Ridge Tool Co.
Issue Spring 13
Ridge Tool Co.’s (RIDGID) motto is “we build reputations,” which is a powerful ingredient for any type of business, but particularly important for Ridge Tool’s customers – tradespeople who rely on their reputation to get repeat business and grow.
By being mindful of just that, RIDGID has built its own reputation among its users over time – one that has seemingly paid off as the company celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
Headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, RIDGID started out in 1923 as a manufacturer of professional pipe working tools. Its first manufactured tool – the heavy-duty pipe wrench – caught on quickly with tradesmen of the day, garnering respect for its quality engineering and durability. Customer expectation grew from that early reverence, leading to a company commitment to engineering the highest-quality products possible – a pledge that continues to this day.
Acquired by Emerson Electric in 1966 and operating now in Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business unit, RIDGID has evolved from its humble start to become a leading manufacturer of more than 300 innovative tools and machines in more than 4,000 models and sizes. It serves the professional rental, plumbing, HVAC/R, utility, industrial, electrical, petroleum, institutional, commercial and hardware markets.
The company’s strength also has enabled it to break international barriers. With offices in more than 140 countries expanding throughout Central and South America, Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States, RIDGID is essentially everywhere its customers need it to be.
“Our success is in large part due to our customers and their expectations of us,” President Fred Pond explains. “We’re always listening and always looking for solutions to our customer’s needs because, in reality, our reputation really depends on theirs.
“As a result, we’ve consistently come out with some of the most innovative and reliable tools on the market,” he continues. “It’s a great partnership we share with them and we are enthused by what is in the development pipeline.”
In its own words, RIDGID has “the right machine for every job.” To meet clients’ needs, the company offers a variety of machines for drain cleaning, diagnostics and locating, pipe and tubing tools, power tools, air tools, and outdoor power equipment.
For drain cleaning and maintenance, the company offers the K-1000 rodder machine. This machine is capable of cleaning straight drain and sewer lines by driving sectional sewer rods through straight runs, ranging from 8 to 24 inches in diameter and up to 500 feet long.
The company is the world’s leader in technology for pressing equipment, such as the new RP 200 B press tool, used for copper, stainless steel and PEX tubing.
This technology enables the worker to accomplish tubing connections in those materials at increased speed, offering the fastest pressing tools in the industry, as well as increased reliability. The company’s hydraulic power pressing tools have maximum uptime, with batteries boasting the longest lifecycle in the industry.
The diagnostic and locating tools offer an easy way to locate utility lines and come equipped with the best-built, best-backed cameras and locators available on the market.
The Famous Calendar
One of the company’s most popular products is the RIDGID calendar, which the company has been publishing since 1935. In its early editions, the calendar featured work by George Petty, an American pin-up artist who created drawings of models posing with various RIDGID tools.
Famous models and personalities such as Raquel Welch, Kelly Monaco, Nikki Schieler Ziering, Brooke Burke, Cindy Margolis and Angelique Gorges have appeared on the pages of calendar over the years.
The family run business is planning to keep growing and offering high-quality tools for another 90 years. The next frontier is an expansion of its Asian market beyond its locations in Japan and China.