Choosing the Perfect Fuel Company—For You

Choosing a new fuel supplier after you have had a long standing relationship with your current supplier can be extremely stressful.  Stressful, but sometimes a necessary part of your business process.  Has your business model grown or changed in some way?  Is your supplier still fulfilling all of your current needs?  What are your top priorities when choosing a new fuel supplier?  I know we all immediately turn to the price of the product- but what if Supplier A was lower in price than Supplier B; but with Supplier A you were constantly running out of product or you were never able to contact the company representative when you had questions or needed assistance?  Supplier B is always available, they had a system in place that allowed them to know the amount of fuel in your tank(s) at all times?  Would you pay a little extra for excellent service and a premium product?

Business Owners’ Fuel Concerns

Having many conversations with local business owners I have encountered many of the same questions & concerns.  Below, I have listed five major concerns that seem to weigh heavy on business owners minds.

  1. I can’t afford to run out of fuel, how will I be sure that my tanks will be full?
  2. What happens if I have a fuel related breakdown?
  3. Who do I call if I have a problem after normal business hours?
  4. How will I know if I am making the right decision to lock in pricing or buy off the open market?
  5. Can I buy all of my energy products from the same supplier, rather than dealing with different companies for each product (ex: oil/grease or propane or fuel).
Providing Solutions for Your Concerns

At CHS Larsen Cooperative, we are invested in our customers’ best interests; so, we have addressed these major concerns.

  1. We have a monitored tank system for both propane and fuel tanks, which ensures you will always have fuel when you need it. This keeps you operating efficiently and making money!
  2. Fuel related issues? Not a problem, CHS Larsen Co-op with Cenex offers the Total Protection Plan (TPP) which is one of the best equipment warranties on the market. How do you qualify?  Just use our fuel and oil products!
  3. Your Energy Specialist are always available to assist with questions, concerns or operational issues, as well as an emergency phone number where our customer service representatives are available at all times; Day or Night / Weekend or Holidays. We are here for you.
  4. Our Energy Specialists are always aware of the ever changing market conditions and share this information with our customers daily. They are able to give you all of the information you need to make the best buying decision for your business.
  5. CHS Larsen Cooperative offers a complete line of Cenex fuel, Cenex oil & grease as well as propane. Imagine, one invoice for all of your fuel needs!  Your bookkeeper will thank you.
We are Here for You

We have a fully staffed service department that is available for repairs as minor as a diesel pump change out; to larger jobs like hooking up your new grain dryer system with propane.

As you can see, we care about our customers and their success.  After all, your success is our success.  As your business grows, we want to grow with you.  Wouldn’t you rather buy your energy products from a partner that is invested in your future, rather than buying from just another fuel company?

by Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager

Propane Safety on the Job

Whether you’re deciding where to place the tank or how to protect it during a storm, proper propane use is critical to fueling busy projects.

Propane can be found on job sites year-round, keeping workers warm and powering tools and equipment. And just as with any fuel or material for construction, following code and manufacturers’ instructions is key to ensuring workers stay safe and are productive. Your propane supplier can help you pick the right type of tank for each application and correctly size, place, and use it. But construction sites are busy places and change is always happening. That means you need to know the rules, too.

Below are six tips to help you and your site crew keep proper propane use top of mind.

Add Fuel Maintenance to Your Spring Planting Checklist

From checking spare parts inventories to squeezing in one more maintenance check, equipment is always top of mind as you prepare for spring planting. And, while it’s crucial to ensure engine components and moving parts are operating at peak performance, checking your fuel practices should carry equal weight. Your equipment is only as good as the fuel used in it, so it pays to get into the habit of keeping fuel clean.

Two key things affect the quality of your fuel supply: Keeping bulk fuel storage up to snuff and choosing the right fuel.

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Time to Fill the Tanks

 

Now that the never ending winter of 2018 is finally releasing its grip on WI, and the April snow is starting to melt, the time to start planning for spring work is here. It’s the perfect time to get your diesel and gasoline tanks filled before everyone is out in the fields, woods, and on construction projects. With the peak of spring activity just around the corner, everyone will be calling for immediate tank fills and just with pure volume, fuel deliveries could be delayed.

