Surry Business

For and about business in Surry County, N.C., including Dobson, Elkin, Lowgap, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy

Surry Business random header image

Crescent Manufacturing grows in Pilot Mountain

August 17th, 2007 · No Comments

From Dennis Lowe, Surry Community College Small Business Center

Remember the bumper sticker “Keep On Truckin’?” Surry County residents Brady and Helen Jones epitomize that phrase. You can see it in their Surry County startup company, Crescent Manufacturing Inc.

Brady Jones has long been affiliated with the trucking industry. His introduction came in 1963 when he started working on an assembly line with Miller Trailers in Bradenton, Fla., a company that produced “piggy back” trailers and truck bodies designed to coordinate with the railway system. Having ambition and drive, Brady moved through the ranks to plant manager overseeing a workforce of 600. After accomplishing his goals at Miller, Jones moved on to management positions with other transportation-related entities including Theurer, a manufacturer of chassis and sea-going containers used by Sealand, and Great Dane, the largest trailer manufacturer in the United States. During his career, Jones oversaw the start-up of six different manufacturing plants. He retired in 2002.

Brady and Helen Jones were not ready for a sedentary retirement. Having settled in Mount Airy, and concerned with the area’s loss of jobs, they yearned to use their experience to put people to work and add vitality to the local economy. Brady began putting together a business plan that involved much thought, number crunching, and conversation with former colleague, Revis Barrow.

Brady envisioned a facility to manufacture trailers, but not just any trailers. He wanted to produce trailers that would load and unload themselves. His trailers would have “live” floors capable of moving product within the trailer at the push of a button. While production took place in Surry County, Barrow would market the trailers in Georgia.

When Jones was ready for a second opinion, in April 2006, he took his business plan draft to the Surry Community College Small Business Center for review. We encouraged Brady to proceed with his plan.

The project began to take shape in October 2006 when they leased a building on Nelson Street in Pilot Mountain. Crescent Manufacturing Inc. recruited and trained employees in product assembly and in quality and safety procedures with assistance from Bennie Harris, director of the Industrial Training Program at Surry Community College. The first specialty trailer was completed and shipped from the Pilot Mountain facility in March 2007.

The company had 10 employees earlier this summer when it had produced and sold six specialty trailers to trucking businesses as far away as Maine.

“We are right on target in reaching the six-month benchmarks identified in our business plan,” Jones said at the time. “Our next challenge is to meet orders. Several entities are interested in our trailers and we are working hard to find and train quality employees to help us fill requests. There is a lot of potential for live floor trailers. Transporters of corn for ethanol production, blended feeds for poultry, and certain forestry products (e.g. wood chips) are just some of the producers who need our trailers. I can see us employing 25 individuals by spring 2008 and 50 in 2009.”

The Joneses are proud of how rapidly their company has developed.

“It’s hard to start a new business,” Brady said with a smile, “but Helen and I don’t mind the long hours. It is invigorating to see an idea grow and to know that you are providing employment for people. We are committed to the success of this business and to the welfare of our employees.”

Additional information about Crescent Manufacturing Inc. and/or live floor trailers is available by contacting Jones or Barrow at (800) 554-1186.

For more information about the SCC Small Business Center and its services, contact Dennis Lowe at (336) 386-3309.

Tags: Businesses

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment