Our Company History
Charles B. Leonard founded Philadelphia Tramrail Company, a manufacturer of monorails and meat track systems.
A young teenager named Robert Riethmiller was hired as a mechanic’s helper at the small Philadelphia iron shop located in the historic Fairhill section of the city. Over the course of the next 18 years, Robert Riethmiller learned how to run the business.
Charles B. Leonard passed away and the company was purchased by Robert Riethmiller
Robert Riethmiller’s son, Robert J. Riethmiller Sr., joined the company. Foreseeing the need for advanced engineering expertise, Robert J. hired his close friend, William J. Tier, a recent graduate engineer from MIT. Through their combined eorts they expanded the small Port Richmond plant to three buildings with 25,000 square feetand a workforce of 30 employees.
Robert Riethmiller retired leaving his son Robert J. Riethmiller Sr. to run the company.
A young Robert J. Riethmiller, Jr. graduated from Villanova University and joined the company with a strong desire to help his father expand Philadelphia Tramrail Company to a position of leadership. In 1968 Robert Riethmiller died suddenly which led to his son Robert J. Riethmiller Sr.’s decision to retire early at the age of 54. Robert J. Riethmiller Jr, who liked to be called “Bob”, was now in charge of the family business.
Bob was confronted with the fast expansion of the new technology of cryovacing meat and the elimination mof the need for meat cutters and meat track systems in supermarkets and processing centers. Bob actively solicited ideas from the purchasing agents at the supermarkets that were purchasing meat track systems from Philadelphia Tramrail Company and in 1970 was presented with an idea from Harry Lamont of Food Fair Stores which would change the direction of the Company.
The company immediately proceeded with the engineering and manufacturing of hydraulic vertical balers. In 1972, at the suggestion of ACME Markets, Philadelphia Tramrail Company began to manufacture and service stationary compactors in addition to vertical balers. The order backlog grew so quickly that the company outgrew the capacity of its current manufacturing facilities. In 1973, Philadelphia Tramrail Company purchased the 125,000 square feet Jorgensen steel Facility at 2207 E. Ontario St. in Port Richmond Philadelphia.
In 1994, Mike Savage (Bob’s Son-In-Law) left a sales career in NYC to join PTR. Mike started as a National Account Executive and was promoted to General Manager, VP of Sales and then Executive Vice President over the course of the next 13 years. PTR emerged as a national leader of recycling and waste equipment with a large market share of retail and food-chain accounts.
Eric Riethmiller, (Bob’s youngest Son) who was working for Microsoft after graduating from Scranton University, joined PTR. Eric started as PTR’s Northeast Regional Sales Manager and grew the company’s sales in both equipment and service in the region. Eric’s experience in both the sales and service entities allowed him to expand PTR’s business model as a “Total Solution Provider” to our customers.
PTR grew rapidly over that time, expanding nationally and established its National Service Division in 2002.
At the close of 2007 PTR celebrated 100 years of American steel manufacturing and Robert Riethmiller Jr. retired. As a result of their history of success, Mike Savage was promoted to President and CEO of PTR and Eric Riethmiller was promoted to Vice President of Sales. The company has continued its rapid expansion and has consistently grown an average of 8% over the last ten years. Today PTR is one of America’s leading manufacturers and service providers in our industry. With tens of thousands of units operating in the U.S and international markets, PTR is a national leader in providing top quality products and services to our customers. PTR’s national
PTR opened a new manufacturing and service facility in Plant City, Florida to fulll the ever growing need for PTR equipment and services.