Bulk Oil Drivers Keep Customers Well Stocked
May 12, 2017
Written By Adam Buckallew
MFA Oil’s bulk oil drivers travel thousands of miles each month delivering lubricants to customers. The deliveries go to farmers, schools, department of transportation offices, highway patrol outposts, automotive garages, oil change shops, construction companies and trucking firms. The bulk shipments are an ideal way for any customers with a fleet of vehicles or machinery to save money on lubricants.
Ron Walbourn has been a bulk oil driver with MFA Oil for 10 years. He primarily covers northwest Missouri but will occasionally make trips to other areas depending on delivery needs.
“There are four of us that make all of the bulk oil deliveries for the company,” Walbourn says. “Another guy and I basically handle everything north of Highway 50 in Missouri and then we’ve got one driver covering southern Missouri and one taking care of Arkansas.”
Each of MFA Oil’s bulk oil trucks can carry up to 4,000 gallons of product at a time. Walbourn says his truck averages about 17,000 gallons of deliveries per month, but the volume jumps significantly during the company’s semi-annual oil sale events. The spring sale runs every year from March 1 to April 30 and the winter sale is offered throughout the month of December.
Quality Products and Facilities
As the cooperative has grown, so too has the territory the drivers cover and the number of products available to customers. When Walbourn first became a driver, MFA Oil sold six different bulk oil products. Now, the company offers bulk delivery on a lineup of 30 high-performance lubricants. MFA Oil is committed to offering the highest quality lubricants, which meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications.
Another recent change occurred last spring when the cooperative moved its bulk oil storage tanks from California, Mo., to the new MFA Oil Business Support Campus in Moberly, Mo. The relocation puts the bulk oil facilities next door to the company truck shop and warehouse, which makes it convenient when the trucks need to be serviced or repaired. Walbourn says another major benefit of the new facility is its updated, modern equipment.
“We are able to load and unload lubricants quicker,” Walbourn says. “The new pumps are so much faster, and we are now in a climate-controlled building, which keeps the oils and other lubes from thickening in the cold winter weather. These changes have drastically reduced the amount of time we have to wait on pumping – by as much as half in some cases. The faster we can pump, the faster we can get back on the road to make our deliveries.”
Servicing Farm Accounts
When it comes to farm deliveries, the most popular products are Premium Heavy Duty 15W-40 engine oil and GP Hydraulic Fluid. Walbourn says farmers can help make bulk oil deliveries quicker and smoother by placing their tanks in an easily accessible location.
“Some farmers place their bulk oil tanks in barn lofts and other hard-to-reach locations,” Walbourn says. “If we have to climb a ladder or climb over a lot of equipment to get to the tank, there are obviously safety concerns. We’re working with our agricultural customers to improve tank placement so we can fill their tanks safely and more efficiently.”
Walbourn has three primary recommendations to keep in mind when considering bulk oil tank placement.
“We like for the tanks to be placed on ground level, as close to the door as possible, and it’s helpful if a clear path to the tank is maintained when deliveries are expected,” Walbourn says.
Farmers interested in placing a bulk oil order should contact their local MFA Oil office for more information.