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Crane, Rigging and Heavy Haul Specialists This full-service crane, rigging and heavy haul company trives to provide its client/partners across multiple industry sectors with innovative, cost-effective solutions. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino
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hen Bragg Companies founder Jim Bragg moved from Russellville, AK to California and purchased a single crane in 1946, his focus was to establish his company as a reliable partner at the outset of the country’s postWorld War Two building boom. Now, as the company celebrates its 75th year in business, it’s hard to imagine that Mr. Bragg sensed the impact the family-owned company would have on the industry from coast to coast. “The difference for us really is people. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” says his grandson M. Scott Bragg, the company’s third generation President and CEO, whose three sons represent the fourth generation of family involvement. “We’ve got some long-tenured employees. We have a lot of second- and third-generation iron workers, truck drivers, and crane operators in our organization.” Based in Long Beach, CA, Bragg Companies is a full-service crane, rigging and heavy haul company and strives to provide its client/ partners across multiple industry sectors with innovative, costeffective solutions. The company has been in its
current location since 1992 and has 15 offices – most in the Western part of the country along with one in Texas and another in Florida, strategically located to take advantage of emerging opportunities. It employs 2,000 and, Bragg says, can increase that number by more than two-fold “depending on the number of projects and workload.” Despite its size, the company maintains the family atmosphere of a smaller operation.
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“We hire for culture and we treat people like family. We’re concerned about them and their families. We want to make sure things are going well and we want them to take time off and enjoy their family. We’ve been fortunate because we seem to draw good people, whether it’s at the craft level or
management folks,” Bragg says.
Premier Projects LAX Modernization Project: Bragg Crane & Rigging (BC&R) worked with Austin Commercial on the installation of an Automated People Mover (APM) system to
“We’re always looking at opportunities, whether it’s organic or if someone is looking to sell a company or assets. As we move toward working different contracts we are expanding our Crane Division.” - M. Scott Bragg, President/CEO
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connect the terminals. BC&R’s ironworkers are welding, cutting and grinding the newly installed steel as part of the Terminal Vertical Core project and the company used five different cranes – Tadano GR1600 XL, Liebherr LTR-1220, Terex T340 XL, Liebherr LR1300, Linkbelt HTC 86100 – to place the steel. Efficient scheduling was of paramount importance to insure minimal impact on airport operations. SoFi Stadium Project Steel Haul: Bragg Heavy Transport (BHT) shuttled more than 500 loads of steel – in excess of five million pounds – from the port of Long
Beach to the site of the new home for the National Football League’s Rams and Chargers. Using multiple types of trailers – 9 axle and 8 axle, flats, steps, double drops, MES trailers and dual lane trailers – BHT drivers made every delivery on time over the course of the two-year project. Tehachapi Wind Turbines: Each of the company’s three divisions – Bragg Crane Service, Bragg Crane & Rigging, and Bragg Heavy Transport – collaborated on this exceptionally tricky project to build a 360,000-pound turbine that grossed 612,000 pounds total. Project components delivered by
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Bragg Companies | 10 BHT to the site included tower sections, blades, hubs and nacelles. BCS operators hoisted the turbines using an LR 1750. Bragg Crane & Rigging then set up all components in the tower’s location. BHT drivers utilized two new Goldhofer trailers to negotiate the 8-10 percent grade of the road that traditional hauling equipment is not cleared for.
Day To Day Describing himself as both a “hands-on and behind–the-scenes” manager, Bragg is involved in every facet of the business “I work with our CFO, with our insurance brokers and insurance carriers. I also deal with the legal side of the business and manage the Senior Management Group that meets monthly to look at strategies to protect the assets of the company. We look at succession planning from Management down in the different groups to make sure we have the right person on the right seat of the bus as people retire and people move up,” he explains.
The company invests in top-shelf technology and has rolled out a reimagined website to better tell its story in in conjunction with its 75th anniversary celebration. Safety is a 24/7 priority. As part of the company’s Corporate Health and Safety Program (CHSP) all
“We provide guidelines, guidance and support but we let our upper management manage our business – that’s why we hire them. We do not micro-manage,” - M. Scott Bragg, President/CEO www.braggcompanies.com
Bragg Companies | 11 standards, company policies and best practices. Bragg Companies Engineering Department, led by COO and Professional Engineer Ian Johnson, has a hands-on role in all of Bragg’s work, providing comprehensive plans for even the most complex of jobs. The staff of multiple PE certified engineers utilizes the most up-to-date technology to create job plans that are safe, efficient, and thorough.
