“The WA500s lower our costs’”
Fourteen years ago, Ryan Vlaco purchased a truck and an excavator and set up shop as Ryco Excavating Contractor, Inc. Frequently, that name is shortened to simply Ryco, Inc.
As one of his first orders of business, he hired Mike Diamond. “I bought a tri-axle dump truck and put my friend Mike in it,” recalled Vlaco. “He’s still my friend; we’re like an old married couple forced to deal with each other now.”
The duo toured around southeastern Massachusetts putting in septic systems and performing other small contracting projects. They soon learned about other opportunities and began screening loam and, in time, added sand and gravel. By 2010, Ryco had gradually transitioned into a material supply and excavation company.
“We found our niche eventually. No one pushed us, instead we just meandered that way,” shared Diamond, now the Director of Operations at Ryco. “Sometimes we remove overburden during a job, but mainly we import to sites. We offer many products to site-work and landscape contractors.”
Ryco take prides in delivering high-quality materials, and its reputation for such products has grown with the company. Today, the business employs 25 people and takes on a variety of assignments.
Doing it all
To obtain materials, Ryco often purchases properties, extracts the materials found at the site and ultimately develops the land for various uses, ranging from commercial to agricultural purposes, such as cranberry bogs.
Other recent projects range from removing 40,000 cubic yards of overburden in just 10 days for a gas station to importing 200,000 yards of fill for a project at the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth in nearby Weymouth, Mass. The firm trucked 5,000 yards of material per day and completed the contract weeks ahead of schedule.
“We’re service-driven rather than price-driven; and we do exactly what we say we’re going to do,” remarked Vlaco. “Everybody is willing to put in 80-hour weeks, if that’s what it takes to meet our customers’ needs.”
To keep up with his growing business, Vlaco turns to C.N. Wood Sales Rep Bob Rosa to purchase and lease equipment. Vlaco’s relationship with Rosa dates back to his elementary school days when Rosa sold equipment to Vlaco’s father, Kevin. “Bob would give me Christmas presents as a kid. They were die-cast machines; and I still have them to this day,” shared Vlaco.
Within the last 18 months, Ryco purchased three Komatsu WA500 wheel loaders and leased a Komatsu PC490 excavator. “Ryco is a low-stress environment with people like Bob and C.N. Wood supporting the company,” said Vlaco. “When I bought my last wheel loader, they had it here the next day. C.N. Wood goes above and beyond to facilitate any help we need.”
The Ryco team appreciates the trio of wheelloaders for their visibility, balance, strength and most importantly, productivity. “You can take a WA500 and put it next to a competitive machine, with both going into the same pile. With the Komatsu you get a nice heaping bucket – 13 tons. With the other machine you work harder just to get 11 tons or, if you are lucky, 12 tons,” reported Diamond.
That equates to added efficiency so that Ryco operators can load a dump truck in fewer passes. “If you fill 100 trucks a day, that makes a serious difference. The WA500s lower our costs with the quick turnaround and efficient load times,” noted Vlaco. Vlaco has also worked with Komatsu to purchase equipment. “Komatsu Financial is phenomenal,” he stated. “The process is seamless, and my credit application was approved before I got off the phone. There’s nobody better to work with.”
The firm also utilizes Komatsu CARE and KOMTRAX to keep its machines in top condition and limit downtime. “The satellite functionality of KOMTRAX has really simplified servicing our machines because the C.N. Wood technicians use GPS to locate our equipment when it’s working at remote sites that aren’t easily mapped,” said Diamond. “C.N. Wood technicians go out of their way to work around our schedule, so we aren’t down for long periods of time.”
While Vlaco plans to keep the company’s focus on moving earth and strengthening the relationships that Ryco has developed with its customers, he envisions moving into recycling material as the company continues to grow.
“The ABC industry is expanding out here,” remarked Vlaco. “As natural resources become scarcer, we want to be on the forefront of the transition to recycled material. Our experience in moving earth sets us up well to work with recycled products.”