Our beginning dates all the way back to 1889 in Chicago. H.J. Troch began his water-wagon business, sprinkling the streets for money, keeping the dust down in front of merchants’ stores. Each generation of fathers passed his business down to his son. Bob, Sr., son of H.J. Troch, inherited the horse-drawn, water-wagon business and transformed it into a Mack Truck street-sprinkling business. By 1923, Robert, Sr., owned a fleet of Mack Trucks and made the bold move to the coal distribution business. In 1946, Robert, Sr., further expanded the business to include home and commercial heating oil. In its day, the R.W. Troch Oil Company was the largest heating oil company in the Chicagoland area.
Corporate Profile: The Third Generation
Robert W. Troch, Jr. is the third generation of Troch’s and is the current Chairman of the Board of Bell Fuels, Inc. Bob, Jr.’s entrepreneurial spirit led Bell to a number of firsts in the petroleum industry:
- Retail Super Stations: In 1980, Bell introduced the largest service station in the United States, with 102 hoses; risky business in 1980. In today’s market, super-sized stations have become the mainstay of every major retail operator.
- Aviation Jet Fuel: Delivering jet fuel to the corporate likes of John Deere Co., Pfizer Corp., and Eli Lilly Co.; no other independent petroleum company delivered jet fuel to O’Hare Airport.
- Bell Premium D-2 ® Diesel Fuel R: Engineered to overcome weather-sensitive performance characteristics in diesel fuel. Bell Premium D-2 ® enhances the performance of fuel regardless of the crude oil feedstock or weather conditions. Bell invited the idea of a “finished” diesel fuel.
- Fuelman Fleet Credit Card: Bell becomes the first independent petroleum company in the Chicago and Milwaukee area to provide a national fuel accountability program for corporate fleets.
- Fuel Assurance Program: A guaranteed assurance of supply for emergency generators. This contractual supply program delivers emergency fuel within a given-time window.
- BioSmart ® Biodiesel: Bells Fuels was the first petroleum company in Illinois to commercially introduce soy biodiesel.