For half a century, the family behind NexGen Crane & Rigging has been an industry leader in manufacturing large and unusual vessels for the chemical and petroleum industries.
Today, five decades later, and now in its third generation, NexGen is led by COO Brent Thompson and CEO Barry Thompson. Based out of Hamilton, Mississippi, we’ve recently opened a second location in Athens, Alabama, to lend a hand to the progress currently taking place in Limestone, Madison, and Morgan Counties.
“Our company is built on honesty, safety, and excellence in our field,” said Brent. “Those are traits we’ll carry with us no matter where we are working.”
Bill Thompson started back in 1972 as Bill’s Welding Shop. With the right skills and an unflinching work ethic, and perhaps most importantly, the vision, it was only a matter of time before his company began to grow. He saw an opportunity in oil field services during times of high natural gas production and grabbed it. Thompson’s Oil Field Services was born. And eventually Thompson’s Welding Service (TWS). From there, Bill never looked back.
His sense of vision continued to evolve with the next generations – with his sons and his grandson. As the company’s capabilities expanded, a new idea was born.
After years of having to hire out to other crane companies for jobs TWS was conducting in Mississippi, we made the ultimate decision that would lead to the inception of NexGen Crane & Rigging. That was to purchase our own equipment and enter the crane industry; we already had staff who could operate them.
That first crane enabled us to commence operations in the North Mississippi market where we worked hard to establish ourselves by delivering safe and reliable results. Since officially beginning our operation in May 2018, we have been fortunate to shift from one or two jobs here and there to a larger scale operation that allows the company to service commercial clients throughout North Mississippi and now Alabama.
We trust our team. NexGen’s employees were hired for two reasons: 1) they’re exceptional human beings and 2) they’re exceptionally skilled in their particular fields. We know that they go to work everyday with the mindset of doing what is best for the customer.
“People want to be trusted,” said Brent. “People want the responsibility.”
Without trust and responsibility, there’s no room for employees to learn and grow, no matter the industry they’re in or the company they work for. The executives of NexGen Crane & Rigging work really hard to earn employee trust. It’s imperative they demonstrate that trust is a two-way street and acknowledge that the entire team is doing what’s best for the customer and the company on a daily basis. This type of relationship, known as “decentralization” in the business world, has afforded us the ability to create growth and solidarity within the company.
Safety is Paramount
Safety is paramount in our company and among our employees. In fact, we strive to establish safety measures to ensure everyone is working in the best possible conditions no matter the job.
“We’re constantly telling our team, ‘If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it,’” said Brent. “Stop what you’re doing, let’s regroup, and figure it out together.”
All new hires go through an onboarding process with our safety director. It’s important they continuously observe experienced operators so they can understand our processes better while learning about what’s expected within the culture of this company right off the bat.
Additionally, we gather regularly as a company to evaluate our safety regulations. This is a great refresh for the whole staff, especially when new equipment is involved. It also helps bring our office personnel into the fold of what we’re doing and where we’re working. After all, there is safety in numbers. And the more members of our team who know and understand the work we’re doing, the better off we are as a unit.
The more we invest in safety, the better the outcome for our customers and our company. We know that long before a potential customer picks up the phone to call us about a job, they’re going to do their research. Customers want to hire a crane company with a clean safety record. And our track record to date is a testament to the safety measures we have in place. It’s exemplary.
Carrying the Load
We specialize in crane operations that span several industries and can work on just about any type of terrain. Essentially, no job is outside of our capabilities thanks to our all-terrain and rough terrain cranes, as well as those who operate them.
And thanks to one of our newest additions, a self-erecting tower crane – we now have the ability to work on taller, and sometimes more complicated, structures. Imagine a five-story apartment building with a courtyard. This particular crane is set up in the courtyard, where it can get very close to the building and literally reach every inch of it.
We also provide transportation solutions. With our cranes, we can lift most anything. And with our fleet of trucks and trailers, we can transport just about anything anywhere. Our operators are highly skilled and well trained. We know the regulations and permitting process and the varying Department of Transportation (DOT) rules. We maintain personal contact with state and local agencies as well. All this to ensure smooth delivery.
We’re adept at innovative rigging solutions. Oftentimes these solutions are deployed for complex projects, such as getting large, heavy, and sometimes awkwardly shaped objects in and out of tight-fitting spaces.
Ultimately, we see ourselves as problem solvers. No matter the complexity, we approach each job with the right people and our state-of-the-art equipment to ensure safety and efficiency from start to finish.
As a company, we constantly look to the future without ever forgetting our past. Our evolution from a one-man welding shop to a full-service crane company is not something we’ve taken for granted. In fact, it’s why we donate our time and resources to the communities in which we operate. And strive to be an integral part of the progress.
So, if you see us out and about, please say hello. We look forward to serving the fine folks of North Alabama… and beyond.