Galmor’s Inc.

DIVERSIFICATION HELPS TEXAS COMPANIES THRIVE

Nov 28, 2011

Powerful, more productive Komatsu equipment

Nearly 40 years ago, Steve Galmor opened his first business, a hay-hauling enterprise, known as G&G Trucking, which he and his brother Mark “Rudas” Galmor founded while still in high school. At the same time, the brothers were doing some work for their father, Bob, in his oilfield-supply company, Damor.

“We worked in the supply business during the summers from the time we were really young, basically until we got out of school,” recalled Steve. “It was excellent experience because we learned the oilfield industry firsthand, and learned how to fix equipment, such as pumps. Many of the people we met, we eventually worked with later on and, in some cases, still do.”

Steve started working for some of those people not long after high school. After about a year of college, he decided it wasn’t for him and came back home to Shamrock, Texas, where his father had set up Damor’s shop. Steve bought a steaming machine and went into business “baking” pipe — a process that removes paraffin from oil field rods and tubes — naming the new entity G&G Steam Service in 1975.

“Eventually, we expanded into working with the natural gas companies too, doing services such as thawing out ice plugs,” said Steve. “We had quite a few customers, built a good reputation and the business kept growing. Eventually, I added a second steamer, and Rudas left his job and joined me in the business.”

Expansion wasn’t limited to steaming pipe in the gas fields. In 1979, at the urging of his grandfather, Steve bought a ditching machine and a backhoe to add pipe installation as a new service. His grandfather even had a job for him to do.

“My grandfather wasn’t in the oilfield business, but having worked for a drain company, he knew about putting pipe in the ground,” Steve explained. “To this day, I still don’t know how he got the contract for that first job, but he came out and helped us do it. That’s how we got into the construction side of the business, and today that’s the main driver.”

A third generation

Steve admits things got tough at one point in the business. The oil industry in the Texas panhandle took a major downturn in the early 1980s, and to survive, Steve downsized and moved the business to Elk City, Okla.

“Many businesses we were working for at that time went broke,” Steve recalled. “I did what I had to do to survive. I brought five guys with me, rented a shop to work out of and even lived in it for a while. But I knew I could make it work. It was actually good for us, because we had to do whatever it took to survive. We were forced to diversify into doing all types of excavation work: house pads, oil-well sites, pipe installation, digging for utility companies and anything else that involves dirt work. We do demolition as well. That’s been a real key to the company’s success.”

Excavation work isn’t the only area of diversification. While Steve was building G&G, his father, Bob, was still active with Damor. In the late 1980s, Steve took over that business as well, and eventually changed the name to Galmor’s Inc., of which Bob is still an owner. Though most of the two companies’ business is done from Elk City, the Galmors still maintain the original Damor shop in Shamrock, and have an office in Montague, Texas.

“There are two aspects to our business now. Galmor’s supplies products, such as rock, pipe and many of the other items Damor carried from the time Dad founded that business in the 1950s,” Steve noted. “G&G is the construction side.”

Between the two companies, there are now about 130 employees, including Steve’s sons Brandon, Levy and Justin, who all play key roles for Galmor’s Inc. and G&G Steam Services. Brandon and Levy run field crews that handle everything from installation of pipe and tank batteries in the oil fields to building house pads and doing site work. Justin takes care of the paperwork, runs the companies’ safety programs and coordinates materials deliveries.

“They grew up with the business, just like I did,” said Steve. “Once things really took off again in Elk City, we opened what’s now our current office location. We lived in a trailer house out back, and when the boys weren’t in school, they were out there designing bicycle tracks and using tractors to build hills. That’s how they learned to run equipment.”

Steve points out they also learned to run projects, such as one recently completed at Fort Sill. During the 12-month contract, crews demolished an old airplane hangar before starting earthwork to build a new one. G&G removed more than 30,000 yards of old material, digging eight feet deep to ensure it was down to stable ground. It then hauled in new material, compacting it in six-inch lifts until reaching final grade. Once, there, G&G worked with the plumbing contractor to dig utility lines and did the finish grading.

While G&G performs a variety of work, the company still specializes in pipeline installation for oil and gas companies. Much of that is done for longtime customers that G&G has worked with for decades. Recent projects include installation of more than three and a half miles of pipe of varying size for one company, and more than six miles of work for another.

“In addition to the boys, I have a terrific group of employees who know how to get a job done,” said Steve, mentioning longtime employees such as Richard York, Perry Duke, Russell Freas, Jerry Howell and Will Region. “There’s nothing those guys can’t do, and they deserve much of the credit for getting us to this point.”

Growing with the help of Kirby-Smith, Komatsu

Steve also acknowledges that G&G Steam Services wouldn’t be where it is today if not for the help of Kirby-Smith, and Ed Kirby in particular. When things were tight, he helped the Galmors get the equipment they needed.

“Ed helped me get an air compressor I needed for a job,” he remembered. “He never hesitated to help us out. That’s something we don’t forget. Because of his willingness to go to bat for us when we needed it, we’ve developed a longstanding relationship with Kirby-Smith. We call them out for service when we need an extra hand, and they’ve always responded quickly.”

Through the years, Galmor has turned to Kirby-Smith for additional units, including several Komatsu excavators and dozers. Most recently, Steve acquired a PC200LC-8 and a D51EX-22 dozer. G&G Steam Services also has two other PC200s and D41, D61 and D65 dozers, plus, rents additional Komatsu equipment as needed. Steve currently works with Kirby-Smith Territory Manager Brad Howard.

“The operators find that the hydraulics in the excavators are faster than other brands, and they get better production both in digging and in pushing pipe,” commented Steve, who’s also bought compaction equipment, trailers and Godwin pumps from Kirby-Smith. “The dozers have excellent power, and that’s important, especially when it comes to pulling large-diameter pipe, which we do quite a lot of. Komatsus are consistently the machine of choice among our operators.

“That’s particularly true of the D51,” continued Steve, speaking of Komatsu’s award-winning, slant-nose dozer. “It has good all-around visibility, so our operators can better see the material they’re pushing and grading.”

Hard work pays off

The Galmors have put those machines through their paces in the past year, as G&G Steam Services has seen substantial growth in the number of jobs and employees with its expansion into the gas and oil industries. Steve said he sees that continuing well into the future, even after he decides to leave the business.

“My sons have learned construction and pipelining, and they’re getting in on the horizontal drilling,” said Steve. “That’s really becoming a major part of the oil and gas industry and it’s only going to continue growing. As the boys become more involved in the business, they’ll eventually take it over, and there’ll be a third generation running things. I never expected us to get to this point. It’s been a lot of hard work on everyone’s part.”