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Fredericks Heating Oil - 133 years in New Jersey
10/22/2018
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In 1878 John Fredericks at his general store began selling anthracite coal from Pennsylvania shipped in on the new railroad.  He delivered it in a wagon pulled by a team of oxen.  Coal trucks eventually replaced the oxen and the business was continued from the store by his son until his grandson separated it from the store in 1929.  In 1957, John Fredericks, Mark's father, took over the business.  He transformed it as fuel oil replaced coal as the homeowner's choice for heating.  The business grew with the building of the suburbs following World War II.  With the consolidation of some 19 family coal and oil distributors it became one of the largest fuel companies in New Jersey and the preeminent one in its marketplace.

Fredericks Fuel and Heating Service is New Jersey's oldest fuel distributorship still in the same family.  Fifth generation Mark Fredericks, with his wife Shelley, own and operate this full service fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline and diesel delivery service backed up to by 17 full time service technicians providing 24 hour emergency service.  All employees are provided with a pension profit sharing plan, a 401K plan; full company paid health insurance and many other benefits.  The company services over 10,000 residential customers from four offices and four modern bulk plants strategically located throughout its North Jersey market enabling it to provide personal local fast service.

The company maintains its fleet of 78 vehicles with full time vehicle mechanics from a large, modern, centrally located maintenance garage.  All vehicles are on a preventive maintenance schedule to insure minimum down time during the heating season.  A full stock of burner parts is maintained in the service vans at two company locations to insure immediate customer service.  The company operates an unbranded gas station and is 50% owner of a common carrier that transports the fuel to the bulk plants from Port Newark.

Implementation of the company motto, "Service You Deserve" is responsible for its sustained growth over the 133 years of its existence.  Many long term competent employees are dedicated to personal customer service.  A full array of services is offered to customers:  service contracts, heating system installation, environmental tank protection, automatic delivery, budget plans, and a fuel price protection that caps the seasons price and drops the price with the market.

Survival in today's tough economy is yet another testament to the resilience of this company.  It has been through the great depression of the 1930s, rationing and supply disruptions of World War II, the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, increasing competitive pressures, and tough environmental regulations.  Today unprecedented financial burdens caused by the high price and volatility of petroleum products present the most pressing challenge for customers as well as the company itself.  There are many easier and better days as well over the years.  Fredericks Fuel is confident they are in its future too.

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