by Leanne Loy
After shovels were passed around, the Traut family officially broke ground July 15 for construction of their company’s St. Joseph location.
Traut Companies, formerly known as Traut Wells, Inc. is a leader in the water industry. They offer a range of services including water well drilling, lawn irrigation, farm irrigation, water treatment, dual rotary, sonic and geothermal well drilling.
“My dad and his twin brother, Marvin and Melvin, started Traut in 1959,” said Mark Traut.
He said he never could have foreseen what this company was going to grow into.
“Looking back, Dave and I will often just think, how did this happen?”
Mark and cousin Dave came into ownership in 1982. Currently the company sits on five acres that it has outgrown. The new site will be on 13 acres with plenty of room to grow. The building itself will be about 24,000 square feet, compared to its current 13,000 square feet.
Traut said more people may be hired at the new place.
“We have 60 employees now and working in this industry,” he said. “They are amazing, every one of them. I wouldn’t replace any of them.”
When asked what his favorite memory is, Traut had this to say: “On our 35th anniversary our bookkeeper did a little skit for us. I ran a drill rig in 1981 and Dave fixed pumps. We knew nothing about running a business. So all we could do was look at the past business numbers. So our first meeting we said we are not gonna have any uncontrolled growth, we’re only gonna own one drill rig and our accounts receivable is never gonna get over $40,000.”
Traut currently owns 10 drill rigs and has a total of 80 fleet vehicles, attachments and trailers.
“It was a fun memory looking back to how naïve we were to what the possibilities were,” Traut said.
The company has purchased 40 acres of land, which will ensure that if the need arises, its employees will have the room they need to expand again.