Warning! Your browser is extremely outdated and not web standards compliant.
Your browsing experience would greatly improve by upgrading to a modern browser.
Get a Quote Call Now

Gen Oil Drives Fuel Business Forward with Service Truck Upfit

February 2024


“Have a need? We can fuel it.” That’s the saying at Gen Oil in Southeastern Michigan near Detroit. Outstanding customer service and efficiency are at the heart of this leading fuel distributor, add years of experience to that, and it’s no wonder that companies trust Gen Oil for their fueling needs.

“I was third generation in a family fuel business focused more on the retail side of the industry”, said Keith Albertie, owner of Gen Oil. “I learned so much from my father. My grandfather was involved early on, and as a group a great leadership team was put together that helped teach me all facets of the business.”

Albertie branched out in 2011 to launch Gen Oil. The department he developed had become the most successful branch of the business; he had developed a following. With his passion and desire to improve the efficiency of fueling through technology, he moved forward.

“A big part of the fuel business for me has always been innovation,” Albertie explained. “In years past, technology was a little clunky, so when I started this business, I wanted to do it the right way from the ground up, looking for different innovative ways to deliver fuel to my customers.”

At an M-PACT Fuel & Convenience trade show in Indianapolis, Albertie found the solution he was looking for — a No HAZMAT Fuel and Service Truck Upfit (MTU) from Thunder Creek Equipment. The MTUs have the capacity to hold 920 gallons of diesel fuel, as well as options for DEF. Albertie opted to purchase two MTUs to support Gen Oil’s business, focused primarily in Michigan but with some work throughout the Midwest. It’s a choice that turned out to be the right one.

“The MTUs are different. They’re so nimble and useful in so many ways that we figured we’d take a chance with them,” he said. “They've turned out to be an invaluable asset to our business. They’ve set us apart from other fuel distributors, combined with the fact that we are so customer-driven, we’re more responsive, eager to solve problems to make things more efficient for our customers.”

Putting the MTUs to work

A large part of Gen Oil’s business is working with commercial customers, contractors, government entities, farming industries, and industrial companies around the country.

With areas of Michigan experiencing a surge in new construction, Gen Oil has also enjoyed local organic growth fueling commercial projects and job sites and has been able to meet project deadlines thanks to the MTUs. A large reason behind that ability is the fact that Gen Oil’s driver pool expanded quickly, allowing various levels of employees to operate a truck.

The MTUs feature eight separate 115-gallon tanks that connect via a common manifold and pumping system. Once Albertie or one of his drivers closes the manifold to secure the diesel fuel, the MTUs are legal for anyone to drive — no HAZMAT endorsement or commercial driver license (CDL) is needed. This has opened a new driver pool for Gen Oil.

“Our drivers are second-to-none in the industry. They're top notch. We're trying to add more drivers so we can handle more business,” Albertie explained. “If we can utilize a safe operator with a basic driver’s license to drive the MTU and get the deliveries done on time and safely, we're going to do it.”

Meeting customer’s fueling needs on time is important to Albertie and his team, which includes Gordie Schaeffler, the Transportation and Supply Manager at Gen Oil. Schaeffler handles daily routing of the drivers for fuel deliveries and securing fuel supplies. He appreciates the speed and accuracy with which the MTUs can provide fuel to their customers, particularly on construction jobsites.

“We can come in and fill five to 20 pieces of equipment, depending on how big they are. With just under a thousand gallons on each MTU, we can usually cover all machines and be in and out in an hour,” he said.

During the ordering process, Albertie and Schaeffler knew that they needed a weights and measures pump — a simple upgrade option to the equipment through Thunder Creek — on the MTUs to ensure they could properly track fueling, both for the benefit of Gen Oil and its customers.

“We know exactly how much fuel is going into each machine. The drivers are able to write down or digitally code which machine they fueled, and how many gallons filled each one. Then it's itemized so we have an accurate amount for billing purposes,” Schaeffler explained. “That’s important because accuracy on gallons is priority one when unit filling vehicles.”

Supplementing the fleet

Gen Oil’s fleet of MTUs join larger fuel service trucks to complement their service in a demanding marketplace. The smaller size of the MTU’s has been extremely beneficial. The company keeps the MTU fleet vehicles separate — some carrying dyed diesel and others carrying clear diesel — in order to be as flexible and responsive as possible.

“Every week in the summer months there's an event going on here in Detroit, and they have their generators in place. There are times when we can't get a large tank wagon in there to deliver the fuel,” said Albertie. “That's where the Thunder Creek trucks with their size and their flexibility can maneuver in there and deliver fuel safely.”

The company deploys the MTUs for emergency disaster relief situations for the same reason.

“The Thunder Creek trucks for disaster relief have been invaluable. They're small and they handle well,” Albertie said. “Our drivers can easily maneuver them through tighter, tougher conditions to fuel generators. They've done well for us in various pockets around the country.”

That maneuverability is the result of the medium-duty truck chassis. Thunder Creek offers upfits on a variety of common trucks, including Ford F-550 and F-600, Ram 5500, Chevy 5500 and International CV515.

“The MTUs offer the versatility to support our main trucks. "If we run into power outages, ice storms, [or] big heavy thunderstorms that can knock out power grids, I can send them out and not have to reroute our big trucks for smaller fueling jobs,” said Schaeffler. “It makes us able to get to customers quicker than some other companies in the market.”

Schaeffler added that Gen Oil outfitted the MTUs with several other options, including a worksite lighting system to ensure the safety of its drivers and customers when fueling in these conditions.

Customer satisfaction

All the work Gen Oil does comes down to providing the best possible fueling service to its customers. With a dedicated team of drivers sharing that common goal, Albertie believes they can continue to provide excellent customer service, while also growing the business organically.

“I'm here every day, intimately involved with just about every customer. I'm strong on relationships. I answer my phone when customers call me, not many owners are that engaged.” he said. “I want to make sure that their projects are being taken care of in an efficient and safe manner.”

Schaeffler agrees.

“We want to help our customers attain their goals and by doing that we're going to attain ours,” he explained. “The Thunder Creek MTUs play an important role. We have this equipment now that helps us provide great service for our customers. In the end, that's what it comes down to.”