Baxley Equipment Company
Hi-Tech Engineering, Inc. was started in 1988 by the late John Fletcher and LC Gaither. They were joined in 1989 by Chris Raybon, Pat Conry & Russell Kennedy. What began as a consulting firm to the forest products industry soon blossomed into one of the most successful OEM’s of computerized sawmill machinery in the southeastern United States. The story behind their success began with their first successful laser trimmer optimizer in 1991. The rest, as they say, is history. Raybon, Kennedy and Conry operated the company until selling their majority interest to Comact, Inc in January of 2000.
After the sale of Hi-Tech, Kennedy left for a couple of years while Conry and Raybon stayed on with Hi-Tech/Comact. When the decision was made to close the Baxley Georgia manufacturing facility in December of 2003, Raybon and Conry decided to take on the responsibility of the 41,250 sqft plant on their own in order to keep the men working. In 2004, Kennedy rejoined and the team was back together again. Since their early days as engineers at HEMCO, this trio team has worked over 30 years together.
A group was put together early in 2005 to purchase the assets of Hi-Tech Electronics. The group includes thirteen shareholder employees and key members of the Hi-Tech team; Paul Caple, Ronnie Clem, Lamar Currington, Patrick Flemming, John Oliver, Joey Rogers, Donna Smith, Jada Smith, Philip Stevens, Ronnie Stewart, Darrell Taylor, Chris Taylor and Andy Trantham. One year later, this group purchased the remaining assets of Hi-Tech. Portions of the remaining assets of Comact, Inc were sold to the management group at Comact which became Comact Equipment, Inc and Comact US, Inc.
According to Kennedy, “The employee ownership of Baxley Equipment makes us unique as an O.E.M. in the forest products equipment business. We have found that this ownership interest gives the customer a big advantage and has stepped up the level of service that we were able to provide in the past.” These strategic purchases have positioned Baxley Equipment to provide their customers with the products they need and the service they deserve. Most importantly, it has benefited Hi-Tech customers with continued equipment service and sales support. The assets include a 145,000 sqft. fabrication and office facility located on 13.9 acres in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The “Hi-Tech” team has just passed the 20 year mark in providing their customers with innovative equipment and excellent service. Their reputation is built on innovation and integrity.
“Integrity is proven when you admit what you cannot do and honor what you say you can.” - from the book “Bo’s Cafe”