Royals was formed in November , 1995 , with one employee, Rick Royals and a brand new 1995 F-450 single axle truck.”I had lost my job of 16 years back in June of 1990 . I worked with a local paving contractor for 3.5 years and then traveled selling a Cold Patch Asphalt Product. Both opportunities ended mainly because of little growth opportunity and the Cold Patch Product Company filed Bankruptcy because of an embezzling Partner”. Embarrassed, disappointed, and confused, I realized I could not carry my career on my own shoulders any longer. If I was going forward in providing for my wife (of 22 years at the time) and two middle aged kids, I HAD to let God lead me.
“I promised Him from my knees, that I would not take another step until I knew it was at His encouragement. I can clearly remember getting up from this prayer beside my bed and realizing I had made a very scary promise to the Most Powerful Man I Know , Jesus Christ ! “The following week, the pressures grew on me as I often thought, “What if I don’t hear or sense anything?”
Each day, the pressure grew stronger. Patty and I went to dinner one Thursday Night with some of our good friends at Carrabba’s in Mini-City. It was at this dinner that one of my wife’s best friends, a beautiful redheaded lady, leaned across the table and chewed me up one side and down the other because of my attitude. She challenged me to “get off my rear end” and realize that I was meant to own my own company. She reminded me that I knew so many folks in the industry, mainly because I had been local since 1975. Well, I left dinner that night and did not sleep. I realized that “God was a redhead” that night!!
I got up the next morning and headed to Tripoint Ford, where I bought the F-450. I was off and running. I went to see an old friend, Mr. Bobby Massey, at CP&L that afternoon. I told him I was in business and he slammed his fist on the desk and said “It’s about time you got going!” I walked out of his office with 5 small jobs to do.”I made a big decision, at the outset, to not focus on advertising or marketing. “I still, to this day, do not have a Yellow Page Listing!”
I decided to instead, focus all of my energy on hiring good people and go beyond the “Call of Duty” on every project I worked on. I firmly believe one of our biggest problems in the world today is a lack of service. “It’s everywhere we look”. I strive to do a perfect job on every project and if I failed, I would make it up to the customer somehow. I would leave a project with it looking better than it was when I arrived. One of my biggest challenges in this business is getting my employees to do all of their work the same way.
My first employee was hired in February of 1996. By this time, word was spreading. “I would go into North Ridge to do a 5 Foot section of Sidewalk in front of someone’s house. They would always come out and ask what I was doing and ask me to repair their driveways”. There were times , I would end up doing 3-4 driveway repairs before leaving the area. “I was living a dream”. For 8 years, I continued to mainly do concrete work and some asphalt repair. In 2002, I was asked to do a very nice parking lot at Southeastern Seminary behind the Student Union. This was the largest experience I had in having to rent equipment. “I even subcontracted the Timber Edgings to Seminary Students, who really appreciated the work!!”
We continued to grow at a steady pace. By 2003, I had 12 employees. My wife had started working in the business by this time. She saw me working 12-14 hour days, eating dinner, and working on plans at the dinner table until 11:00 most nights. She started typing proposals for me and doing some light accounting. To this day, she is still at my side. She is now President of the Company, mainly because she is a much better business person than I am.
Our son, Tim, was working part time in 2003. It was at this time that we stumbled in to the Milling Business.”There was only 1 machine in Raleigh at the time”. There was quite a bit of Highway Work going on and only one company to do the Milling and Patching.” We bought our first machine in February of 2003″.This was a HUGE step for us.”It changed the direction of where we were going”. “We eased our way out of the Concrete Markets which were extremely competitive, and focused more on the Highway Mill and Patch Market. Within 4 years we had 3 machines and 25 employees. God was Good !!”
There were many bumps along the way , but looking back , most of those challenging times, I realize, were times I grabbed the wheel, and lost my focus on realizing that God was in control and not me! “Towards the end of 2005, I was introduced to an organization called Jobs For Life. Royals Contracting became a Business Partner. I began a fabulous journey with this Ministry which I discovered, changed ME more than anyone else. Their main focus was in helping local Churches and other organizations train and develop the Unemployed and Underemployed”. Pat and I taught our first class at Trinity Baptist where we just recently graduated our 10th Jobs For Life Class!! “This ministry has taught me to look atpeople differently.”
“Henceforth, we look at our own employees in a totally different way today “.We have very little turnover and I take great pride in the fact that we have Supervisors that started with us as much as 12 years ago. These folks came to work with us as laborers and unskilled workers.
Today , we are challenged with a somewhat down economy. We have managed to survive the “brunt” of the last 3-4 years and feel very fortunate. We manage a very large fleet of equipment and run 5 Milling Machines ranging from a 3 Ft. to a 6 Ft. Drum. This year alone, we have worked from one end of the State of North Carolina to the other. We currently have 55 employees and remain doing what we have always done in Highway Milling and Patching and Commercial and Residential Paving and Concrete work. God is still in control and we strive to understand this better every day.
“I look back over the past sixteen and a half years, and am amazed at how far we’ve come. I realize I am surrounded with an amazing group of faithful people who believe in what I believe in. It is a pleasure to come to work each day and know that this Team that God and I have assembled over the years, are all winners and realize who is in control. We all take things a day at a time, but all have faith that our future together is bright!! It’s all in His Hands !!”
Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about our history. I would more than welcome you to call me at any time do discuss any of this in greater detail. My direct Office Number is 919.847.3811 ext. 100.