Rising with Ram Jack
Since opening shop in the early eighties, the foundation of the Ram Jack business has been serving customer satisfaction. Removing any anxieties one could have regarding their home foundation, Ram Jack is able to provide honest and straightforward advanced solutions.
Founded and operated by Steve Gregory, his son Darren, and grandson Randon, today Ram Jack is located in 38 states, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Puerto Rico. With 24 franchises, 32 dealerships, and three family owned locations, Ram Jack is a force to be reckoned with.
Tracing back to its roots, the story starts in 1975 after Steve graduated from college and joined his father’s small pest control company in Ada, Oklahoma. Working alongside his father for the following 15 years, the Gregory’s treated infested areas while also providing foundation repair due to termite damage. Finding vast opportunity in the foundation repair industry, Steve switched his focus to solely foundation repair. Experimenting with steel piling in the early eighties, in 1985 he founded the first Ram Jack patent: the dual cylinder driving method, a game changer in the industry, Ram Jack became one of the first companies capable of putting steel in the ground.
With their own proprietary companies established in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, in 1996 the Gregory’s decided to open a dealership. “This was our way of franchising the business without all the regulations and stipulations that come with franchising,” Steve Gregory explains. Then, in 2008 Ram Jack began franchising the business. “We wanted to enforce territorial jurisdictions to promote branding of the Ram Jack name, as well as offer complete company coaching,” he says. While the business operated under the Ram Jack name prior to 1996, it was then in commission as a single entity piling business. “In the early days of the foundation industry businesses were using a lot of techniques that didn’t work and our competitors were not approaching their projects in a scientific engineered fashion,” Gregory explains. “On the other hand, we were testing all our equipment in the field while running calculations.” Recognized by the International Code Council Evaluation Services, Ram Jack was the first to set the standards for the industry.
More than simple home and commercial foundation repair, Ram Jack also offers services in wall tie backs, new construction, bridges and boardwalks, pedestrian bridges, tower/guy anchors, light poles, sign supports, pipelines, and bulkheads. Ram Jack’s repair methods and unique piling solutions provide the strength and stability that can only be found in the best American steel. With the ability to provide fast installation and a strong pile with the use of The Ram Jack® driving head, this tool delivers rapid power to long sections of piling. The Ram Jack system incorporates dual rams that drive deeper into permanent strata with their Hydraulic Rams, and uses proprietary variable-length guide sleeves, which are preferred by engineers and designed to stiffen the piling in less-compacted surface layers.
Experienced projects of all sizes, Ram Jack constructed the largest solar field in the world in 2011, located in Arizona. Following this achievement, the company then built another the following year in California’s Mojave Desert. Working in correspondence with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Ram Jack installs steel pilings, stabilizing structures and in many cases, raising structures in storm areas. Using the patents and proven systems, Ram Jack is able to service the coastal regions so that customers can be protected under FEMA. “FEMA requires homes to be raised above the storm surge to offer insurance. We’re able to lift and raise homes either on their wood post foundations with the structure on the pile, or raise them and construct a permanent foundation under them,” Gregory says, explaining that Ram Jack performs these processes in a way that will sustain lateral loads caused by storms, while also working economically to stay within the budget of the homeowner. Averaging one new patent a year and with 20 patents for advanced designs under their belt, it’s easy to say that Ram Jack gets foundation repair methods.
Today Ram Jack is seeking industrious, energetic individuals to join the team. Candidates must possess the essential start-up equipment for their business, however Ram Jack provides financial assistance for more specialized tools. Franchise owners must have experience in the contracting industry and working with the public, or business experience. Franchisees will also need office supplies such as computers for forensic analysis, as well as a warehouse location.
Those interested in becoming a Ram Jack franchise owner should contact the company to fill out an application. Potential candidates will then meet with the team to undergo an interview procedure. Here they will be exposed to all the processes, discover everything the company has to offer its partners, and develop a business plan. If both parties agree the company is a good fit for the candidate, plans are made to finalize the FA, begin training, and marketing.
Ram Jack franchisees are given comprehensive training in operations, installations, and marketing. Attending both classroom training in the Ram Jack University to learn the company’s proprietary software, tracking, and management, franchisees also undergo in-field training. The entire process is broken down into various stages including two weeks dedicated to company sales and two weeks focused on production. “Franchisees receive a manual and individual instruction. We give them all the tools, equipment and training needed to hit the ground running. They just need the ambition to do it,” Gregory says. The interesting thing about the training is it’s ever expanding and they company is continuously striving to go forward with better training and new product lines. Ongoing support is available to franchisees through regular seminars hosted throughout the country, as well as an annual convention. Company engineers are also assigned to assist local engineers in their area, and help build on-order custom designs for jobs when required. “Ram Jack gives much more support than any other related company in this industry,” he adds.
Marketing its brand through television commercials and radio advertisements, Ram Jack also boasts a well ranked website. Gaining exposure through various public relations teams, a unique marketing tactic of the company’s is to offer credit in return for branding. “We’re liberal with how we market, for example we’ve exchanged store credit for city bus ads,” Gregory says, explaining how it encourages branding the company name. The company also holds an array of print materials, including brochures geared toward specific industries such as real estate, engineers and contractors.
The cost of a Ram Jack franchise is $35,000 and covers one protected territory. Territories are determined by marketing areas as recognized by media stations. While areas can range in population and geographical size, each territory usually contains around 300,000 households. Taking into account the cost of all equipment, the total franchising cost runs between $199,000 and $240,000 according to Ram Jack’s FDD. “We’re more interested in finding the right individuals well suited to the industry. We’re consistently looking for better ways to finance franchisees and get their businesses up and going,” Gregory says, adding that within 12 months the business is paying it’s own way so that franchise partners are not continually investing their personal funds. Ram Jack is currently looking to expand in the Florida and California markets, as well as develop throughout the northeast. “We’re not looking at the number of franchisees we add, but the quality of the people who invest. We want to give franchisees as much opportunity and support as possible to make sure they are successful- their success is our success,” he says.
Taking into consideration that most metro areas are fully developed, many homes and buildings are today being constructed on less desirable land. The ability to get the foundation built right on the front end has become more challenging. “Many times if the foundation is not forensically investigated and done with proper engineering in the beginning, it’s going to need to be repaired,” Gregory says. “Ram Jack’s number one criterion is that the process has to work 100 percent of the time, we don’t tolerate failure. We design, test and retest our products with engineer calculations to ensure the product will do what it’s suppose to do.”
When comparing other foundation businesses to Ram Jack the difference is not only the insurance in their high quality patented products and branding of the universal name, but also the support of having protected territories and top-notch operations. “We’re superior in engineering and our ability to custom design, manufacture and ship products in a short period of time is impressive,” Gregory says, explaining that all products are evaluated by the International Code Council. One of Ram Jack’s more recent developments is increasing its manufacturing facilities to accommodate extremely large projects, including an entire facility dedicated to powder coating all materials. This powder coating gives the product an advantage of being eco-friendly. With plenty of opportunity to join the multi-faceted company, its close knit family team, and its association of independently organized dealers, franchisees will benefit from access to volumes of information, dedicated field trainers, and the highest rated product on the market. “We’re not the largest and we don’t plan to be the largest, but want to be the best”
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