Gowan Construction Inc. started with Roy and Charles Gowan, a vision and two pieces of machinery in 1962. Gowan Construction Inc’s owners, Milt Gowan, Ray Gowan and Mark Gowan, have since grown this business to over 130 employees with an equipment list of over 100 pieces.
Milt’s father, Roy Gowan, and his Uncle, Charles Gowan, started the business as a sideline to farming. Gowan Construction Inc specializes in road, highway and airport construction. They have also performed a wide variety of work on projects including bridges, golf courses, landfills, railroad improvements, pump stations, parking lots, ditching and flood protection. The family still farms around 7400 acres in the Red River Valley which is managed by Milts cousin, Mark Gowan.
The Gowan family have always been loyal customers of Butler Machinery. œOur relationship with Butler Machinery is about as old as our company, says Milt Gowan. œMy dad was friends with Matt Butler, so we™ve literally been doing business together for two generation. Milt went on to say he relies on Butler Machinery because Caterpillar equipment is reliable equipment and they have locations everywhere they work and can depend on them for service and parts. œI™ve tried other brands of equipment over the years, but I always come back to Caterpillar equipment which now makes up a majority of my line of heavy equipment. Noel Shirek, Maintenance Superintendent for Gowan Construction Inc, says œHe appreciates the knowledge and experience that Butler technicians possess. They do an excellent job of keeping up on all the new technology, whether its GPS systems or the new emissions equipment. I consider Butler’s service technicians and parts department staff part of my core team. I depend on them to not only keep the equipment running properly, but to keep it in safe operating condition.
Milt Gowan was also quick to credit Butler machinery when it comes to the value of GPS technology. Milt said, œIt’s an investment, but it saves us money in the long run by eliminating labor and time Having the GPS system allows us to spread an accurate layer of material and prevents over purchasing of product for the project. Milt also shared that using the GPS system has also helped them to achieve the best safety record in the state of ND. œThanks to GPS, we don’t have near as many people on the ground around equipment, taking measurements, setting stakes etc., therefore employees are not in harm’s way as much. It’s a big dollar commitment to have but it pays off in safety.
It certainly paid off when Milt Gowan stood before a panel of judges in Puerto Rico and presented his safety program and records. Gowan Construction Inc was recently recognized in Puerto Rico by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc for their great efforts to promote safety in the work place. Milt was presented with first place winner of the National Safety Excellence Award. œThe award was a pleasant surprise, says Milt Gowan, President of Gowan Construction Inc. œWe don’t make safety a priority to just win awards, the bigger issue is to make sure EVERY employee goes home every night to their families, without any injuries. Gowan also recalls, œIt was kind of ironic that during the award presentations they announced they had in attendance 830 people. The average number of people killed in construction jobs last year in the United States was 806. So putting that into perspective, if each person in that room represented someone who died, the room would have been pretty much empty. That’s why we practice safety EVERY DAY and hold safety meetings once a week. Shirek added, œSometimes our jobs are hazardous. So even with all the safety equipment we have available someone can still get hurt. But we make every effort to provide the equipment and the training to make sure that doesn’t happen.