While James set off on this new adventure, Ritterman Trucking continued under his dad and uncle's ownership. They handled all the trucking while James poured his energy into expanding the excavation side of the business. Ritterman Excavating officially opened on October 1st, 2019.
For James, the decision to get into excavating was an easy one. He wanted to take on more building projects and be a part of developing residential areas and construction sites. He saw the demand and was eager to meet it. "For me, it's like a kid in a big sandbox," James says. "When you get to see a project start as a pasture and then the dirt work built up and everything graded around it, it's like we are painting a picture with the earth."
The Rittermans have been loyal fans of Caterpillar machines since the 1950s, so it was a no-brainer for James to continue. "Quality and service are what matter," he explains. However, maintaining his equipment through regular service has been an essential factor in keeping the old and new machines up and running. Butler Service Technician Shane Green has played a key role in maintaining and servicing Ritterman's Cat fleet. "We totaled a track hoe one year, and we looked around at competitors, but Shane was the main reason we decided to stick with Butler and Cat equipment. Because of how good he was to us when that track hoe got totaled out."
One of the newest additions to James's equipment lineup is a 299 D3 Skid Steer Loader. Butler Machinery Store Manager, Kevin Walford, recommended it to boost productivity. "Kevin knows that as a small contractor, I need equipment that's not only top-notch but also tailored to my needs. When it's time for an upgrade, Kevin does his homework to ensure it's a smart investment. He's the best salesman I've ever had."
If you're thinking about starting your own contracting business, James has some down-to-earth advice – don't be afraid of hard work. Ritterman Excavating operates within a two-hour radius of York, North Dakota, and specializes in residential and commercial excavating.