A Family Tradition – South Georgia Magazine

Daniel Aldridge working in the Hay LTI stainless plant. Photo by: Happy Owl Photography

For more than 50 years, Hays LTI has been part of Mitchell County’s agribusiness network.

Established in 1970 by Ray Hays to manufacture fertilizer equipment, the company is now co-owned and operated by two of his four children, Ronald Hays and Donna Hays Stewart.

“My sisters Lynn [Pinson] and Shari [Cranford] are in education,” says Stewart, who oversees the company’s financial operation. “Lynn is principal at Baconton Charter School, and Shari is the school’s student information system administrator.”

In the mid-1980s, during the “lean years,” Stewart explains her father offered “what was left of the company” to her and Ronald.

“What was left was a great product, wonderful customers, reliable vendors but no money,” she says. “My brother and I grew up in the business. I sat with Mama around the kitchen table many nights learning how to keep the books. Ronald spent hours with Daddy in the shop. We loved it so much so we determined to keep the company and build it up.”

The company became Liquid Transport Incorporated (doing business as Hays LTI). The family-management team continued to expand, including the addition of Jimmy Stewart, Donna’s husband, who is a co-owner and works with sales and operation.

After working several summers at Hays LTI, in 2013, Laura Pinson Sinyard joined the company her grandfather established. In addition to assisting Stewart with accounting duties, she manages the company’s marketing efforts and is involved with sales and customer service.

In 2015, after graduating from Auburn University, Matt Hays, Ronald’s son, joined the company and manages the production process, inventory, and sales.

“Matthew and Laura have a wonderful love for our customers, employees, and products,” Stewart says. “They are already putting their mark on the company. As they learn from us, we’re also learning from them.”

Hays LTI has expanded into a large-scale manufacturer, selling fertilizer hauling equipment including tender trailers, transport tanker, side dumps and tanks, plus offering repair services and a rental fleet of more than 800 trailers.

As production demands and sales soared, the company was located in three different properties throughout Camilla.

“Our products and services simply outgrew our three facilities,” Stewart says. “It was time to find a new home and get everyone back on one property.”

Wanting to remain in Mitchell County, in 2015, they purchased 60 acres, just minutes from Downtown Camilla. Two years later, they relocated to a state-of-the-art manufacturing complex that features 225,000-square-feet of production, storage, and administrative space.

“Our new facility allows us to be the best we can be for our employees and customers and it is everything we envisioned,” says Stewart.

Keeping to their father’s influence of generosity, the Hays LTI team enjoys donating custom-made smokers for fundraising efforts, hosting community events at the new facility, and delivering their signature homemade pecan pies to customers and friends.