William E. Maloney, founder of Arlex Oil Corporation, served the community with an automobile repair and used auto sales business called Arlex Auto Company which was located on the town line of Arlington and Lexington. In 1934, he was approached by a man looking to sell a 1931 Ford Kerosene and Ice-block Delivery Truck. Unable to move the vehicle, he decided to purchase the truck himself and ventured into the heating oil industry as Arlex Oil Sales Company.
Lacking the resources to buy paint, Mr. Maloney chose a cream and green color scheme for the 600-gallon truck as it was the only paint he had on hand. As the original colors are no longer standard, they continue to be custom mixed for every Arlex vehicle and represent Arlex to this day. Though the depression proved difficult, Mr. Maloney managed to purchase 100 to 200 gallon lots of range oil at a time. He was able to deliver this oil to customers with 5 gallon cans drained off the back of the truck and often would park the truck on a hill to make use of every accessible drop. As business picked-up more employees were added and Mr. Maloney’s Sisters managed the office duties. In 1937, a new 760 gallon truck was added and the business began to steadily grow.
As a curious businessman, he would always follow up with those folks who had chosen other oil companies over Arlex. He was able to learn that some had chosen companies with larger and fancier trucks than his own. With the strength of this criticism, he bought a new 1,260 gallon Diamond T Truck in 1938, adding another in 1939, and yet another in 1940. This prompted the employment of part-time drivers to maintain the fleet of trucks.
In 1940, Arlex Oil Sales became incorporated and took on the name Arlex Oil Corporation. By 1950 a modernized building was erected at 275 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington. It housed offices, the service department, and maintenance garage. The facility now employed 35 people, maintained a fleet of 32 trucks represented by delivery, service, and hauling vehicles, and contained an underground storage capacity of 120,000 gallons of home heating fuel to ensure ample supply during even the worst of weather conditions.
The Maloney family still owns the original truck purchased by Mr. Maloney and it is undergoing a frame-off restoration. Although the truck is no longer in service, the facility is still in full operation today. It is still family owned and operated by the second and third generations of the Maloney family. Currently Arlex Oil Corp. operates a fleet of 22 vehicles. They have 9 oil delivery trucks ranging in capacity from 2,700 to 5,000 gallons, 7 service vans, 2 oil tanker transports, and a wide array of support and light construction vehicles.
To this day, we still stand firm in the beliefs of Mr. Maloney, Sr. He believed in giving personalized service to each of our customers by providing reliable 24-hour emergency service built upon value, trust, and integrity.