From putting down small roots in 1974 by making deliveries with a single truck, founder Mike Tasha bought the Loud Fuel Company in 1994 and son, Kabraul moved to Falmouth, Massachusetts to manage the business. Today the company has 150 employees and boasts a 15,000 strong customer base in and around the Cape Cod area where it supplies heating oil, gasoline, diesel, biofuel, lube oil and propane.
Although the domestic market is the main area of business, the company also services both the marine and commercial sectors; for Kabraul it is this diversity that he enjoys most. “I can supply completely different industries each day of the week. As well as houses, we supply power plants, research ships, fishing vessels, construction companies and marinas. We also move biofuel from railyards to fuel terminals.” The company’s diversity also ensures that it stays busy all year round and that it is not seasonally affected.
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Taking a hands on approach
Working alongside his father, Kabraul believes he has learned the secret to his success: “My father and I are hands on in the daily operations and involved in every aspect of the business. We drive the trucks as well as dispatch them, we’re involved in the repairs, we deal with the customers ourselves as well as our employees.
“Coming into this business I’ve learnt two key things from my father – if you want something doing right you do it yourself and you don’t ask anything of your employees that you wouldn’t do yourself. Hands down and hands on is the key to our success. There are oil companies on every corner and it’s our dedication to our customers that makes us stand out from the rest.”
The biggest issues
Like most UK distributors, Kabraul believes that the biggest issue affecting the US distribution market is the rising cost of fuel. The increasing cost of equipment, wages and health insurance are also major bugbears for the company.
Drawing fuel from Inland Fuel in Tiverton, Rhode Island and Citgo Petroleum in Braintree, the company often experiences problems with supply. “Citgo Petroleum runs short – as well as out – many times throughout the year. They’re also very strict on weekly and monthly allocations. However, we’ve yet to have any issues with Inland Fuel.”
Looking ahead Kabraul told Fuel Oil News: “Our future plan is to keep doing what we’re doing and growing this business. There’s a lot of opportunity for growth in this market and we plan to take advantage of it.”