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Happen stance

image L-R: Clayton Collins and Sam Collins

HOUSTON - One of Sam Collins’ favorite things to say is “Make it happen.” It’s also one of his favorite things to do, and Sam has made welding happen for 46 years.






    Sam found a welding career as a young man when he started to work in construction.
    “When I completed high school in 1971, I just went and found a job and it just happened to be in the industry,” Sam remembers. “After a period of time, there were some things in the welding business that I liked so I picked up on the welding business. I went to college for a couple of years, worked on it a little more and I’ve been in the welding fabrication business since 1973.”
    By the mid ‘90s, Sam had the itch to start working for himself.
    “I worked for a lot of companies and I saw how it worked,” Sam says. “By watching them and learning through the years, I thought, ‘Instead of making them money, why don’t I just make it for myself?’”
    Sam established industrial piping contracting company PBCO Welding Inc, in 1996. His years of experience helped him navigate it, but running his own business wasn’t always easy.
    “It was tough,” Sam admits. “You’ve got to get your name out there. You start small and you’ve got to grow with the industry, but the industry was already grown. I just didn’t have the money to start off big, so I started off small, and we just built from there.”
    Along the way, Sam says he learned about leadership, people skills, working with other companies and money management. In 2014, he applied his knowledge to a start prefab and steel fabrication company Domination Fabrication, which is run by his son Clayton Collins.
    Clayton started in the industry even earlier than Sam did; he says helping his dad in the shop was ‘pretty much mandatory’ as a child.”
    “It basically covered my room and board,” Clayton says, chuckling. “It’s just something I grew up with. Dad was always welding in the backyard and always had a welding truck. It was something I became accustomed to.”
    Clayton considered a different path and even took college courses. When his dad needed a hand starting PBCO Welding Inc. though, Clayton quit college and joined Sam in the business. After the success of PBCO, Clayton was given the opportunity to start and run Domination Fabrication.
    “It was kind of natural just because I grew up with it,” Clayton says. “There was a lot I already kind of knew working with dad in the yard.”
    Today, Sam focuses on piping and field installation, while Clayton handles the prefab and steel fabrication. Business has been good for both companies.
    “On my side of it, we’ve gone into the liquid bulk storage terminals – or what some people call ‘tank farms’ – the big tanks on the side of the road next to plants. We do the piping on that,” Sam says.
    “We’ve built about two complete tank farms and hanging all the high-flying steel with the big cranes, hanging the pipe,” Clayton adds. “The bigger the better, I guess you can say.”
    While both joke that the biggest perk about the work is the paycheck, the two genuinely enjoy the opportunity to work in welding together.
    “I enjoy working side by side with my dad and our employees,” Clayton says. “We’ve got a good stacked crew of talented guys. We all have the same interests and work together every day.”
    Sam is currently looking for a new location in the La Porte/Pasadena area with a larger shop, office and yard for his 20 employees. Sam also hopes Clayton will someday take over what he made happen.
    “I hope to hand the businesses over one day and still draw a check,” Sam quips. “Social security isn’t what it’s cut out to be!”
    “I ain’t going anywhere,” Clayton assures him.
    Welding subcontractors PBCO Welding Inc. and Domination Fabrication are in La Porte. –mjm

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Author Info
Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net