Atlas Hampton entered the service business under the name Hampton’s Garage in 1929. The company provided expert auto repair with a shop located on 5th and Jefferson on the outskirts of downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
Beginning in 1939, when Stinson Aircraft hired Hampton’s Garage and Wrecker Service to relocate manufacturing equipment in a nearby, local facility to Nashville, TN. Stinson Aircraft became Hampton’s first customer in the machinery moving business.
While working for Stinson, Hampton received another manufacturing customer: Genesco, Inc. Founded in 1924 in Nashville, TN as a shoe manufacturer, Genesco hired Hampton to install a number of machines at a local facility. Throughout the 1940’s, Hampton worked for numerous manufacturing plants in middle and eastern TN. With wreckers, wenches, jacks, and greased floors.
In 1948, Hampton bought 2 Lorain cranes. The cranes were useful for the machinery moving business, but the large frames of the Lorain prohibited setting some machines inside plants with low ceiling height. Hampton soon put the cranes to their intended use with the Rogers Group. Ralph Rogers founded a rock quarry business at an early age to accommodate the expansive road construction projects happening across the country. A well respected man in the Southeast, Mr. Rogers provided a significant boost for Hampton into the crane business.
In 1952, Hampton became part of the construction of Old Hickory Dam located 25 miles upstream of the Cumberland River in Nashville, TN. The dam was an enormous undertaking that began construction in 1952 and was completed by 1956. Hampton played an extensive role throughout the entire construction of the Old Hickory Dam including the installation of all the turbines.
Operations of this nature continued for 4 more years. In 1956, Hampton bought four tow motors to further engage in customers’ requests to move heavy machinery. The new Tow Motor brand lifts had capacity ranging from 10 to 18,000 pounds. Hampton’s customer base began to grow rapidly in the manufacturing industry during the post WWII boom.
In the 1960s, Hampton increased lifting capacity to 25,000 pounds for forklifts and 70 tons for cranes. The customer base was growing rapidly and the company rebranded to Hampton’s Crane Service.
In the 1970s, Hampton upgraded the cranes from conventional to hydraulic as well as increased forklift capacity to 40,000 pounds. Also, during the ‘70s, Hampton increased the range of operations by moving into several surrounding states on a regular basis: notably, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia.
In the 1980s, Hampton Crane achieved new heights, and weights. The company increased lifting capacity to 600 tons as it began to focus its strengths on the machinery moving business. The crane side increased capacity as well: up to 90 tons, and machinery moving and logistics quickly became the core competence of the business.
In the 1990s, manufacturers were expanding, upgrading, and relocating their facilities to meet their customers’ demands as well as to position themselves in a fast-paced international/global economy. Hampton Crane again increased capacity and purchased the most modern equipment available to service the demands of the manufacturing community: lifting capacity became 1200 tons.
The past 20 years have been incredibly busy. Hampton Crane has continued to increase the size of the company and still owns an entire fleet of trucks and lifts.