Nobody knows when road bans will come off so placing your fuel orders now helps us schedule deliveries based on allowed road weights, our fuel truck weights/how much fuel we can carry, and when we can deliver to get your fuel to you now. Those of you that still have some winter blended diesel fuel in your tanks (#2 and #1, Plus WAIV winter additive), it’s the perfect time to blend out your tanks with fresh summer rated Ruby Fieldmaster Premium diesel so you are ready to go when the fields dry out. Those of you that contracted fuel back in February/early March before we saw a price jumps in late March/April, are in perfect shape and now your fuel purchases are under these contract prices. If you did not contract fuel, now is the time to get your first tank fill as the market has been flat over the last week, but we all know when demand goes up in the coming weeks that prices will push up as they always do every May and June. If you are on the CHS Larsen Co-op Automated Fuel Delivery (AFD) program, you’re tanks are being filled automatically plus you have the peace of mind knowing you are saving money with the monthly price averaging benefit.

I have talked with many of my agriculture customers and unlike the last 2-3 years, we experienced an early winter last fall which curtailed field work in November and December thus there will be more field prep work in the coming weeks before planting can commence. With the winter weather we had in April, now is the time to get your equipment ready and your fuel tanks set.

Please give CHS Larsen Co-op a call at 920-982-1111 to schedule a tank fill so you are 100% ready to get out into the fields and start on the 2018 season.

by Todd A. Plath, Certified Energy Specialist

 

Welcome, Todd Plath

We would like to give a warm welcome to Todd Plath, our new Certified Energy Specialist. Todd has nine years of sales experience in selling Cenex energy products as a CES. He comes to us from a member cooperative in central Wisconsin.  He was originally from Redondo Beach, CA. As a child he moved around a lot, but at the start of his senior year in high school his dad got transferred to a job in Kenosha, WI, which is what brought him here. Todd then graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He was a Branch Sales Manager for an HVAC company in Wausau, and then moved to the member cooperative to go back to working in sales.

Todd and his wife Jill of 29 years live in Mosinee where she is a Special Education teacher for  Marathon County Special education. Their oldest son Mark graduated from the University of WI and is an ICU surgical nurse in Duluth, MN. Their middle son Derek graduated from the University of MN and is physical therapist in Minneapolis, and his  daughter, Melinda is a freshmen at the University of Minnesota Duluth majoring in Sports Marketing. During his free time he enjoys fishing and is a fishing guide in Northern WI.

Todd is very excited to be working for CHS Larsen Co-op, being able to offer all CHS products, and to be a part of the outstanding service at our co-op. We are excited to have him on our team to help grow our western territory. He was attracted to working for CHS Larsen Co-op because of our cooperative’s size and ability to offer all the CHS energy products including fuel, propane and bulk lubricants.

Todd started on April 17, and has hit the ground running. He is now our CES in the western territory. Again, as you see Todd please welcome him to our co-op.

by Pat Brosseau, Energy Department Manager

 

Crude Market Update

 

US oil prices are treading water above $60/barrel for the 1st time since 2015.  A little scary for some!  It poses the inevitable question whether or not we secure our fuel now, at what seems to be the high point or wait for a possible drop in the market, but risk a continued rally?  Sometimes looking back at history can help make these tough decisions a little easier.

Since 2013 we have seen the price of the barrel of oil peak at $110, capsize to $26, then roll back to that $50-$60 mark.  After watching this huge price fluctuation over the past decade, this is what we have learned.

Above $80 crude is too high-  Cash flow is ample & investors end up flooding the market by funding way too many drilling rigs, this is corporate greed at its finest.  What this ultimately does though, is send inventories through the roof, while demand stays the same; ultimately reversing the market and we see price fall.

Under $40 crude is too low- Cash flow dries up, investors start to tighten their belts and not only are there no new drilling, but the current drilling starts to shut down.  Basically production comes to a screaming halt, inventories decline; while demand sees no change.  That is when you start to see the price rise.

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Preparing Your Propane-Powered Home for Winter

 

Temperatures are dropping, which means many homeowners are turning up the thermostat to heat their homes. For those who heat their homes with propane, preparation can help make  for a safe and easy transition.

Rural homes in particular require extra steps to keep the inside warm and cozy all winter long. Below are some tips and tricks to help ensure your home is heated by propane  safely and efficiently all winter long.

Inside your home

1. Refill your tank at the beginning of the season. If possible, talk to your dealer about setting up automatic deliveries to make sure your heat stays consistent and you don’t have to worry about your tank running low.  Lastly, check your tank level prior to extreme weather or a long holiday weekend.

