Ralph Vicente independently owns and operates two Texaco stations in Puerto Rico, supplying a population of 28,500 with diesel, gasoline, food merchandise and ATM services at reasonable rates that customers rely on. His station in Isla Verde is located just north of Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan. Although Isla Verde is a small strip of beach front land, it is a major tourist destination that receives heavy traffic almost yearround. Tourists flock to this area for its lavish resorts and beautiful beach scenery.
On the other hand, Vicente’s Levittown location is a suburb of San Juan that is located just west of Isla Verde and draws heavy traffic rates, with over 70 percent of the population commuting to work every day.
With this kind of vehicle use, drivers depend on Vicente’s gas stations for offering high quality fuel and other products year-round, as both locations are on the northern edge of Puerto Rico and see large amounts of customers daily.
The entire island often experiences major outages from both damaging weather and the unreliable power grid that all of Puerto Rico is required to use. When power is out for days, business owners must keep a reliable backup power system to ensure their facilities remain running.
Vicente explained, “When the power is out, I lose substantial revenue. The food items I have in cold storage units go bad, and customers are unable to pump gas because our computers are down. The people of this area regularly use my stations; I cannot afford to miss out on this much business with locations in a major suburban area and heavy tourist spot.”
Cat® dealer RIMCO provides power generation solutions for the entire island of Puerto Rico. Through the sales, parts, maintenance and customer service support they provide, many business owners turn to them first when exploring their options.
“There was never any question as to what brand and company we would look toward when choosing our system,” Vicente said. “Caterpillar is well known throughout the area, and RIMCO is a trusted source to provide this machinery. I even use Cat marine engines on boats, so I naturally turned to RIMCO to power my gas stations.”
RIMCO installed a Cat 100 kW D100-P1S diesel generator set in 2001 at the Levittown station and a Cat 100 kW D100-6S diesel generator set in 2008 at the Isla Verde location, both operating on standby. Cat automatic transfer switches (ATS) at 400 amps were also placed at both locations to trigger the generator sets when the main power source fails. These units provide standby power for critical systems including gas pumps, cold units, lighting, cash registers and air conditioners. Vicente employs maintenance technicians to run regular check-ups on these standby systems each week to ensure they are always in proper working order.
“Even though Ralph has his own employees checking his generator sets and ATS, we are always available. We greatly value the relationships we have established with our customers, and want them to understand we are here if they need anything,” said Richard McConnie, Cat dealer principle for RIMCO.
Vicente depends on Mr. McConnie and his team should he have any questions, or if he needs a new part. “The level of product support RIMCO provides is unmatched in the industry,” said Vicente. “They have parts on hand, or can have parts sent the very next day if needed, which sets them far above any others.”
Having Cat generator sets on standby to provide power to the stations when the area experiences outages has saved Vicente over U.S. $40,000 in cold storage food, plus another U.S. $105,000 in retail and gasoline. “If I did not have these units, there would be no way I could operate with all the power failures we see each year. I would have to close both stations and go home. My entire business is dependent upon the generator starting up and powering my facilities at every emergency. Now when you see the Texaco star in Puerto Rico, customers know that we will always be on,” said Vicente.
Vicente will continue to work with RIMCO in the future, should he decide to open another gas station in Puerto Rico. “Simply put, RIMCO and Caterpillar are one word – awesome,” concluded Vicente.
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