Hansel King, a Tuscaloosa native, has been building docks for nearly as long as he has been alive. As a boy, he worked for his father who has owned his own dock building business since 1974. King is a 10-year Army veteran, serving overseas in Panama and the Persian Gulf. When he left the Army, he never planned on building another dock, but like King says, it is what he knows. He started his own business, Hansel King Docks and Decks, in 2005. King has built docks all over the country, serving as a dealer for Cullman, Ala. based Floatation Systems, Inc. His position has taken him all over the country, from Oklahoma to Georgia, training new dealers and installing docks.

As you might expect, King goes beyond the call of duty while building docks, volunteering with any clean-up operations he can on the waterways which he works. For King, it is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a wise business move. He has gotten calls for docks after individuals have seen him cleaning up Lake Tuscaloosa. He’s built docks and boathouses for many people on Tuscaloosa’s A-List, including coach Nick Saban. The Black Warrior River watershed, provides King with his means of living and King tries to return the favor as much as he can. When the Bama Belle riverboat became stick on its pilings in late 2012, it was King who freed the large paddleboat.

As a veteran, King tries to hire as many combat veterans as he can. However, King claims that the vast majority of potential veteran employees have felony records. With King keeping firearms in his truck and in his boat for snakes, felons are pushed out of the question. Nonetheless, faithful employees are still hard to come by. King’s employee EJ, pictured in the slideshow above, is a Slidell, Louisiana native and has been working for King for the longest of any other employee. Though King is always in search of help for his business, he continues to do what he has been doing since his teenage years: build docks.