2. Have your heating and appliances checked by a technician. A check-up with a qualified service technician will ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible, which will help conserve fuel and save money on utilities.

3. Install a programmable thermostat. Homeowners save an estimated 10 percent per year by using a programmable thermostat. Be sure to set yours to a lower temperature when the house is empty.

4. Adjust your water heater. Heating water is usually a relatively large energy expense. If you haven’t already, set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help cut down on costs.

5. Reverse your ceiling fan blades. Switching your ceiling fan’s blades to run clockwise will push warm air downward.

Outside your home 

1. Clean and store your propane grill. Be certain the tank valve is closed. Scrape any food off the grate, wipe down the outside and refer to the owner’s manual for additional cleaning suggestions. Make sure the grill and the grill cover are completely dry to avoid rusting. If possible, store your grill in a dry place as well.

2. Store only empty propane tanks inside. Ideally, after a long grilling season, your propane canister will be empty. However, if it’s not, don’t store your portable grill tank (or your grill, for that matter) inside your home.

3. Never use portable equipment inside. As much as we’d all like grilled steak in February, the inside of your home is not a safe place to use propane appliances like grills and generators.

4. Clear any debris in your propane appliance vents that may have accumulated (such as bird nesting material) over the summer months.

Preparing your household propane tank and appliances for winter is an important step to ensure the safety and efficiency of your heating. If any questions or uncertainties come up, reach out to our Certified Energy Specialist

Original Source: Andy Ernst CHS Propane Marketing Manager in Safety Tips

Stay Warm This Winter: Propane Tank Maintenance

Some people love it, others may not, but the truth of the matter is that winter is on its way!  Stay warm this winter by keeping these tips in mind as it relates to your propane tank.

  • Keep a path from your driveway to your propane tank clear and free of snow. Failure to do so will impact our delivery team’s ability to fill your propane tank. We want to ensure you have heat all winter, but we need your help to ensure we can access it. We recommend clearing a path after each snowfall and whenever drifting occurs, to keep the path accessible for propane delivery trucks.
  • Keep your tank free from deep snow coverage. Propane tanks that are covered in deep snow are at greater risk for leaks, as the fittings, joints, and even the whole tank (with deep snowfall) can shift due to the weight of the snow.  Snow-covered tanks can also prevent any leaking gas from escaping, causing a dangerous gas build-up.  The snow also impacts how well your tank operates, as heavy cover can cause improper vaporization.  Stay safe and keep your propane system fully functioning by periodically brushing the tank off this winter.
  • Ensure safe practices when clearing snow. Keep safety top of mind around your propane tank this winter—be sure to exercise care when using heavy equipment to move snow, and use a broom (rather than a shovel) to clear snow from the tank to avoid puncturing the tank.
  • As always, if you smell gas, leave the area immediately! Avoid flames and sparks—don’t turn on light switches, and wait to use your cell phone until you are away from the area.  If it is safe to do so, turn off the main gas supply valve on the tank; then, report the leak, using a phone from a safe distance away from the leak.

If you have any questions regarding your propane service or are looking to lock in winter heating gallons, please give our office a call at 1-866-455-7200

Cenex® Winterized Premium Diesel Fuels

 

It is time to start thinking about winter diesel fuel. Cenex® Winterized Premium Diesel product line offers broad coverage to meet the unique needs of your equipment – from moderate temperatures to extreme winter cold and everything in between.

Our full line up of Cenex Winterized Premium Diesel Fuels includes:

Cenex Wintermaster® Winterized Premium Diesel is formulated with an operability of –30° F and a typical cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of –55° F. Cenex Wintermaster is specifically formulated for the demands of diesel powered equipment in the most extreme winter conditions.

Cenex Roadmaster XL® and Ruby Fieldmaster® Seasonally Enhanced Premium Diesel Fuels are formulated for moderate climates and provide outstanding shoulder season flexibility. Cenex Seasonally Enhanced Premium Diesel Fuels deliver a typical cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of -25° F.

#1 Diesel Fuel with Cenex Premium Diesel Fuel Additive is used to blend down your Cenex Premium Diesel Fuel tanks during transition from summer to fall/winter, helping ensure additives remain at proper levels. Ideal for blending down bulk tanks, retail fueling site tanks and customer storage tanks.

Contact your CHS Larsen Co-op energy team for more information.

Content courtesy of Cenex Refined Fuels & Lubricants

© 2018 CHS Inc.