While unrelated J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy epic, Ring Power aims to conquer and rule the market for Caterpillar equipment. The CAT distributor, one of the largest in the southeastern US, sells and leases earth-moving and mining equipment, specialized machines (paving and road surfacing, lifting and material handling, and tractors), generators, and electric power engines. Through some two dozen locations, it serves a diverse group of industries, including heavy construction, road building, agriculture, recycling, waste management and landfill maintenance, government, and industrial power. Ring Power also handles machines made by Kalmar, Manitowoc, Grove, and others. It is owned by RPC Inc., a holding company.
Ring Power has grown to more than a dozen divisions, each specializing in a market application of Caterpillar machinery and equipment. Despite the broad spectrum of customers served, the company has struggled amid an economic downturn that mired commercial construction activity and, consequently, equipment rentals. It was forced in 2009 and 2010 to cut its workforce by about 30% (the first time in its nearly 50-year history), as well as downsize its fleet through auctions conducted by Ritchie Bros.
Ring Power was founded as a CAT engine dealership in 1961 by L.C. Ringhaver. His sons, Lance and Randal, joined the business and helped to drive its growth to a full line equipment provider. Lance in 1986 purchased CAT's central Florida territory and launched Ringhaver Equipment. The two companies merged in 2004. The deal expanded Ring Power's territory in Florida, and added 15 branch locations. It also opened the door for Lance to retire from his job, remaining on as RPC chairman emeritus. Randal retains the chairman and president's seats at Ring Power. – less