Goree Backhoe & Excavating

STRONG RELATIONSHIPS AND DIVERSIFICATION HAVE LED TO SUCCESS FOR THIS NEBRASKA COMPANY

February 02, 2017

Komatsu wheel loaders are ‘bulletproof’

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Diversification has been a key element to the success of Goree Backhoe & Excavating, Inc. since opening its doors in 1976. Today, the Fremont, Nebraska, company handles a wide array of projects, including site prep, demolition, concrete work, trucking and crushing/recycling. The company’s growth has been organic, and this steady, natural progression helped it thrive throughout the last 40 years.

“The diversification has been great for us,” said Roger Goree. “If one area is slow, a different one usually picks up the slack.”

A look back at the company’s history shows that the diversification has been gradual. Gordon Goree started the business in 1976 performing underground utilities for a local plumbing firm. Shortly after that, sons Roger and Greg joined the small construction business. Roger was named President in 1992 and directs the company’s management with Greg playing a key role in supervising the work crews. The company has grown substantially by adding site-development projects, trucking and concrete work, as well as demolition, crushing and recycling services. Today, the company has 24 employees and performs jobs of all sizes in Fremont and the surrounding areas.

“We’ve grown and added people, services and machines as needed,” related Roger. “Luckily, the Fremont area has been good to us, and we don’t have to travel far. Our crew stays busy and goes home every night.”

Although the company has the ability to do a variety of jobs, delivering quality results and building strong relationships with customers is the reason it continues to keep them. Many of the company’s relationships with clients are long-lasting and result in repeat work.

The trucking side of the business also claims a handful of customers for which they regularly haul gravel, sand and aggregate. The firm has standing contracts with several nearby communities for snow removal as well.

Roger credits his crew with the ability to build and maintain strong relationships.

“We have great employees who are knowledgeable and take pride in their work,” commented Roger. “They do things the right way, and that reflects on the company.”

Making dollars and sense

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In an effort to diversify, Goree added crushing/recycling services in 2011. The new venture has also helped the business become more efficient.

“We were doing a lot of concrete removal and road construction, and we were paying to dump the old material and buying road base for our projects,” recalled Roger. “We had a trucking division, so we decided that it made sense to start our own crushing operation.”

Roger turned to RoadBuilders Machinery and Supply Co., Inc. and longtime District Sales Manager Jeff Smith to purchase an entire crushing and screening plant. Almost immediately, the investment paid dividends. The company set up a full crushing/recycling operation at its Fremont facility and began taking in concrete and asphalt to crush into road base and other material as needed. In addition to saving money, it also became a revenue stream.

“Nearly half of the material that comes in is from our work, and we also use roughly half of the material we produce,” explained Roger. “The rest comes from outside businesses. We gladly accept concrete and asphalt from local companies, and if someone needs material, we’re more than happy to provide it to them.

“The decision certainly paid off for us,” he continued. “We save money on our demo and concrete projects, and our truck drivers are consistently busy. The crushing/recycling has helped the divisions work together and become more efficient.”

Roger estimates that the new crushing/ recycling operation, which typically only runs when stockpiles get too large or material is needed, can process nearly 200 tons of material an hour and produce up to 1,500 tons of material in a day.

On one job in particular, the crushing/recycling side was in full force. The company was contracted to demolish a 20,000-square-foot building before a new expansion took place. It tore down the building, hauled the material to its facility, crushed it, and used the recycled material to develop the site for the new building.

“It’s a great example of all our components coming together,” proclaimed Roger. “We used our demo, trucking, crushing, recycling and site-development aspects all on one job.”

Long relationship

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Roger’s decision to turn to Smith and RoadBuilders for crushing/recycling equipment was an easy one. For more than 20 years, Roger has called on Smith for parts and service. It’s an association that Roger values.

“I can call Jeff, and he knows exactly what I want,” said Roger. “We’ve had a long relationship. I see him and RoadBuilders as extensions of our company.”

To say that the connection has a family feel to it is accurate. Jeff’s sister, Barb Shelton, is Roger’s secretary. “If I can’t get ahold of Jeff, I can just have Barb call him,” joked Roger. “She’s supposed to keep salesmen out, but somehow, Jeff keeps coming in.”

Roger and Jeff collaborated on the purchase of several Komatsu machines throughout the years. Currently, Goree Backhoe & Excavating has six Komatsu wheel loaders (two WA250s, two WA320s, a WA450 and a WA470) in its fleet.

“We use the machines for loading trucks and moving material on site,” explained Roger. “The WA320 usually moves to jobsites, and the WA470 is at our facility and is paired with the crusher.

“We love our Komatsu loaders,” he added. “They are strong, dependable, stable machines. They’re bulletproof.”

The company also has a Komatsu PC210LC excavator, which it uses on dirt projects.

“The PC210 is awesome,” said Roger. “It has great power and handling, and it’s versatile – we can do a variety of jobs with it.”

The company also relies on RoadBuilders for service, including Komatsu CARE, Komatsu’s complimentary service program for the first 2,000 hours or three years of the machine’s life, on its newer Tier 4 loaders and PC210 excavator.

“RoadBuilders is a first-class organization, and everyone who comes to service our machines is professional and knowledgeable,” said Roger. “Jeff and our Product Support Representative Donnie Willmer are great guys who care about my company.”

Roger also turns to Jeff and RoadBuilders for used equipment, including three road graders, an NPK breaker, an Ingersoll-Rand/Volvo dirt compactor and an Ingersoll-Rand/Volvo SD100D 84-inch roller.

Looking ahead

For 40 years, Goree Backhoe & Excavating has experienced steady growth and diversification. Going forward, Roger sees his business continuing in much the same way.

“We have a good fit in the area market,” he said. “And we strive to excel in what we do. We want to continue being a leader in the industry we serve.”