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Ring Power Celebrates 50 Years as Full-Line Caterpillar Dealer

Wed May 16, 2012 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Ring Power Corporation announced its 50-year, golden anniversary as a Caterpillar dealership.

In 1947, L.C. Ringhaver (better known as "Ring") moved south from Ohio to manage a small boat yard in St. Augustine, Fla. Ringhaver had previously worked as a cost accountant for two General Motors vice presidents named Codrington and Milton. Based on his job performance at Cleveland Diesel, Codrington and Milton convinced Ringhaver to move his family to Florida and help re-energize a boat building venture in which the two men had invested.

It was not long before Ringhaver advanced from manager, to partner and then sole owner of Diesel Engine Sales Company (DESCO). Ringhaver introduced mass production and assembly line techniques that turned a one-time small boat yard into the largest builder of shrimp trawlers in the world.

Many of DESCO's customers used Cat marine engines to power their shrimp boats. With these customers and his global export business in mind, Ringhaver bought the Cat engine dealership rights from Gibbs Shipyard of Jacksonville, Fla. Ringhaver's substantial success with Cat's marine engine line began the start of what would become a long and fruitful business relationship between Caterpillar Tractor Company and Ringhaver's new company Ring Power Corporation.

In 1962, Ringhaver was awarded the dealership of the full-line of Caterpillar earthmoving and power generation equipment. This expansion of Ring Power necessitated a move to a larger facility in Jacksonville, Fla. Branch locations in Ocala and Tallahassee, Fla., were also added.

For the next 14 years, Ringhaver grew and developed the North Florida Caterpillar dealership into a customer-focused, service oriented, successful enterprise. Ringhaver's two sons, Lance and Randy, grew up in the business and it wasn't long before they also held management positions at Ring Power Corporation

Upon L.C. Ringhaver's death in 1976, his eldest son, Lance Ringhaver, assumed leadership of the company as president and chairman, a role he would retain until his acquisition of the Central Florida Caterpillar dealership, Rozier Machinery, 10 years later.

In 1986, Caterpillar awarded the central Florida dealership rights to the Ringhavers. Lance Ringhaver moved to Tampa, Fla., to start a new dealership, Ringhaver Equipment Company, while Randy Ringhaver took leadership of Ring Power Corporation in Jacksonville.

For nearly two decades, both Cat dealerships continued to flourish, taking on new business opportunities and products such as an expanded power systems line, rental equipment operations, forklifts, cranes, air compressors and utility equipment, all backed by parts and product support.

In 2004, Ringhaver Equipment Company and Ring Power Corporation officially merged into one consolidated company with Randy Ringhaver as chairman and president of the new Ring Power Corporation. The combined Cat dealership territory now consists of 44 counties throughout north and central Florida.

As Ring Power Corp. celebrates 50 years as a full-line dealer of Caterpillar earthmoving, engine and material handling equipment, it is once again headquartered in St. Augustine. The central and northeast Florida Caterpillar dealer is comprised of eight divisions, that sell, service and support Caterpillar and allied equipment.

The company employs more than 1,600 people, primarily throughout north and central Florida, with specialized division locations throughout the United States.

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