Al Myers, grandson of Myers Construction founder Perry Myers of Broken Bow, works in the family business and operates one of the most high tech pieces of equipment the company has. The boring machine pictured above is capable of drilling out of the line of sight of a distance of up to 2,000 feet. Photo by Ellen Mortensen
*Editor's Note: For more Business & Technology stories like this one, see the special section of "Progress 2013" in the Feb. 14 issue of the Custer County Chief.
Nearly 50 years ago, Perry Myers started his own construction business on the family farm near Gates, doing dozer and grader work. The business has not only survived all these years - but has grown and evolved.
Perry believes in hard work, and established that same ethic in all his sons and in his business. Throughout the years, all the boys have worked at one time or another in the family business, with several of them branching off and starting businesses of their own.
Perryâ€™s youngest son, Chris, graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Engineering in Lincoln in 2006, with a degree in construction management. He says it was always his plan to come home and work with his dad when he was finished with school, and that is exactly what he did.
Chris brought with him new ideas, and advanced technologies. Since he joined Myers Construction, the company has added trenchless technology to their resume, along with fusion welding, and laser alignment on pipe systems and grades. Of course, they still do the dozer and grader work the established the company all those years ago.
Perry says the fluid assist directional drills, more commonly known as boring machines, were added to the company about 10 years ago. When Chris joined the business the utilization of these machines really took off.
This trenchless technology allows the crew to bore from any place that can hold the machine, from short distances up to 2,000 feet, without a line of sight. Around corners, under buildings and trees, and the list goes on - the machines can bore from one inch to 24 inches for pipe installation.
â€śThere really isnâ€™t anything we donâ€™t do,â€ť says Chris.
In 2012 alone, Myers Construction bored more than 12,000 feet of fiber optics for Great Plains Communications all across central and western Nebraska. They have bored under the Platte River, underneath the interstate, and above the Snake River near Merritt Dam to name just a few of their jobs. It is a remarkable thing to watch!
â€śOur business has always been a little aggressive,â€ť says Perry.
Myers Construction put in one of the three deepest pump stations in the state, at 42 feet of excavation near Imperial. And while it is the big machines that actually do the work, Chris says the success of the company would not be possible without the great employees they have.
â€śThe cool thing is everybody is so versatile and willing to learn new things,â€ť says Chris. â€śAnd we have great communication.â€ť
He says Myers Construction has several employees native to the area who went off to college then came back home to work. Many of them continue to increase their knowledge through continuing education.
While Perry and Chris acknowledge their employees for their willingness to learn and keep up with the latest technology, they say they also make safety a top priority - and that has paid off. Chris was excited as he shared that 2012 was a totally accident-free year, quite an accomplishment in this line of work.
â€śMost of our success is due to Dad (Perry) promoting teamwork, honesty, integrity and the value of taking care of the customer,â€ť says Chris. â€śHe always says it isnâ€™t about doing just one job for somebody, but doing that one job good enough to do all their work.â€ť