Recent History – 2002-2003
May 9, 2002
In 1967, George Graham hauled propane from Girouxville, Alberta to Dawson Creek in his first truck. He sold it for the same price as in Alberta (14 cents per gallon), cheaper than the 21 cents it had previously cost locally.
From these humble starts grew Joy Propane, one of the largest and most modern propane retailers in Western Canada. No longer run by just George and his wife Ruth with one single-axle truck, the company now has 45 employees, six tandem-axle bulk trucks and three pup trailers.
The company gets its propane from Taylor and delivers anywhere within a 160 mile radius.
In 1981, Joy Propane moved from the Graham’s family farm to a location on the Hart Highway. In 1988, they moved again, purchasing a 10,000 sq.-foot building, using the facility as a five-bay shop, office and showroom.
Three years later, the company bought a service station in Fort St. John, which it established mainly as a filling station. Since then, it has expanded with the construction of a three-bay shop.
In 1992, the expansion continued, with branches opening in Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge.
Joy Propane has enjoyed solid sales since its inception in 1967, focusing primarily on bulk propane for home heating as well as propane conversions of vehicles.
Since 1995, however, conversions have tailed off as vehicles have become more complicated, but the company has expanded its operations in other areas, such as supplying fuel to oilfield operations.
Its newest technology is liquid propane fuel injection, which promises to help open up the vehicle conversions market again.
Company president Ron Graham said doing business in Dawson Creek has been good for the company.
“Our goal has always been to sell propane at a reasonable price,” Graham said.
He added that the community has been very receptive to propane conversions, and that the northeastern part of BC likely has the highest concentration of propane powered vehicles in Canada or the United States.