“We’re Komatsu across-the-board.”
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.”
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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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. ”