“We have just about every size of Komatsu excavator between a PC35 and a PC600”
Brothers Joe and John Nowak are second generation in the construction business. Their father, Joseph C. Nowak, was a one-man soil conservation contractor from Marion County, Kansas.
When the brothers opened Nowak Construction Company, they expanded the services of the modest dirt company to include oil-field pipe construction as well as trucking. Then as the oil bust of the mid-1980s unfolded, they understood it was time to look for a better or at least a more stable market.
“We knew we needed to be in Kansas City or Wichita. The conditions were less rocky in Wichita, so that’s where we went,” recalled Joe. “We didn’t have the money for the more expensive rock equipment needed for Kansas City.”
In November 1987 they moved the company’s headquarters to Sedgwick County in central Kansas and got to work with four employees and three rubber-tire backhoes.
Today, with employment peaking at more than 140 and a fleet of owned trucks and equipment, the company mainly works in Kansas and Oklahoma and occasionally does projects in Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and Texas. The firm primarily focuses on underground utility work including water, sewer, sanitary, energy and telecommunications projects.
“We have been very fortunate through the years in that we’ve been able to find and keep some really talented people who have a great work ethic,” the brothers stated.
As Nowak Construction grew, it had a constant partner in Berry Tractor and Sales Rep Atlee Preheim.
“Shortly after we opened our doors, Atlee visited us and we developed a relationship that has lasted ever since,” said Joe. “He was a better dresser then, but Berry Tractor and Atlee have always been there for us, and we value that relationship.”
Nowak Construction turns to Berry Tractor for Komatsu equipment, specifically excavators.
“We have just about every size of Komatsu excavator between a PC35 excavator and a PC600,” shared Joe. “They are exceptionally smooth, very dependable and extremely durable. If we’re using an excavator, chances are good it’s a Komatsu.”
“We are very happy with the performance of our Komatsu pieces and the service we get from Berry Tractor,” said Joe. “In 29 years, we haven’t had any issues.”
Family in the future
The Nowak brothers have succeeded with a strategic business plan and plenty of hard work. Both of those attributes were noticed by the third generation of Nowak brothers. Jack, Jonah, Jim and Jesse are foremen and look to lead the business into a promising future.
“There is a sense of pride that comes with working in a company that has your name on it,” admitted Jack. “We understand the effort and planning that went into making this place what it is today, and we hope to take on jobs that make the most sense to us and continue that tradition.”
“We’re happy that we’ve been able to have enough work so we could grow and keep our people busy,” stated John. “There are a lot of unknowns in this industry, but hopefully we continue to experience solid growth. As long as we provide for our customers and continue to deliver quality service, I think we will be able to do that.”