Moving crude oil and refined products up and down U.S. waterways is a business that demands dependability — and NGL Marine has built its success on providing customers exactly that.
“Customer requirements are very strict these days,” says Craig Lagrone, vice president of NGL Marine, which is a segment of Houston, Texas-based NGL Energy Partners LLC. “They have options to go with other carriers. Safety is number one, and downtime is taboo. We have dependable equipment and support, which is a big plus.”
That dependable equipment includes 10 vessels powered by Cat® marine engines, eight with 3500 series models and two with 3400 series models — and the support comes from the Cat dealer network.
NGL Marine’s primary dealer, Mustang Cat, recently added to its marine support capabilities by purchasing a Caterpillar authorized marine dealer (AMD) headed by Harry Lartigue Sr. and Jr., a company Lagrone had worked with for years.
“I’ve known the Lartigues a long time, and there’s a lot of trust there,” he says. “Anytime I need something, I can call Mustang and there is a solution. Relationships are what make Caterpillar what it is.”
Harry Lartigue Jr., now Mustang Cat’s marine division market manager, agrees. “Valued customers like NGL are key to Mustang and Caterpillar’s success. Fostering those relationships and having quality, reliable equipment makes it that much easier.”
According to Derrick York, general manager of Caterpillar Marine, this combination of dependable product and reliable service is what sets Caterpillar apart — and it’s the primary reason companies like NGL Marine and other global marine operations continue to choose Cat power.
“We’re excited to see Mustang Cat growing their marine capabilities, including adding more support in the Port of Houston, which is one of the largest and busiest ports in the world,” York says.
Lagrone says NGL Marine couldn’t operate without the services provided by Mustang Cat and other Cat dealers — first and foremost, excellent parts and service availability. The company uses only genuine Cat parts when repairs are needed and chooses Cat Reman components whenever possible.
“Recently, one of our 3412 engines had an issue, and we used Reman to get it back up and running,” Lagrone says. “It’s a great option because you get the benefit of genuine Cat parts, including the warranty, without the cost of a new part.”
The need for repairs has been minimal, though, thanks to what Lagrone describes as the “remarkable dependability” of Cat engines. He also appreciates that they’re easier to maintain — with features like larger oil pans that extend change intervals — and that the length of time between overhauls keeps vessels working longer.
“When you have to stop to maintain an engine, it takes time away from operations,” Lagrone says. “Caterpillar makes it easy to perform the maintenance and get back to work.”