Home heating is an important part of the business during the 1950s, but apparently not enough to build a bulk supply plant and tanks. In this picture Richard Varner fills a bulk delivery truck from a retail service pump. A slow and tedious process.
Route planning is pretty simple in those days. Auto-fill customers are tracked using 3x5 filing cards and customer usage is based mostly on a calendar system. Today we plan routes with sophisticated software, tank monitors and computer tablets on the delivery trucks.
Learning the ropes
Hudson Gas & Tire is a core part of our family's business during the 1960s and 1970s. It also serves as a customer service classroom for Chris and Mike Caywood, Caywood Propane's current co-owners, and their brother Mitch.
We run, not walk, from the building to the customer's car. Purchases for more than $2.00 get you an oil check, tire check, clean windshields and clean windows. Even after the advent of self-service in the 1970s some customers, including Bill Thompson, the long-time president of his own family business, Thompson Savings Bank, still expect us to fill his tank for him. We do.
Transition and focus
Family-owned businesses are a lot of work, but work is the last thing on our minds in this late 1980s photo. Knee, achille's heel, hand injuries and other middle-aged ailments ultimately caught up with us, but the most painful was the loss of our dad in 1997.
Pictured left to right are Jim Caywood, Mike Caywood (co-owner), Chris Caywood (co-owner) and Mitch Caywood.
The business transition to the third generation comes with new energy and focus. Since 1997 we have added propane tank leasing and maintenance, exited the home heating and transport distribution business, and tripled our delivery area with the addition of our Albion and Coldwater Plants to complement our Hudson Plant.
Our 21st century customer service also includes features not offered by most retailers. Our website and smartphone apps enable customers to check their tank levels, order and pay for propane, look up their account history and much more.
Now, more than ever, Caywood Propane Gas Inc. meets customer needs:
Reliable. Transparent. Value-Priced. Since 1939.