Steve Lainhart, vice president of Power Systems of Thompson Machinery, addresses the ceremony attendees.
Thompson Machinery, a Caterpillar dealer, has begun construction on a new facility to serve the Tupelo, Miss., area. The start of construction was commemorated at a groundbreaking ceremony held on Jan. 31 at the site of the new store, located at 421 Wallace Drive in Belden, Miss.
Thompson, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2014, is well-established in the area as the regional distributor of Caterpillar equipment. The new facility is designed to enhance Thompson’s full service commitment to the area and its development needs, especially through the expansion of its product support capabilities.
“We are excited to build a new facility in a region where city and state officials are willing to invest in the city’s infrastructure and they are capable of attracting new business to the area. Additionally, there is a great school system in place and the community is a wonderful place to live,” said De Thompson V, president of Thompson Machinery. “With the current momentum and strong economic outlook, we are confident to make this investment. We believe this is going to be an attractive place for a variety of businesses for decades to come.”
The significant increase in truck traffic on Highway 78 (future I-22) due to Toyota, Toyota suppliers and other industrial investment throughout North Mississippi, is another reason Thompson chose the new location. The new 42,000 sq. ft. (3901.9 sq m) facility, located just off the Highway 9 South exit from Highway 78, represents an investment of more than $6 million in the North Mississippi infrastructure. It will include a shop for construction, forestry and agricultural equipment, on-highway trucks and power generation, housed in 17 bays. Four 7.5 ton (6.8 t) bridge cranes and four jib cranes will be deployed in an innovative quad design that allows more options for placing machines and engines in the shop for repair.
Also planned is an undercarriage shop with full track press, which will allow Thompson to continue to provide quick turnaround on undercarriage repairs. An 8,000 sq. ft. (743.2 sq m) parts warehouse will be capable of cross docking to allow flexibility in scheduling Thompson Machinery’s overnight parts shuttle service. The facility will house 11,000 sq. ft. (1,021.9 sq m) of office space, including a meeting room, training room, and indoor machine display area, for both Thompson’s sales and rental operations.
General contractor on the project is Century Construction in Tupelo, Miss. De Thompson said additional local contractors and firms will be utilized both during and after construction.
Completion of the new Thompson facility in Belden is projected to be late 2014.