Freedom Of The Open Road

Freedom Of The Open Road
Richard Laton Retiring March 2024

On March 31, 2024, International Construction Equipment, Inc. will be celebrating an outstanding leader, mentor, and a true ICE® "original", Richard Laton.   

Mr. Laton is a North Carolina native and attended Parkwood High School in Union County. In fact, he is currently living within about 50 miles of his birthplace and is overly proud of his community, church and family who are all located nearby. In his Senior year of high school, Richard and his auto shop classmates built a drag racing car. Unfortunately, they never got to race it, but it did spark a passion in him, and he knew that working with his hands was in his future. During his early years, he expanded his horizons with blueprint reading and technical course work while he was also hands on learning to weld and doing fabrication work, absorbing as many learning opportunities as possible. Mr. Laton passionately believes that anyone who likes to tinker with mechanical sorts of things should be encouraged to attend technical courses to learn a trade. His love of understanding how things work has certainly served him well and he feels blessed to have found his home in pile driving at ICE®.  

Soft-spoken and humble, Richard Laton has been with International Construction Equipment, Inc. (ICE®) out of Matthews, NC for 41 years and he has earned respect of everyone that has ever worked with him and based on his ability to train and motivate those around him.  We believe there is a little piece of this big guy in all ICE® equipment made from 1983 to date. 

Through the years, Richard has seen a lot of growth and is proud to have been such a substantial part of building the equipment, company and industry.  He has watch product lines start and be decimated by Chinese knock offs and he has watched this innovative group rise to the top and keep building USA quality machines.  If you ask the guys that bought the original ICE® double acting diesel hammers, "where these hammers are today?"...  they will tell you - still working in their fleet.  And it is all thanks to those that assembled these great machines, like Richard Laton.  A great legacy to leave this industry! 

Richard found great excitement and happily took on the leadership role in our Power Unit Production, explains Christian Cunningham, ICE® CEO. Richard has always been so passionate about making a quality product.  His willingness to jump in and lead has been a real blessing. 

"The guys who actually get hands on and what I would call "make" the equipment are the shear strength of our company." - Pollyanna Cunningham, ICE® VP.  Yes, it takes an army of talented people from engineering, assembly to service and sales but honestly, it's how these folks work together that lends itself to superior results.  Richard Laton is one of those special team members that just adds the right amount of grit to get everyone motivated.  We are thankful he has shared his secrets with the team!  

Out of all the different roles Mr. Laton has played over the years, leading the power unit team and building a fantastic product is high on his accomplishment list. But he has been so much more to the ICE® team.  Richard would pitch in, and handle service work as needed.  He felt this gave him insight into building a better product.  When you can see what the customer is doing with the equipment, it allows you to add and remove barriers in the building of the unit.     

Many contacts from clients stay in touch with this talented mechanic, Richard Laton, including Michael McCormick from Pile Drivers Incorporated in Hollywood, SC who started working with Richard about 35 years ago.  

Mr. McCormick "always looked forward to discussions with Richard," and was thrilled to send Richard his best wishes on his upcoming retirement. According to Mr. McCormick, "Richard became a friend immediately" and if Micheal had a problem that Richard could not answer over the phone, Mr. Laton would be at the site first thing. "Richard was always very professional and knowledgeable of the diesel hammers; we had and would work his butt off to fix no matter what the issue was that we encountered." 

During his four-plus decades at ICE®, Richard has worn many hats because he would learn a position, enhance it, train the next guy and move on...  showing growth and grit all in one.  For the last several years, he has worked closely with ICE® Sr Design Engineer, Mike Douglas, focusing on research and development, along with training to enhance the team by providing expertise to help them avoid various problems and challenges by sharing best practices.  Mike Douglas expressed his belief that, "Richard has been instrumental in the growth of the hydraulic power unit".   

Mr. Laton not only trained folks the assembly techniques but he also had a special way of throwing in troubleshooting techniques that our team uses on both hydraulic and electrical systems. "He has been influential in our engineering, machining and service for his entire time at ICE®. His special soft-sell support and knowledge will be missed," noted Mr. Douglas.  

With much joy, Mr. Laton says that his proudest accomplishment is being married to his wife Wanda for the past 50 years and watching their two sons grow into fine upstanding men.  

He is also quite proud of being a part of ICE®, including all the equipment he has helped bring to life. Richard feels, and rightfully so, that he has helped the company and team grow by being on the ground floor and staying in touch with clients.  

For Richard's next adventure, he is looking forward to being able to enjoy his eight grandchildren, ranging from 5 to 15 years old, and spending more time with his loving wife Wanda.  

Mr. Laton is also looking forward to continuing his volunteer work with the church. Richard currently teaches Sunday school, every third Sunday at Wolf Pond Baptist Church right on the edge of South Carolina. This small country church is where he and Wanda married in 1973 and have attended faithfully since. He also is looking forward to getting more involved locally and helping his church with the Good News Club at the local elementary school. 

His patience and kindness are something he has tried to encourage in his children and grand-kids, reminding them to always, "Love your Mama, because she'll love you when nobody else does," and "try to help everybody, because you do not ever know what people are going through. Try to treat everybody like you want to be treated."   

Advice that Mr. Laton has for others: 

"If you are coming into manufacturing associated with the pile driving industry, number one, learn everything you can about electrical, hydraulics and diesel engines.... Always keep learning. Learn all you can from school and those around you. And, the stuff you don't know, know who you can ask. Push yourself to find the answer and have the grit to keep searching until you do find what is the the working answer. And most importantly, be honest, be kind and work hard at everything you do."  

When he isn't volunteering, Richard is excited to be taking afternoon rides on his Harley to enjoy the countryside.  

International Construction Equipment, Inc. is grateful to have had such an extraordinary team member on our team for these past 41 years. Our entire team sends well wishes on your upcoming retirement and many blessings to you and your family! You will truly be missed, Richard.  Thank you for your dedication and service.   

Richard, you are and will always be an integral part of the ICE® family. 


Media Contact-   
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA   
Vice President Marketing, Brand and Media Relations
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc   
Office - 704-821-8200   
Email -

Posted in ICE Team. Tagged as ICE Power Units, ICE Production Team, ICEUSA.

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