P&Q Profile: Hammett Gravel Co.’s Tripp Hammett

By |  May 28, 2019

As the third generation to come through the established family business, Tripp Hammett is president and co-owner of Hammett Gravel Co., a central Mississippi producer that supplies both its home state and Louisiana. With production volumes of about 1 million tpy, Hammett expects 2019 to be another strong year for the industry.

Headshot: Tripp Hammett, Hammett Gravel Co.


As the president and co-owner of a family-owned business that’s been operating for more than 70 years, what has your career path been like?

When I graduated from Ole Miss, I knew I needed to start a career somewhere and, frankly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I moved back to Lexington (Mississippi) for a few months and realized I needed to get to work. I asked my father if I could come to work until I found something else to do, which is the funny part about it. Long story short, I came to work and never looked back. This will be my 15th year.

It feels like it’s flown by. I knew nothing and I learned from the ground up. I worked many a day in the gravel pit and am obviously still involved with our operations as much as possible, but I followed the ground-up format.

I don’t even think I had a title. I was just a basic employee. I was considered a salesman, to a degree, because I did spend quite a bit of time in sales, but I was doing a little bit of everything. I was trying to learn everything I could. We’re always learning, whether you’re 67 or 37 or whatever, you always are learning better ways to do things.

What generation are you in the company?

I’m the third generation. There are plenty [of family businesses] left, but the aggregate industry has become pretty corporate. Some family companies have survived.

We’ve been in business 78 years this year. It’s really a sense of achievement there because if you look, even globally, there’s a fraction of businesses that stay open for 78 years all within the same family.

Who in your family or company has mentored you?

My father has mentored me, and also Richard Hammett, a cousin of mine, who was our operations manager for decades. He’s retired. My father is still actively involved in the organization, but not like he once was.

Hammett Gravel Co. is located in central Mississippi. Photo courtesy of Hammett Gravel Co.

Hammett Gravel Co. is located in central Mississippi. Photo courtesy of Hammett Gravel Co.

Can you tell us about Hammett Gravel Co. and the nature of what you do today?

[We specialize in] sand and gravel for the ready-mixed and asphalt industries. The general rule of thumb for us is we produce approximately 1 million tpy of total material sold across the board.

Our mobile equipment is in the best shape it’s ever been in. It’s as updated as anybody’s can be. We’ve done an excellent job updating our mobile equipment, and we’re slowly but surely in the process of updating our plant equipment. Our mobile equipment is in peak condition and our plant equipment is headed in that direction.

We’ve been doing [droning] for about a year now. We use it for taking pictures and photos of the operations and sometimes we look at reclamation projects. We just wanted to experiment with it. We bought a fairly inexpensive drone and wanted to see how it worked for us.

We’ve benefited from it for our own personal reasons, whether it’s cool images or looking at reclamation projects. I can operate it, but typically our geologist is the one who flies it. But once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy to fly.

Have you attended any industry events recently?

I’m always doing state association functions. I’m the president of the Mississippi Concrete Association this year, and I sit on the board of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. So between those two associations alone, I’m always in and out of different industry events.

How has 2019 been thus far for Hammett Gravel Co., and what are your expectations for the rest of the year?

We all feel like demand is going to be high. The only thing limiting Hammett Gravel right now is rain, and it’s not just for us, but the rain has created issues for the construction industry in central Mississippi. You just got to roll with it and know it’s going to be burning hot pretty soon. It’s the nature of the business. You can’t control the weather, and you have to work hard when the sun shines. But it’s been as rainy as I remember it.


Best advice received: “Wake up early and write down your goals.”
Sports: Ole Miss Rebels
First job: Hammett Gravel Co.
Travel spots: Destin, Florida. It’s beautiful sand and water and a great place on the beach.
Hobbies: Family and running

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