How many of you have ever seen a Buckeye Nozzle? It was the first automatic nozzle and weighed a ton. In 1945, Robert D. Graff, just coming out of the marines went back to helping his Mom and Dad at their corner service station pumping gas and selling groceries to contribute to the family of ten. This was the late forties and Dad took note of these automatic nozzles that replaced the old manual nozzles. He eventually made a deal with OPW to the rights of selling rebuilt nozzles in the Midwest. As a young boy, I learned to rebuild all makes and models of nozzles such as the 1811, No. 1, 1A, 7A, 7H, Emco Wheaton, etc. Helping my Dad rebuild nozzles was how I earned money in my teen years to pay for cars and school.
As my Dad is turning ninety next year, he finally decided to hand down his nozzle rebuilding equipment to me. Being a child of the depression, he never wanted to relinquish these items just in case he had a need to start rebuilding again. Dad shook a lot of hands, made many friends and provided a need for rebuilt nozzles to oil companies and small marketers alike.
I moved on in the 70’s to start my own nozzle business in Florida. One day, Dad called and asked me if I knew of anyone in Florida to sell used gas pumps to. My immediate response was “What kind of gas pumps?” The gas pumps were Southwest, Erie, Bennett 2000, Tokheim 39’s, Wayne, and Gilbarco. Dad and I went on to sell these units to many great companies in Florida.
Sound like a success story? Not so fast. We were selling a lot of these pumps directly to oil companies, and we started getting the calls telling us that the pumping unit was frozen, the meter wasn’t working, the 99 cent a gallon calibration was off, among other complaints. Dad and I decided to reduce our price and sell directly to the distributors which was a great move on our part because the distributors were able to make the equipment customer ready and could resell to their customers as an option to the customers having to buy new.
In the 80’s, already partners for many years, Dad and I incorporated into Graffco, Inc. Through the years, we have had contracts with Southwest Pump, Gilbarco, Tokheim and Wayne to help them sell new pumps by taking in their old pumps and either responsibly recycling or rebuilding the older pumps for those business owners who want to upgrade but cannot afford new equipment.
Graffco has evolved from two guys and a pump into a three generation family company. My three daughters and a son are all working in different aspects of the business, and Graffco as a well-established company continues to earn respect in the pre-owned petroleum equipment industry because of the quality, value and service that Graffco provides. We are not a big company, but we listen to our customers' needs. Our purpose in the tradition of my Dad and I is to save money for the small marketer.
(As told by Daniel M. Graff, President and Owner of Graffco, Inc.)