Customers in Action

Myers Construction


December 17, 2015

“Komatsu and RoadBuilders are second-to-none”

Myers Construction

Few companies celebrate 50 years in business, but Myers Construction can count itself among those that have. Founder Perry Myers attributes the Broken Bow firm’s longevity to a number of factors, including an intense focus on customer satisfaction and a willingness to provide them with an extensive list of services.

Perry Myers started his own business in 1964, not long after graduating from high school. He spent a year farming with his father before buying a motor grader and dozer to start Myers Construction. He used the machines to level dirt and build gravity irrigation dams and terraces mainly for farmers in the Broken Bow and Gates area of central Nebraska.

“My first job was cleaning up a neighbor’s backyard and corrals,” recalled Myers. “I dug a hole and pushed a whole row of Model A cars into it. I used the dozer to mash them down, and then I buried them. I just kept at it, and I eventually got more and more work, most of which came from customers who kept asking me to do more for them.”

In the early 1970s, he added municipal work, and throughout the rest of that decade and the next, the company primarily installed sewer and water treatment systems. In the 1990s, waste disposal and recycling was added to the list, and in 2003, Myers Construction’s diversification continued with horizontal boring.

In 2006, Perry’s son Chris joined Myers Construction full time. He helps oversee the diverse list of services the company provides. In addition to residential, commercial and municipal projects in Nebraska, Myers Construction does some work in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and the Dakotas.

Dig, bore, pour

Myers Construction’s water and sewer work includes installation, lift station repair/ replacement, lagoon systems, manholes and storm drains and water mains. Its excavation services involve moving mass amounts of dirt, as well as land clearing, demolition, finish grading and full site-preparation packages that include concrete work.

“Here’s what we’re about: ‘We dig, we bore, we pour,’ ” said Chris. “We even had it printed on the back of our safety vests as a constant reminder. Diversity is a key element of our success. We can break out our services and do simply a dirt job or utility job, or we can provide a turnkey package that encompasses our list of services. Whatever our customers need, we have the resources to take care of it.”

The list doesn’t stop with excavation and utility work. Myers Construction offers trucking of aggregate materials, such as gravel, sand and dirt; construction and steel building repair – it’s an authorized Metallic Building Company dealer; and roll-off services that include 20- to 40-yard boxes. Additionally, it’s a licensed well driller, asbestos abatement contractor and fusion welding company.

“If you put everything together, we do hundreds of projects a year of varying sizes and scopes,” said Perry. “We haven’t forgotten our roots. We still do those small jobs that are a few hundred dollars, but we also perform some that are hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sewer, water and excavation work remain our bread and butter.”

Ahead of schedule

Myers Construction

That’s evident on Myers Construction’s current list of projects, which includes about 40 blocks of water-main distribution in Oberlin, Kan. In Nebraska, it is also working on sewer pump lift stations in Broken Bow, Cody, and Grand Island, and it built a new water tank in Merna.

Myers Construction recently completed a large excavation project that involved reworking more than 26 acres of lake near Gothenburg, Neb. Starting last fall and working through the winter, the company moved about 250,000 yards of dirt and mud to reshape and deepen parts of the lake for increased water quality and better public access. It included sealing the bottom with bentonite; removing and replacing riprap; building breakwaters and fishing islands for habitat; and installing pipe.

“We had hoped that the earth would freeze, but that didn’t happen, so it was a major challenge moving some muddy and sticky material,” said Foreman Joshua Swift. “Fortunately, we’re adaptable, so we knew how to approach the project in way that would get it done on time. We actually finished ahead of schedule.”

Savings with Komatsu equipment

Myers Construction

Playing a hand in that was Myers Construction’s use of a Komatsu D61PXi-23 intelligent Machine Control dozer with integrated GPS and automated blade control. The company demo’d it during the project and eventually purchased it with the help of RoadBuilders District Sales Manager Tony Randone.

“It truly eliminated several man-hours and wasted time spent staking and checking stakes,” said Swift. “Once we had the project file loaded into the machine, it was a matter of letting the dozer do the work. It always knows where final grade is in relation to the machine, so it eliminates guesswork and the chance of overcutting or placing too much material. It’s definitely a time and cost saver.”

Myers Construction added the dozer to a fleet that also includes several pieces of late-model Komatsu machinery, including PC138USLC-10 and PC290LC-11 excavators and WA320-7 and WA380-7 wheel loaders. It also rents Komatsu equipment from RoadBuilders, including D65WX dozers and HM400 articulated trucks for the lake job, and it has purchased a BOMAG roller in addition to several other pieces of Komatsu equipment through the years.

“We’ve changed our approach to fleet management during the past few years, switching to newer machines, which reduce maintenance costs and ensure uptime and reliability,” said Chris. “Komatsu has always been good, but the newer machines are excellent from production and efficiency standpoints, and our owning and operating expenses are much lower. In part, that’s due to the Komatsu CARE program where RoadBuilders takes care of the routine services for the first 2,000 hours or three years, which we believe is true added value.”

“Manufacturer and dealer service have always been factors in our equipment-buying decisions,” added Perry. “Komatsu and RoadBuilders are second-to-none. Tony and RoadBuilders are great at finding us equipment and backing it with outstanding service, and Komatsu offers us attractive financing options, which we occasionally use.”

Outstanding staff

Five decades in business might make some people complacent and unwilling to tackle new challenges. That’s never been the case for the Myers. Case in point was a project last year, when the company performed demolition and remodeled a mezzanine inside of a medical manufacturing plant. The 9,600-square-foot project called for the work to be done while the plant was still in operation. Chris designed a negative-airpressure enclosure and a system to take debris out and avoid outside air contamination.

“Once it was done, we went to work with the remodel, doing everything ourselves except the electrical,” said Perry. “Our staff of about 50 can, and is willing, to do practically anything, which has helped us build and maintain our diversity. We believe our employees are the best in the business. They work safely, care for each other and take great pride in doing a job right with quality and customer satisfaction in mind. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them, the support of our community and the support of our families. They all have a great deal to do with our success.”

“There’s no job too big or too challenging. There’s nothing that we couldn’t do tomorrow with our collective vision and working together,” added Chris. “We balance each other very well. Dad’s an optimist, and I’m an admitted pessimist. That combination works for us, and it’s helped us make some solid decisions in the past few years that put us on a more solid footing and helped us grow in terms of size of projects and staff. We want to continue that, and we want to continue to build to better serve our customers. The present and the future look very bright.”