Staying in touch with the demands of downtown Minneapolis’ road-building and mining equipment customers takes the grit and resiliency that the city is known for. Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment has been exercising such durability for over 80 years. In an effort to better serve these customers, Ruffridge is finally moving from their downtown location to a site 15 miles north of the city in Centerville, Minneapolis.
“A lot of our customers are coming from outside the area and a few of them are intimidated by driving in Minneapolis, especially to pick up or bring in equipment,” said Ruffridge-Johnson’s owner and CEO Jon Pederson. “We’re really excited about becoming a good community member up in Centerville.” The company’s downtown location closed its doors on May 3 and is currently moving to the new facility. Part of that moving process will include relocating their 15 employees.
Ruffridge-Johnson got its start in the 1930s when they began selling rock crushers to build Minnesota’s streets and highways. They opened their downtown location in 1936. The company’s founders were men who took great pride in serving customers’ needs. That tradition of service excellence continues today as the company utilizes the latest technologies to give their customers an edge over the competition.
A Minnesota native, Jon Pederson served in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam. Upon returning from his tour, he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead. In 1976, while studying abroad in Germany, he met his Moroccan-born wife in Paris. He is a peace warrior who has volunteered over the years on Minnesota-Norway projects, the Boy Scouts and Concordia Language Villages, a world-language and culture education program.
Ruffridge-Johnson founders saw the inherent value of AED membership, and the company has been a member for over 75 years. Its leadership team received a 75-year membership plaque at the 2018 AED Summit.
“The networking opportunities have always been what I’ve valued most about our company’s AED membership,” said Pederson. “Things have changed drastically since I first started going to AED conventions 40 years ago. Today there are a lot fewer dealers. We’ve seen a lot of other dealers go out of business in the past few years, so to be in business for 75 years is a big deal – and it’s a pretty classy plaque, too.”
One recent AED development that Ruffridge-Johnson is taking advantage of is the Small Dealer Conference. Tailored to deal with issues pertinent to small dealers, the conference is having its second annual meeting in New Orleans this November.
After attending the inaugural Small Dealer Conference last year, Ruffridge-Johnson President David Hosch said, “It’s refreshing to have subject matter that is tailored to smaller dealers. On top of that I find great value in being able to network with people that can relate to the challenges our business faces on a day-to-day basis.”
David Hosch recently became president of Ruffridge-Johnson after serving the company faithfully as VP for 15 years. A St. Paul Tech and University of Minnesota alumnus, Hosch is Pederson’s longtime business partner.
When asked about this year’s Small Dealer Conference, Hosch responded, “I’m looking forward to networking with my fellow dealers. Out of all the subject matter being presented, I’m most interested in talking about the new tax law and marketing for small businesses.”
Ruffridge-Johnson executives and employees are highly trained and committed to providing unrivaled product service and support. Keeping in tune with the issues that face other small dealers is a part of delivering on this commitment.
Hosch remarked, “We have been in business since 1936. The formula for making that happen has always been through developing personal friendships with our customers and taking care of our employees.”
Ruffridge-Johnson now offers a full range of road construction and aggregate equipment for sale and rental, including jaw crushers, cone crushers, aggregate screening and washing equipment, heavy construction equipment, and paving and asphalt equipment. They also offer service and repair for all of their equipment lines.