Customers in Action

Huffman Construction


February 09, 2016

“We’re Komatsu across-the-board.”

Huffman Construction

After graduating from the University of Missouri with a civil engineering degree and working for another construction firm, Keith Huffman started full time at Huffman Construction – the Poplar Bluff, Missouri, firm that his father, Mike, started in 1972. Having largely been an engineering and commercial/ industrial general contracting firm, the company began pursuing heavy/civil projects after Keith’s arrival in the early 1990s.

“I prefer large heavy/civil jobs,” said Keith, who is President and Managing Member of Huffman Construction. “Growing up working during the summer on construction projects, I had the opportunity to work on a few heavy/ civil jobs, so it was a natural fit when we started pursuing more of them.

“Today, we’re a general contractor and a majority of our work is pump stations and treatment plants,” he said. “We also do a fair amount of manufacturing work, and some large, design-build projects, such as a hospital in Poplar Bluff and a large addition to an ice cream plant in Sikeston, Missouri.

“We’re probably best-known for pump and plant work for municipalities and the Corps of Engineers. I think one of our greatest strengths is our ability to self-perform all aspects of those jobs – from earthwork, to site utilities, to concrete, to mechanical and electrical.”

“Self-performing means we’re in control of project quality, cost and schedule,” added Operations Manager Josh Russom.

Huffman Construction works throughout a multi-state territory. Large jobs have included treatment plants in Branson, Missouri, and Garden City, Kansas, and pump stations in Jefferson City and Charleston, Missouri.

One of Huffman’s largest projects to date is the Grand Prairie Pump Station in DeValls Bluff, Arkansas. The pump station is 50 feet deep, and the building that is to be constructed on top of the pump station will stand three stories high. It will have two 10-foot pipes and six massive pumps – four 4,160-volt, 5,600-hp 360 CFS pumps and two 4,160-volt, 1,500-hp 100 CFS pumps – all of which will be able to pump a total of 736,082 gallons of water per minute.

“It’s a large project that’s important to a lot of people, and it makes us feel good to be a part of it,” said Huffman. “We get a lot of satisfaction from doing work like this, and we take pride in our ability to complete it.”

Dedicated employees

To do work like Grand Prairie, Huffman relies on a talented and veteran group of employees. In addition to Russom, key personnel include Mechanical, Electrical and Process Coordinator Bryce Huffman; Office Manager Ann Eggers, who, according to Huffman, “is involved in everything we do”; and several superintendents such as longtime employees Jack Holifield and Gene Jackson.

“Our company has always been based around our superintendents and their capabilities,” said Huffman. “Jack and Gene have both been here more than 30 years. We have several others who are also very skilled and versatile. I would put our employees up against any others in the industry.”

“Our superintendents – and all our employees, really – take ownership of their jobs,” added Russom. “They want to do a great job for Huffman Construction and for the project owner. We have total faith in them to do what needs to be done on a job, whether or not we’re on-site with them.”

Komatsu across-the-board

Huffman Construction

In order to complete its large civil projects in a timely manner, Huffman Construction primarily turns to Komatsu equipment from Roland Machinery. The company uses its Komatsu PC360 excavators, WA250 wheel loaders and D65 or D61 dozers to expedite its work at each project.

“Other than backhoes and cranes, we’re Komatsu across-the-board,” said Russom. “We’ve tried other brands, but we think Komatsu is the best. We need machines that start every time we turn the key, and we get that from our Komatsus.”

“As good as the equipment is, it’s the support from Roland that keeps us coming back,” said Huffman. “Our Sales Rep, Dan Christensen, takes excellent care of us. From finance, to rental, to parts and service, they’re always there for us. On the rare occasion when we have an issue, or perhaps need some rental rates to help bid a job, Dan and Roland respond right away. We also recently began using them to do our routine maintenance services. We really appreciate everything Roland does for us.”

Striving to be the best

Huffman Construction has grown steadily and is continuing to do so.

“We’re not trying to be the biggest; instead, we strive to be the best at what we do,” said Huffman. “That allows us to be confident in our abilities. We put together good estimates, and we have good people to do the work.

“I also think we’re in good shape for the future,” he added. “Unlike many construction companies, we’re fortunate to have some good, young talent. We have several foremen in their 20s who are going to be able to run their own jobs soon, which will allow us to bid more jobs going forward. As long as we maintain our workforce and continue to do the quality of work that our customers expect, I’m optimistic about what’s in front of us. ”