By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Following a very successful business year in 2011, the owners of RAM Group of Companies prepare for a repeat performance in 2012. Their latest venture is RAM Excavating Services.
RAM co-owners Rollie Radtke and Gregg Machemehl announced Jan. 1, they have partnered with Neil Kerkvliet in their newest company, which had previously been a division of RAM General Contracting.
“We, as owners, felt that Neil really deserved this opportunity to be an owner,” Machemehl said. “His hard work and dedication to growing the excavating side of our business has made us feel that he certainly deserves to be an owner and really benefit from how well this company performs and profits.”
Kerkvliet, who is from Lester Prairie, has been working with the RAM owners since they started building pole sheds out of their lumberyard in Waconia.
When RAM Buildings moved to Winsted’s industrial park in 2000, Kerkvliet moved with the business. He was made crew leader, and then crew supervisor.
“RAM is a good place to work and I always love doing my job here,” Kerkvliet said. He also acknowledged his appreciation for being given the opportunity to work his way up the ladder in the company.
Before RAM started providing excavating services in 2009, Kerkvliet found himself occasionally doing some of the excavating work on the job sites, which sparked his interest.
“Even when I was in the pole building side of things, there would be equipment on the site and if one of the guys (subcontractors) couldn’t make it, they would allow me to hop into their equipment and move something around if it needed to be moved,” Kerkvliet said.
“And then we (RAM) started excavating. This will be our fourth summer,” Kerkvliet said. “Doing the excavating makes things run smoother on our bigger jobs, because we have control over the excavators versus our subcontractors.”
According to Kerkvliet and Machemehl, offering excavating was a logical move for RAM because it provides another avenue to help their customers, and promote their company’s motto “Experience the RAM Advantage We can do it all.”
One of RAM’s excavating specialties is installing arena footings, according to Kerkliet. Using laser-guided grading, “You get a perfectly flat surface. We do all types of equestrian surfaces from start to finish.”
“In our larger commercial buildings, we use it to grade before concrete is poured. The concrete guys don’t have to grade it with a board anymore because it’s perfectly level,” Kerkvliet said.
RAM Excavating Services, located behind RAM offices in Winsted’s industrial park, does all kinds of projects, from small seeding projects up to complete site development.
• indoor/outdoor arena footings;
• riding trails;
• all-weather paddocks;
• seeding and fencing;
• water and sewer lines, and septic system;
• building pads.
With the addition of the excavating business, an office manager will be added to help Kerkvliet with the paperwork, and at least one new equipment operator will be added this summer.
To contact RAM Excavating, call (320) 485-2844 or (320) 224-8713 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The fax number is (320) 485-3625. www.ramexcavating.com
RAM Group of Companies is made up of four separate corporations employing a total of about 65 full- and part-time employees.
In addition to its newest excavating corporation, RAM Group of Companies includes:
• RAM Buildings, which designs and builds both post and steel frame buildings for storage, agriculture, equestrian, commercial, airplane hangers, and cabins;
• RAM General Contracting, which offers a one-stop source for complete building projects from start to finish; and
• RAM Landscaping which specializes in the landscape design and construction for upscale residential and commercial properties.