employees are empowered by a written Stop Work Authority (SWA) policy to assess job site risk, analyze solutions to mitigate that risk and take action to ensure incident-free operations without fear of recrimination. Additional elements of the CHSP include: Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), daily Task Hazard Analysis (THA), and Tailgate safety meetings to identify and mitigate hazards; and field safety audits performed by Operations, Technical, and Safety Staff to ensure alignment with regulatory
Employees are drawn to and, more often than not, tend to stay with the company for a long while due to the familial culture. One employee just recently retired after 49 years. Bragg is proud of the collaborative, friendly culture at the company. The focus is on hiring good people who will do their jobs well. Bragg also maintains an opendoor policy whenever possible and his office located in a main hallway allows him to see and catch up with employees as they pass by, a tradition he loves. “We provide guidelines, guidance and support but we let our upper management manage our business – that’s why we hire them. We do not micro-manage,” Bragg says. Master agreements, service agreements and fuel agreements of finite duration are drawn up as
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on 7 5 y e a r s of success serving the construction industry!
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needed. The company also has long-standing relationships with high-profile vendors and subcontractors. “We’ve established great relationships over the years. We make sure they understand our needs and we pre-qualify subs for our construction groups. There are certain requirements that have to be met before they go to work for you because they’re representing you as well,” Bragg stresses.
Addressing Challenges Navigating California’s alphabet soup of regulatory agencies – 17
or more – is assuredly tricky. As an example, Bragg explains it was previously cost-effective for the company to buy refurbished tractors and maintain them to mandated standards because they were only on the road roughly 20 percent of the time. “Now, because of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), we can’t do that. We have to buy new and we have to have state of the art equipment. It’s been a 10-to-12 year plan to stay in compliance with that,” he says. “And there’s just the cost of doing business in California – everything
Bragg Companies | 13 is more expensive, the cost of living is higher, there are all the taxes and the rules and regulations that have to be met,” Bragg says. “There’s one agency after another that we have to absolutely keep in compliance with.” Additionally, replacing retiring Baby Boomers and the skill set and vast amount of knowledge that goes out the door with them is an ongoing issue.
Association Benefits The company has been a member of the Specialized Crane and Rigging Association (SC&RA)
for more than 50 years. SC&RA specializes in government and regulatory affairs, providing access to individuals at the Federal level and keeping its members abreast of industry best practices and an array of educational products. “My father was in leadership at SC&RA, having gone through the chairs and now I’ve been elected to start this year”, says Bragg, who chairs the association’s Insurance and Labor Committees. “We have developed life-long relationships with people all over the country and gotten to know them on a personal level because of SC&RA. “With over 1,300 member
Bragg Companies | 14 companies, we have been fortunate to build relationships both personally and professionally with many. We do jobs and rent equipment from other member companies. We also offer support for newer companies and are involved in supporting the SC&R Foundation in the field,” he adds. SC&RA’s Lift and Move USA initiative addresses the issue of replenishing a depleted workforce that is ageing out or hasn’t returned to the industry postCOVID19. “We hosted one event here [before COVID]. We tapped into the Long Beach Unified School District
where our home office is and we had 650-plus students here. We put the equipment out there, did some presentations, showed them via computer simulations – the kids truly didn’t know that’s the way part of the training happens,” Bragg says. “Not every kid is on a college career path and this really opened some eyes among those students, showing them how you can make a good living and how you can drive around and say ‘Hey, I helped erect that building or that ride at a theme park, or we built rocket launch facilities.’ It’s something to talk about,” he adds.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BRAGG COMPANIES ON 75 YEARS. WE ARE PROUD TO BE YOUR PARTNER.
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Bragg Companies | 17 The company also maintains fruitful memberships in a number of other industry groups, including American Clean Power, the California Truckers Association, the Crane Owners Association, the Mobile Crane Operators Group, the Southern California Contractors Association, the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Smartway Transport Partnership, the Railway Industry Clearance Association and Northwest Crane Owners Association.
Looking Ahead Whether internally or through acquisition, this company is well positioned for continued growth as it continues it’s journey toward 100 years. Bragg Companies track record of smart expansion in recent years has included growth out to Florida to pursue opportunities in the amusement park and space launch facilities there, as well as to other Utah, Idaho, and most recently, Washington. “We’re always looking at opportunities, whether it’s organic or if someone is looking to sell a company or assets. As we move toward working different contracts we are expanding our Crane Division. We just opened offices in Meridian, ID and in Mt. Vernon, WA to support specific contracts in the
petro-chemical world,” he notes. Asked if there was a bit of advice Bragg would pass along to a younger version of himself, it would be this: “In 2009, my father, my brother and my uncle died, leaving a space in my life as well as at work. This experience showed me that you really never know what will happen in life. So it is important to live life fully each day and to take each opportunity to learn,” he concludes.
Company Name: Bragg Companies Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1946 Premier Services: Full-service crane, rigging, and heavy haul company founded in Long Beach with locations across the country. President/CEO: M. Scott Bragg Website: www.braggcompanies.com
6251 N. Paramount Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90805 P: 562-984-2800