Komatsu earthmoving machines - on time and on budget
Valley, Neb.-based Valley Corporation has
been an Omaha-area contracting firm for more
than 40 years. As is to be expected during such a
lengthy period, there have been ups and downs
and Valley Corp. has adapted in order to survive.
Valley Corp. was originally a commercial
building contractor, founded in 1972 by Del and
Helen Chapin. When their daughter Bonnie and
son-in-law Roger Bevington took over in 1977,
they changed the focus to their area of expertise,
which was general contracting with a strong
emphasis on civil work. As the company grew
in the early ‘90s, they added concrete crushing.
Under third-generation owner, Matt Bevington,
Valley Corp. has continued to evolve.
“We do site development/earthwork, and our
preference is to be the general contractor,” said
Bevington. “For site work, our services include
demolition, excavation, utilities and grading. We
basically perform everything ourselves except
for paving and landscaping. Then, in addition
to our site work, we also do sheet piling and
crushing. So we have a lot of different aspects
to the company and can go a lot of different
directions for our customers.”
Throughout the ‘80s and much of the ‘90s,
Valley Corp. was a good-size company with up
to as many as 80 employees. By the time Matt
joined the firm full time in 2001, his parents
had downsized and only had about a dozen
employees, most of them involved with crushing.
When he purchased Valley Corp. in 2005, there
were about 20 employees. Despite a challenging
economy, especially in 2009 and 2010, Matt has
grown the business every year. Today, Valley
Corp. employs more than 50 people.
“I give a lot of credit to my grandparents
and my parents,” said Matt. “They laid the
foundation, and I certainly learned quite a
bit from them. But I also take a lot of pride in
the fact that since I’ve owned the company,
we’ve grown every single year in terms of
employment, revenue and profits.”
Site and “specialty” work
Valley Corp.’s bread and butter is utility and
earthwork, but what really sets the company
apart is its specialty work.
“Most jobs in the city have some demolition
element associated with them, so we have a
specialized demo crew. We also are an aggregate
supplier with two retail facilities in the metro
area and two mobile crushing plants, one of
which goes between our local locations while the
other travels statewide to do custom crushing.”
In addition to demolition and crushing, another
sub-specialty of Valley Corp. is sheet pile work,
which can lead to some interesting projects, such
as one last year on the Missouri River. Because
of the drought, the Corps of Engineers was
dropping the river level to record lows.
“As a result, a casino boat was at risk of hitting
bottom, which could have damaged the boat and
closed the entire gambling operation,” Bevington
explained. “We were brought in to sheet-pile a
wall across the boat slip to allow the casino to
pump water in to keep the boat afloat. To do it,
we mounted a Komatsu PC400 with a pile driver
onto a barge and worked from the water. The GC
gave us three weeks to get the job done because
that’s how quickly the river level was dropping.
We completed it in a week and a half.
“That’s the type of specialty project we’re able
to do. A lot of contractors either can’t or don’t
want to try that type of work, but we enjoy the
challenge. We feel as though jobs like that bring
out the best in our people and our company.”
A more typical job, although bigger than most,
is Valley Corp.’s work at the Strategic Command
(StratCom) HQ project at Offutt Air Force Base.
The company is doing all the site utilities as a sub
for KiewitPhelps. “It’s the biggest construction
project going on in Nebraska,” said Bevington.
“We’re proud to be part of such a significant
job and to be working with one of the nation’s
largest contracting firms.”
Getting hands dirty
In order to complete jobs like those,
Bevington relies on a top-notch work force, led
by Vice President Al Hagemann and Controller
“Our greatest strength as a company is our
employees. We’ve got a good team up and
down the line – especially management. Our
superintendents also do a great job keeping the
quality of our work at a high level and keeping
jobs moving forward.
“Both Al and I spend a lot of time in the field.
We might be overseeing projects, or we might be
operating equipment. Our attitude is ‘whatever
is needed, and whatever it takes.’ We don’t mind
getting our hands dirty. In fact, we kind of like it.”
Komatsu and RoadBuilders “have helped us grow”
For equipment to help his team complete
projects on time and on budget, Bevington
turns to RoadBuilders Machinery & Supply for
Komatsu earthmoving machines.
“We started working with RoadBuilders
when we needed a track crusher back in the
early 2000s,” Bevington recalled. “At the same
time, we got two brand-new Komatsus. That’s
when we got to know our Sales Rep Warren
Kutz and other RoadBuilders personnel. We’ve
made a pretty good team ever since.”
Today, Valley Corp. owns six Komatsu
hydraulic excavators (two PC400s, two PC300s
and two PC138s), three Komatsu wheel
loaders (WA500, WA400 and WA200) and two
Komatsu dozers (D65 and D51). The company
also rents a significant amount of Komatsu
“We’re Komatsu fans because we have a
history with the machines, and we know how
well they perform,” said Bevington. “Take the
dozers for example. The D65 is new, but we’ve
had the D51 for several years and love it. It’s
big enough to do good-size jobs but small
enough to get around crowded jobsites safely
because it offers great visibility. We put GPS on
both dozers to help us grade more effectively
and more efficiently.
“As for Komatsu excavators, we’ve
had great luck with them throughout the
years. Best of all, they hold up without
nickel-and-diming us to death on repairs.
They’re also quick. We put one of our old
PC300s up against a new competitive
excavator, and it was no comparison – the
Komatsu swung much faster. Komatsu
excavators are quick, reliable and last a long
time. What more do you want?”
Well, Bevington actually does want one
more thing – dealer support.
“We count on RoadBuilders for parts and
service, and they’ve done a good job providing
the support we need to be successful. When
we call, they get back to us. When we need a
technician, they respond quickly. And our sales
rep, Warren Kutz, has been a big help getting
us the machines we need when we need them.
He gives me good advice and always has
good, clean equipment. We’ve been working
with RoadBuilders for more than a decade,
and I’d definitely say they’ve helped us grow.”
Confident and optimistic
Regarding that growth, Bevington says he
was confident it would happen, but is a little
surprised it’s happened as quickly as it has.
“I knew what the company could be – I’d
been here when it was a large firm and felt
we could get back to that level. So I did have
a vision of where I wanted to go with it, and
I’m very pleased that we’ve grown the way we
“If we can continue to find good employees,
and if the economy continues to improve,
I think we can continue to grow. However,
I’m not looking to become a huge company
or to add a whole bunch of new services.
We’re doing things we’re passionate about –
things that we enjoy and think we’re good at.
I believe that’s why we’ve been successful.
And as long as we can keep that passion, I’m
optimistic about our future.”