Walthall Oil Company Helps Fuel a Growing Community

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Industries run on fuel and lubricants.  From the factory floor to the loading dock to the construction site, fuels and lubricants power equipment in every industry including construction, pulp and paper, general manufacturing and trucking. By understanding how fuel and lubricants impact operations, Walthall Oil Company can help clients increase productivity and reduce both unscheduled downtime and total cost of ownership. 

"Companies are asking more of their suppliers and we see that as an opportunity," said Wesley Walthall, sales manager for Walthall Oil Company.

"We provide value by helping our customers reduce their costs and we invest in technology to improve our operating efficiency and pass the savings along to our customers.  Our value-added services and technical efficiency set us apart from our competitors." 

A family-owned and operated business established in 1952 by Frank Walthall Jr. in Macon, Walthall Oil is one of the premier lubricant and fuel suppliers in the Southeast.  Frank Walthall III began working full-time in the business in 1979 and his children – Malcolm, Wesley and Allison – are now the third generation working at Walthall Oil. Malcolm is Vice President of Information Systems, Wesley is the Sales Manager and Allison is a Sales Representative. The company is also led by Matt Rhodes as Vice President of Operations who has been with Walthall since graduating from college. An ExxonMobil distributor, the company has more than 120 employees, a fleet of more than 60 vehicles, more than 500,000 gallons of bulk storage, more than 50,000 square feet of warehouse space, and locations in Macon, Atlanta, Thomaston, Camilla as well as Jacksonville, Fla.

New construction picking up

"We're encouraged by the new construction we're seeing in Georgia," Wesley said.  "We monitor what's going on in the state and it's very busy so far this year." 

Construction can drive multiple sales opportunities for Walthall, according to Wesley.  The company may sell fuel to a variety of contractors at different points in the construction process.  For example, contractors need fuel to clear land, process the timber that was cleared, grade land and build a manufacturing facility.  When the facility is operational, its operator will need to purchase fuel and lubricants to manufacture and ship products. 

"At each point in the business process, we work with customers to help them achieve their goals," Wesley said. 

"We can analyze equipment failures and recommend a lubricant program to improve performance.  Or we analyze fuel consumption and recommend a program to improve fuel efficiency in fleets."

The company is investing in technology and training to increase efficiency.  For example, Walthall Oil can install and manage wireless tank monitors for clients.  The monitors enable Walthall to monitor tanks remotely and proactively schedule deliveries when tank levels fall below a specified level.  The technology helps customers maintain optimal inventory and reduce administrative cost. 

"We also employ a full-time Safety and Product Integrity Director," Wesley said.  "Our drivers are trained in safe driving and handling procedures." 

Maintaining a strong community presence

Although it is a small portion of their total business, Walthall Oil is well known for its retail convenience stores across Middle Georgia.  The company also provides high profile support to key community organizations. 

"We support Macon Regional Crimestoppers, which provides incentives to people who provide tips to help solve cases, because we believe reducing crime helps lower costs for businesses and enhances the community for everyone," Wesley said. 

Frank Walthall III has served on the board of directors of Macon Regional Crimestoppers since its inception.  Every November, Walthall Oil serves as a Platinum Sponsor for the annual Regional Crimestoppers banquet.

The company also supports the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and Wesley serves on its board.  And for the past 10 years, Walthall Oil has been the presenting sponsor for the annual Cherry Blossom Bed Race in which teams build their own vehicles and race them down Cherry Street in downtown Macon. 

"We want to invest back in the community that has supported us since 1952.  We are very thankful for that support," Wesley said. 

More information on Walthall Oil Company is available at walthall-oil.com.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.