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Made in Valdosta: Hunt Industries

January 26, 2015

Valdosta Daily Times, Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stuart Taylor

VALDOSTA — Hunt Industries started with a handful of pickup trucks, trailers and welding machines, but it has grown since then.

Before starting Hunt Industries, Terry Hunt was the general manager of a soy processing plant.

“They wanted me to take over the southwest division, which is housed in Marks, Miss.,” said Terry Hunt.

Rather than move, Terry Hunt — who had worked as a machinist throughout college and handled construction projects while working as an engineer for Gold Kist — decided to go into business for himself.

But as fate would have it, he was still heading to Mississippi.

“First job I got was a purchase order from Goldkist to rebuild a soy processing plant in Mississippi,” he said.

At the time, the soy processing industry was taking off, supplying Hunt Industries with a steady stream of work in its first three years.

Since, Hunt Industries has grown, moving into Big Noise Industrial Park in 1994 off Perimeter Road.

While the company is still involved with agricultural projects, it has diversified since it started.

“We work in several different sectors so we’re never locked into one,” said Craig Hunt. “We made that mistake a long time ago, so we try to spread ourselves out to follow what’s making money.”

Today, Hunt Industries, along with sister companies Advanced Rental and Advanced Vessel and Alloy, is involved in a variety of industries, from working on paper mills, saw mills and power plants to chicken hatcheries, rock quarries and wood pellet plants.

Advanced Rental offers cranes, tractors, forklifts, aerial equipment tractors, among others, while Advanced Vessel and Alloy is a metal and steel fabrication company.

While customers can purchase AVA’s services independently of Hunt, one of the big draws is the ability to take advantage of Hunt Industries’ vertical integration and go to one place for fabrication and installation.

“We use our own forces and our own forces have been with us a long time,” said Joel Hunt. “A lot of time it’s our people that are the reason we get more work. We have customers request particular people from our company because they liked working with them in the past.”

AVA’s steel work ranges from working on steel beams to working on steel tanks.

“Flat plates come in for tanks. We’ll roll those up, form them, weld on all the nozzles, piping and other equipment they need,” Joel Hunt said.

While Hunt Industries extends to Europe and Asia, the majority of its work is focused in the southeastern United States.

Hunt has worked on a local jail and area 911 Center, as well as a hospital and a few different churches in town.

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