Due to their short work season, this South Dakota business depends on Butler Machinery and Cat equipment to get the job done.
Jason Bowes, president and owner of Bowes Construction based in Brookings, South Dakota, knows how important it is to not only have the right equipment for the job, but to have reliable equipment. With a core business that is built around aggregate sales, asphalt production, grading and excavating, underground and road reclamation he has a wide range of clientele that depend on him and his company to complete the job on time and on budget.
œOur business is built around top speed and top production, whether we’re working for the Department of Transportation, South Dakota State University, a developer or a local contractor, Bowes relates. œAnd Butler Machinery has been a huge part of our growth and success. They allow us to add more versatility, so that, rather than tell a customer we don’t have the equipment for a certain job or we can’t meet their deadline, we can simply give them a bid with confidence we can do it. We have to think of the people we are working for. We want to impact their business and their situation as little as possible.
That’s part of the reason Bowes Construction has already added nearly 50 Caterpillar® machines and four Challenger® track tractors to the inventory over the past two generations. Established in 1975 by Jason’s father, Lyle Bowes, Bowes Construction is already into its 38th year in business. As Jason explains, the business started with the hauling and placing of aggregate. However, his dad soon began working on large highway projects, while recycling asphalt roads.
In 2006, the company purchased its own grading equipment to fill the needs of local customers and facilitate additional project. Today, Bowes Construction operates three portable crushing plants, one portable wash plant, two Cat RM Series road reclaimers, one stationary asphalt plant, twenty hauling units and an earthwork-grading operation that includes six Cat motor graders. In 2012 alone, the company recycled over 160,000 tons of asphalt and 8,000 tons of concrete. Once it’s turned back into useable material, it is used on other projects like Medary Avenue in Brookings, South Dakota, which the company recently paved with an asphalt mix that included approximately 20 percent reclaimed asphalt pavement.
œRon Bannwarth, our Butler sales representative out of the Sioux Falls store, has done a wonderful job of making sure we’re well supplied with the right Cat® equipment for each phase of our operation, says Bowes, noting that both companies also have an office in Sioux Falls. œAnything we run has to stand up to high production and high performance. That’s why nearly all of our equipment carries the Caterpillar name, and it’s the reason we depend on Butler Machinery. Up here in the northern climate, we run a shorter work window, which means we have less time to get things done. You have to get right after it ¦ and you have to depend on your equipment.
œWe can hardly afford to have a machine go down in the middle of production, he continues. œIf we were to have a paver break down, for example, we may have 10 or 12 trucks moving between the plant and the job site and every one of them would be idled. The only way to keep up is to run the best equipment. If you have issues with it, you have to be able to get it serviced and get parts.
In that respect, Bowes says his Butler sales representative has, again, been invaluable to their success. In addition to making sure they are well supplied with parts and equipment, he says Ron is also there to œstick up for them if they have any problems.
œIf we have any issue with a machine, Butler often has people out here the same day ¦ sometimes within the hour ¦ and they can have any parts they don’t have in stock delivered to us the next day.
œCaterpillar, I believe, is the best equipment out there, Bowes continues. œHowever, Butler always goes out of their way to make sure we are up and running as soon as possible when something does go wrong. We™ve had a few issues, and they˜ve helped us work through those issues. As far as downtime, we don’t experience a lot of downtime.
On the other hand, Bowes feels it’s important that he and his crew take care of their equipment in the off season. Hence, they are continually working at scheduled maintenance and repairs in the winter. Still, there are times they turn to Butler for help on larger projects. As an example, they recently asked Butler to overhaul and refurbish the company’s oldest Cat motor grader, which had just over 15,000 hours on it.
œBy the time they sealed all the hydraulic cylinders and hose leaks and repainted the whole thing, it looked like all our other graders that were a lot newer, Bowes relates. œIf you would have seen it before, you wouldn’t recognize it as being the same grader.
The relationship with Butler Machinery doesn’t end there, however. Despite the extensive inventory of Cat machines, there are still times that Bowes relies on North Central Rental & Leasing LLC, a division of Butler Machinery, for an extra machine or attachment.
œWe still run into situations that call for an extra machine or something specialized, Bowes says. œWe’re always looking to satisfy our customers and meet their needs, so we don’t always pick the job. Instead, we do whatever comes along.
As a result, Bowes says in the past year alone, they™ve rented a Cat 329 excavator and two 140M motor graders. Previously, they™ve also rented dozers, attachments and even a Challenger MT865 track tractor for pulling a scraper.
œButler and their rental division really give us the assurance we need when bidding projects, knowing that we’ll have the equipment we need to get the job done in a timely manner, he adds. œWe know that if we need to rent a piece of equipment, it will be a top-quality, dependable, late-model machine. Equally important, we know that if we have a problem or something goes wrong with any piece of Cat equipment ” rented or owned” Butler will be out here immediately to take care of it.
œWe realize that there are a lot of variables in our business and that we’re depending on our equipment to work outside in some tough weather, Bowes concludes. œAs a result, there will always be things that go wrong, no matter what brand it is. It’s all in how you deal with it as a dealer and manufacturer. That’s why we run Cat equipment and rely on Butler Machinery.