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Flying service

image L-R: Rocky Hill Equipment Rental Owner, Rocky Hill and Vice President, Wes Clark

SAN ANTONIO - It can get a bit confusing at times when you call Rocky Hill Equipment Rental, looking to speak with Rocky Hill and the voice on the other end answers “Rocky Hill.”





    President of Rocky Hill Equipment, Rocky Hill, on average of three times a day says he gets a chuckle when he answers the phone, “Rocky Hill” and the customer calling is asking for him and he replies, “this is Rocky Hill.”  “May I speak with Rocky Hill,” asks the caller. “This is Rocky Hill.”
    Rocky had every intention of carrying on the family business of dairy farming once he graduated from college.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for Rocky, the family closed the business just three months
before graduating.  What to do next?
    Growing up in dairy farming, Rocky knew equipment and went to work for a local trenching equipment supplier. After some time, he left and went to work for
another company and later started his own company renting trenching and rock
sawing equipment.
    With the help of his son-in-law, Wes Clark, who is vice president of Rocky Hill Equipment, the company has expanded beyond Selma, TX. “Our footprint has expanded from little ol’ Selma, TX,” says Clark.  “We specialize only in dirt equipment, trenchers, rock saws, dozers, etc. In the past five years, we expanded much further than San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos. Now we pretty much encompass Texas.”
    The oil business, as you can imagine, has really helped the company grow.  “There is a lot of trenching needed in the oil fields,” adds Clark.  “Part of the reason we go many places is because we have a specialized product.  Our niche and bread and butter are our trenchers and rock saws.  There are not a lot of people, especially with the nation-wide companies, that deal with just trenchers and rock saws.  They are high maintenance and require a lot of
service. Everybody has the backhoes and dozers but when you get into rock saws, there’s just not that many people that have the selection we have,” adds Hill.
    Having the selection is just one facet.  The other is to have the ability to service your equipment.  When you are a private shop with one location and you are servicing a big state like Texas, you have to
be committed to service. Rocky Hill has bridged that gap and is able to offer same day service by use of a helicopter. 
    “About three years ago when the oil fields got really busy, we had six or seven machines out there.  It got to be a bit of a hassle getting there because it was a day’s drive there and back, and that doesn’t
include the time you’re  working on the equipment so we bought a helicopter.  We fly out, service and make repairs on the equipment that is 125 miles or more from here,” says Rocky. 
    “The idea came about through brainstorming between Rocky and our service manager Andy, who is also our helicopter pilot. We’ve been doing this for three years now.  It’s been great because when someone calls, we don’t lose a guy for three days driving up there, fixing the equipment and then driving back. And our customer is not down,” adds Clark. 
    “It doesn’t solve all the problems, but
it takes care of about 80 percent. Bad weather and parts too large to carry in a
helicopter require traditional means.  Let’s put it this way; we rent a backhoe. They’re out there a dime a dozen. It’s the exact same one I have that they have.  The only advantage you have is service,” says Hill.
    Rocky Hill Equipment Rental is a heavy equipment rental company located in Selma, TX. -cmw

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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net