What is in this article?:
- T&O Refrigeration's success signifies a journey of high excellence in the challenging and ever-changing world of supermarket refrigeration.
- What works: honesty, persistence, quality workmanship, technician education, and treating people right.
Steve Tibbetts: “Being a regionally-based player is a key to our success. When we first opened our Nashville branch, it was a struggle. But now we have found some good people who have been with us for several years. It takes a while to plant those roots when you're expanding into other markets. When people try to expand too quickly, it can lead to their downfall."
T&O Refrigeration’s reputation precedes them, and its narrow focus of expertise has sustained its success.
“Our reputation is our marketing,” Tibbetts says. “We only work on supermarkets, and have worked for most of the major chains in our area. We don’t try to do everything. We do what we know, and what we’re good at.”
Experienced in Secondary Systems
T&O has installed secondary glycol systems in a number of supermarkets. "We installed one of the first secondary systems for low temp and medium temp in the Southeast. It’s still running, but it has a lot of challenges because it’s very complicated. It’s hard to find technicians with the skills to service these types of systems, especially in outlying areas."
T&O teams have also installed a variety of rack and single system refrigeration units, but Tibbetts is most impressed by the size and economy of distributed systems. He prefers distributed systems because they are easy to maintain and require less refrigerant to run.
Field Training & OEM Help
Most of T&O technician training is accomplished with the help of major manufacturers. Tibbetts has never resisted new technology, but wants his team to be up to speed before taking it on.
“We’ve always taken on new technology, and thrive on being the first in our area to complete new projects,” he says proudly. “We do a lot of testing of products and new technology for Emerson. We make sure all of our technicians have been through Copeland compressor training and Emerson controller training. In fact, a number of our technicians are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE).”
And rather than throw his new technicians “to the wolves” like he experienced, they are partnered with seasoned technicians for training. Managers are in the field constantly working with less-experienced technicians. “Each of our managers have a minimum of 20 years’ experience.”