Trench Safety Veterans Launch New Rental Company

HOUSTON — A group of trench safety rental industry veterans led by Ronald Chilton last month opened a new company, National Trench Safety Inc., with headquarters in Houston. Chilton, along with co-founders Tom Hartman, Shelley Bangerter, Wes Jones, Ernie Perez and Ron Lanning plan to open 18 branches across the United States in the next 18 months, vice president of marketing Lanning said.

The co-founders all previously worked for The Plank Co., a pioneer of the trench-safety rental business, which was acquired by National Equipment Services in July 1999. They all played major roles in the growth and development of NES' trench shoring division, which NES sold to United Rentals in July 2002.

Lanning told RER that NTS is in the process of completing several acquisitions that will begin the launching of the company on a national level. Lanning added that although NTS is technically a start-up, it is effectively a re-load of the complete team of more than 30 industry professionals who developed NES Trench Shoring into one of the largest trench safety rental companies in the country.

The company will concentrate on the sale and rental of underground equipment and trench shoring products such as trench shielding, trench shoring, road plates, pipe lasers, pipe plugs and confined space equipment.

Chilton is president and CEO of the new company. Bangerter is chief financial officer and Hartman, Jones and Perez will serve as regional managers of the West, Central and East respectively.

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