Inside the new-look Hammett Gravel

By |  February 26, 2024
Says Michael Arnemann, vice president of Hammett Gravel: “Successful companies – our competition and our customers – are raising their levels of sophistication, technology and efficiencies. If we want to be able to keep up with our customers and compete with our competition, we have to raise our level or we’ll fall behind.” Photo: Hammett Gravel

Says Michael Arnemann, vice president of Hammett Gravel: “Successful companies – our competition and our customers – are raising their levels of sophistication, technology and efficiencies. If we want to be able to keep up with our customers and compete with our competition, we have to raise our level or we’ll fall behind.” Photo: Hammett Gravel

The transformation of Hammett Gravel is well underway.

Now fully under the ownership of Tripp Hammett, the third-generation owner of the Mississippi company, Hammett Gravel has been reimagined with new plants, new equipment and new people.

As Hammett describes, the company operated under a consistent structure for decades. But within a 48-month period, Hammett Gravel became “a whole new entity” in terms of where operations reside within its markets – and more.

Employee retirements were one factor that precipitated the company’s ongoing transformation. And as longtime employees stepped away, Hammett himself was in the midst of buying out the company’s business partners.

So, while today’s Hammett Gravel operates under a similar business model as always, Hammett says the company has created a new culture and built brand-new sites through greenfielding efforts.

“We’ve really made some big investments that we’re excited about – even with our [83]-year-old history,” says Hammett, the president of Hammett Gravel who became sole owner of the company in 2021. “There were some huge investments made, and we’re excited about our markets and what the future holds.”

History & the new course

Hammett Gravel took on its current form in 1941 when Harold Hammett Sr., Tripp’s grandfather, established the company alongside business partner Heyward Green.

Harold Hammett Jr., Tripp’s father, ventured into the business in 1969 and became company president in 1976. Tripp followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming Hammett Gravel president in 2011.

The last several years at Hammett Gravel have looked and felt somewhat different, though. The company started to take on its new shape during COVID, Tripp says, with Hammett Gravel finishing a new plant installation during those years.

The addition of vice president Michael Arnemann has also been key to Hammett Gravel’s transformation.

“Michael started in January 2022 as my right-hand man/executive-type figure,” says Tripp, who met Arnemann when the two were students at the University of Mississippi. “He has helped me tenfold with upgrading a lot of our systems and becoming as digitized as we can across the board. We’re starting to hit our stride, but we’ve got a lot of work to do from an organizational standpoint.”

Before joining Hammett Gravel, Arnemann served the Mississippi Asphalt Pavement Association as executive director for four years.

“Tripp called me one day,” Arnemann says. “He told me the plan of the expansion and how he needed a right-hand [person] to help him with the transition and bring the culture to a new level.”

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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