Southern Dredging Company, Inc.

Southern Dredging Co., Inc. was incorporated in February 1982. Today, it is a successful family operation that includes David Dent, his brother Don, his daughter Kimberly, and son, David, Jr. Over the past several years, Metal Trades (MTI) and Southern Dredging have worked closely together on several capital improvement projects that have helped to forge a great business relationship.

Dredge "Cherokee"

MTI products built for Southern Dredging Company include:

Kristi Rowe, from MTI’s Business Development staff, interviewed the President of Southern Dredging Company, David Dent, to learn more about their family business and what role MTI has played in their continued success:

Kristi:  What types of dredging services do you provide?

David: Southern Dredging owns and operates the Dredge “Cherokee”. She is an 18” hydraulic cutterhead dredge with a total of over 4,000hp and is capable of digging projects varying from 12 to 50 plus feet in depth. Southern Dredging operates along the Southeast coast performing projects in areas including the Intra-coastal Waterway and facilities such as the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia.

Kristi:  What is unique about your business?

David: A key differentiator for us is our HUBZone status with the Small Business Administration. The HUBZone program stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing Federal contracting preferences to small businesses.

Kristi:  What is the most important thing you would like people to know about your company?

David: Our biggest asset is our employees. They deserve all of the credit for our success because of their dedication, heart, and soul that they put into working at our company every day. This is a demanding 24/7 operation and our employees make it all happen! Naturally, employee safety is the top priority for us.

Kristi:  How did your business relationship with MTI begin?

David: In early 2009, we approached MTI to extend a conventional Deck Barge and convert it into what we call a “Walking Spud Barge.” MTI advised us with a team of people having backgrounds in engineering, ship repair, and machining as they developed the detailed drawings. Throughout the project, we witnessed MTI’s vast array of services and we were impressed with their workmanship.

Walking Spud Barge

Our Walking Spud Barge has a movable truck assembly with a single 90 foot spud that is hydraulically operated using a 40 foot ram. This new configuration dramatically enhances our dredging operations.

Kristi:  What projects followed?

David: Two projects soon followed, and they both required custom engineering from MTI. First, we had MTI build us 28 new floating pontoons to our exact specifications to replace ones that were being taken out of service.

Dredging Pontoons Built by MTI

The pontoons are used to support dredge pipeline. MTI built them extra with 3/8” plate and two watertight bulkheads inside for increased durability to withstand the everyday abuse. Most recently, we contracted MTI to design and build us a 40,000 gallon Double Hull Fuel Barge.

David worked closely with Randy Brown, MTI’s in-house Naval Architect, who proposed an 80’ x 24’ x 7.5’ barge. MTI contracted with Matherne Marine Design for the detailed drawings.

David: Our new Double Hull Fuel Barge complies with all USCG and OPA-90 requirements. It has all of the features that we specified including the deck arrangement, piping, hatches, and paint system. We know that this barge will last us a very long time. I can’t say enough about how happy we are with the end product that MTI delivers.

Double Hull Barge in Travelift
40,000 Gallon Double Hull Fuel Barge

On March 23, 2011 Southern Dredging Company proudly took delivery of its new double hull fuel barge. Pictured below:

Randy Brown Naval Architect Shaun Flynn President Metal Trades Barge Delivery


Pictured Left to Right:  Southern Dredging:  Don Dent and David Dent; Metal Trades:  Randy Brown (Barge Construction Program Manager), Shaun Flynn (President)