The team at RAM Trucking can haul almost anything: steel goods, paper mill rolls, Christmas trees, live bees and even a rhinoceros. You name it and they’ve likely run across it.
Established in 1983 but purchased by its current owners in 2002, RAM Trucking has built an impressive reputation for being an honest and effective company to work with and for. The Brownsville-based company, owned by Dale Latimer and Dale Middlestadt, operates across the nation, servicing more than 1,000 customers.
Three different organizations—RAM Trucking, RAM Transportation and RAM Logistics—operate under the parent company of RAM Trucking, managing a total of 70 trucks and 52 employees. Roughly half of these employees work directly for RAM, while the others are owner-operators who drive their own trucks under contract.
Steve Wimer, RAM’s CFO, noted that diversification and high levels of employee retention have given the company stability and growth. A dearth of qualified drivers in the industry makes RAM’s retention rates even more impressive.
A former employee said this about RAM on business review site Glassdoor: “[The] owners are very honest and forthright. [You] always know they are doing their very best to keep drivers working. [The] driver turnover is low in an industry known for high turnover rates.”
Until the economic recession in 2008, RAM primarily dealt with wood products. Since then, however, the company has invested in a wide variety of transportation options, including climate-controlled trailers and wheel configurations ideal for “long load” hauls. RAM also maintains its own team of mechanics, completing 99% of its maintenance and repairs in-house.
“If you have good equipment and are willing to invest in new equipment, you’re going to be able to retain good people,” Wimer said.
Wimer explained that whenever possible, they keep trucks in a four to five year cycle, which keeps repairs safe and feasible. RAM recently invested in a new “heavy haul” truck that features a manual transmission with an electronic shifter and limited emissions. This will enable drivers to take heavy loads to California, which maintains strict emissions laws.
Another important investment, a satellite mapping system, has proved invaluable. Employees in the dispatch center can now see exactly where drivers are located and better map out pick-ups and routes. The dispatch group works tirelessly to coordinate schedules, manage dozens of drivers, and pitch creative solutions for client requests. Every load represents a team effort.
“I would say the key to our success has been that we’ve managed to find good people and retain them and that’s really all it boils down to,” Latimer said.
Wimer concurred, but gave additional credit to the leadership of Latimer and Middlestadt. Both residents of the Lebanon area, Latimer and Middlestadt are heavily involved in the surrounding communities. The co-owners have long supported organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, 4-H and FFA.
“Having two individuals that are good to work for goes a long way,” Wimer said.
And if you and your business are looking to build long-term success that echoes that of RAM Trucking, contact your local BC+S office today. Financial stability and success begin with smart planning and accounting. We have the right people to get you there.