Fort Smith's Pruitt Tool & Supply Co. Going Global

by Marty Cook  on Monday, Jul. 14, 2014 12:00 am  

Grant, left, and his father, Alan Pruitt, right, pose with a sculpture of A.B. “Buddy” Pruitt, the founder of Pruitt Tool & Supply Co. | (Photo by Ryan Miller)

Under Grant Pruitt’s leadership, Pruitt Tool has pressed forward with its global initiative, attempting to get in on drilling fields in Southeast Asia, Europe and South America. Grant Pruitt said Pruitt Tool is already providing equipment and service at every shale gas field in the United States.

When Grant Pruitt joined the family business, it had 15 employees. Today it employs 105 and has grown sales more than 2,000 percent in the past decade, Grant Pruitt said.

“It’s a huge, huge responsibility,” he said. “The great thing about it is it is a family legacy. We have really, really good people who make it happen. They make me look really good.”

Grant Pruitt is not the only third-generation Pruitt at the company. His older brother Clay is the director of marketing.

Grant Pruitt briefly considered a career in real estate before he joined the tool company, and his father said he wishes his son had done other things before diving into the family business. Grant Pruitt said he hasn’t had a day’s regret about his decision.

“I am content; I have a great job,” Pruitt said. “If we didn’t have our little family business, I don’t know what I would be doing.”

Alan Pruitt said his CEO son has the perfect set of skills for growing Pruitt Tool. Alan said a person has to be able to make deals in a boardroom while also handling problems that may arise in the oil field.

“The people in an oil field are a different breed,” Alan Pruitt said. “You have to be able to talk to them; you’ve got to be able to spit and cuss. Grant is good at it. That’s Grant’s biggest attribute, that he can get along with people.”

Grant Pruitt laughed. “I can cuss and spit with the best of them. I would much rather be out on an oil rig than I would be in a big Houston office calling on the big people in the office.”

Sticking to the Fundamentals

Alan Pruitt repeatedly pointed out that the success of Pruitt Tool is because of the foundation and fundamentals instilled by his father. Buddy’s hard and fast rule was to avoid debt like the plague, and that carried over through the generations so that under the leadership of his son and grandson the tool company still deals almost entirely in cash.

Alan Pruitt instilled another important value in his sons, one Grant fondly remembers.



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