulon and Griffith reached out to Reabold after the summit.

“They asked, ‘Do you know this guy?’” Reabold says, referring to Beiler. “I said yes, and I contacted him.”

The timing was perfect because Sweetwater’s bobtail supplier had just canceled its order. Reabold hurried to Sweetwater and snapped photos of the company’s trucks so Westmor could design a bobtail that matched the existing fleet.

Beiler especially appreciated Westmor’s Ergoload deck design, which provides a waist-high spray-fill and vapor-return connection. It’s easier to handle for drivers and means less strain on them during fills.

Mandi Carlberg

Carlberg

“Other trucks are either shoulder high or 5 ft. off the ground,” Beiler explains. “Up that high, it could produce shoulder issues due to the lifting. You’re basically putting the hose on your shoulder and going to the truck.”

Beiler, who started Sweetwater in 2011, also liked that Westmor shares Sweetwater’s business values, like treating customers the way they would like to be treated and keeping prices fair.

Sweetwater is scheduled to receive the first bobtail from Westmor later this year. Beiler says he had no qualms about trying Westmor because the company has been in the business a long time.

“I think he heard of us and our quality,” Reabold says. “But just the communication between us, and that we were right there and available, I’m sure benefited us. This is an opportunity to prove to them what we can do.”

Beiler and Reabold have even become personal friends and have planned a golf trip for this summer.

Meanwhile, Carlberg says, Westmor hopes to cultivate additional prospective clients whom company officials met at the LP Gas Growth Summit.

“The sales cycle for these types of products can take some time, so we’ll continue to build on the relationships that began at the summit and see where they take us,” she says.


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Find out how to apply to the LP Gas Growth Summit.

Sept. 17-19, 2024

Featured homepage image by LP Gas staff

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the senior digital media manager for North Coast Media, the parent company of LP Gas. She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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