National Trench Safety, a Houston-based company specializing in the rental and sales of trench and traffic safety equipment, as well as OSHA-compliant training classes, announced last week that it opened a new branch in Gilbert, Ariz., which is in the greater Phoenix area.

“The Phoenix branch is the seventh fully-staffed operation of National Trench Safety in the United States,” said Ron Chilton, president of NTS. “NTS now has branch operations in California, Arizona, Texas and Louisiana.”

The new branch will be managed by Jim Hawley, who has more than 10 years direct experience in the trench and traffic safety industries. “We are fortunate to have Jim heading up our new Phoenix location,” said Chilton. “His successful track record and specific industry experience will truly be an asset to National Trench Safety.”

Chilton added that NTS has leased a 2.5-acre property and is in the process of building a new large warehouse addition to the existing facility. NTS started its Phoenix operation by purchasing the existing rental fleet and business operations of a small trench safety company that had moved into the Phoenix market in late 2005.

“We used the rental fleet assets of the prior company we purchased and transferred some of our existing fleet from other NTS branches to properly seed our new Phoenix operations,” Chilton said. “Our company has already placed the orders for a large amount of additional rental fleet which should be delivered to this new branch over the next few weeks,” said Chilton.

In maintaining the objective of building a nationwide network of trench and traffic safety branches, NTS plans to open at least two other new branch operations in the second half of 2006 with additional branches to follow in 2007.

In addition to its Houston headquarters, NTS has branches in Beaumont, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Gonzales, La.; and Fremont, Calif. The company was founded in January 2004.