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Gregs Excavating

“It started in March of 1952,” said Greg Rayment, owner of Greg’s Excavating in Almena, Wisconsin. “I must have been born with a love for machinery. I was raised on a dairy farm and I liked the machinery end of the dairy more than the dairy end,” he laughed.

In 1972 at the age of 20, Greg began working as the sole employee for the township of Almena. “I had never sat in a grader, let alone make it work,” said Greg. It was during this time that Greg also began running his own business.

The Birth of Greg’s Excavating
In the spring of 1983, Greg purchased a John Deere 1010 Diesel A Crawler Loader with 250 original hours and began excavating on nights and weekends. “My little hobby grew for three years and the old pro in town came to me one day and said, ‘why don’t you buy me out so I can retire?’” Greg remembered. “After a few days of pondering and financing agreements, my brother quit over-the-road trucking and we joined forces to create Greg’s Excavating, Inc.” Although the brothers began small, during the next 20 years they grew to more than 20 employees. Three of those key employees are with the company today, Scott Peltier, Gary Miller, and Gerald Hatch. “We did city water and sewer, road and street construction,” Greg said. “In 2007 my brother retired and I bought him out so now it’s a sole proprietorship.” He continued, “Over all the years and all the machines I have owned, the John Deere Engine has never failed me… not once… other competitors’ engines have.”

In 2009 Greg and his team began mining frac sand in the winter to build the business even further. In fact, Greg was involved very early in the promotion of the frac sand business in Barron County. “The frac sand business has been great for my business; but the best part of my company is the trust we have built in our working area with the many farmers and businesses that rely on our many services,” Greg explained.

“We supply bedding sand for dozens of farms in our area. We do all of the snowplowing and summer road and ditch maintenance for two townships which have a total of 114 miles of roads. This winter has been a challenge for us. At times we’ve had seven single-axle plow trucks with wings, the grader, two big loaders, two skid steers, and pickups with plows going at the same time to keep people happy. But at the same time it has been a blessing.”

On the weekends in the summer you will see Greg shaping and maintaining tractor pulling tracks in the small towns in the area and at the County fair. “You need to diversify your business and equipment or you will be left behind,” he suggested. Even with the diversity of jobs and machines in Greg’s fleet, he knows that Nortrax is right there behind him. “Nortrax backs me up 110%,” said Greg. “I don’t have to worry about breakdowns because they have always been there with timely and friendly service.”

Behind the Scenes
Not only has Greg’s business been diverse, but his life has been as well. In the fall of 1970 he joined the Army National Guard and stayed active for 22 years. He retired out of the 724th Engineer BN as AN E-9 Command Sergeant Major.

He joined his hometown fire department in the fall of 1972 and was elected chief in 1985. He served as chief for 13 years until he decided to “retire and smell the roses.”

“I’m not sure how many roses I smell,” he laughed. “For the past two years we’ve been mining for a fral company. Our job is to remove 30 to 40 feet of the overburden then feed 60 to 70 feet of sand into the screen plant. We run six-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day and produce 4,000 to 6,000 tons per 24-hour day,” he explained.

Still a Family Affair
Greg and his wife, Linda, have one daughter, Michelle, who went to college to become a business administrator. When she graduated, Greg and Linda hired her full time and 21 years later, she is still with the company. The Rayment’s have three grandchildren who Greg hopes might continue in the family business.

“I don’t know if there is such a thing as the American Dream but if there is, I think I must be close to living it,” Greg said.

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