Doak Construction Inc serves widespread and diverse needs

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
EMPLOYEES KEY TO SUCCESS -- Sid and Sue Doak, the owners of Doak Construction, Inc., give credit to their team of employees for the company's success. In combination with the Doaks, the staff has more than 200 years of combined experience. The firm, established in 1954, serves agricultural and commercial customers in the Tri-State Region.

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Large cities are not the only place with skyscrapers. We have them in small towns, too. Here, they're called grain elevators.

This fact -- which is apparent when you travel through the Tri-State Region -- is a major reason for the success of Doak Construction, a millwright, construction, sales and service company which has been serving the grain storage and handling needs of a wide region of Southwest Nebraska, Northwest Kansas and Northeast Colorado for 54 years.

The firm's success now, as then, stems from the beliefs of Wayne Doak and Sid Doak -- the two men who have guided the company throughout its existence.

"Dad based the business on two principles," Sid said. "First, he insisted that every job be done with honesty and quality. And second, he felt we owed it to our customers to take on every challenge -- no matter how big or how small."

Not only were those principles important, they were essential for the agricultural development of the Tri-State Region. The reason is apparent when you consider the major role that grain handling and grain storage has in the economic life of this region. When you consider the Tri-State Region as a whole, there are thousands of structures that rely upon the knowledge and craftsmanship of the skilled crews from Doak Construction.

This not only includes the sky scraping grain elevators, but also the multitude of grain bins on farms, ranches and feedlots, as well as facilities at fertilizer plants and other ag enterprises.

To serve these widespread and diverse agricultural and commercial structural needs, Doak Construction relies upon huge equipment and an experienced and talented team of employees.

Standing tallest in the array of equipment is the 70-ton Linkbelt crane which can stretch into the sky to reach the head-houses of the area's tallest elevators. The assortment of essential equipment for grain storage construction and repair projects also includes a 26-ton crane, several JLG man-lifts and three derrick digger trucks. "We can reach as high as 175 feet above the ground," said Bob Fritsch, the general manager of Doak Construction. "On the other hand, to secure the large structures, we sometimes need to work at depths of 35 feet below the ground."

The equipment -- all self-transportable -- is constantly on the move, as Doak Construction crews head out in all directions, serving farmers, feedlots, co-ops and agri businesses from as far west as Wray; as far north as North Platte; as far southwest as Goodland; and as far southeast as Norton.

MULTITUDE OF PROJECTS -- In order to meet the grain handling and storage needs of the Tri-State Region, the Doak Construction team does whatever is necessary, whetter that be new construction, fabrication or repairs. This scene, photographed in the Imperial area, shows Doak's large crane's maneuvering materials into place for erection of hopper bins and support structures.

While equipment is essential, Sid Doak regards the company's team of employees as Doak Construction's greatest strength. In combination with Sid and his wife, Sue, who purchased the business in 1998, the Doak Construction team includes a nucleus of key employees with more than 200 years of service.

Taking this into account, Sid and Sue are looking to the future, making transition plans to insure that key people are rewarded for their dedication and loyalty.

The leadership team includes Bob Fritsch, the general manager and estimator; Ken Groves, office manager and parts specialist; Mike Baumfalk, Darrin "Red" McClain and Brett Holloway, foremen and fabricators; Ryan "Blue" McClain, crane and boom truck operator; Caroline Lawson, accounting manager; and Michelle Armstrong, human resources coordinator. "All together we have 18 employees," Fritsch said. "They're experienced, knowledgable and ready to respond on short notice."

To meet the millwright and crane service needs of the area, the Doak Construction team has to adapt quickly in a number of different ways. This ranges all the way from massive builds -- with construction projects approaching a million bushels in capacity -- to fabrication of grain storage parts that are no longer manufactured. The parts expert is Ken Groves, who is a master at finding parts for all sorts of equipment.

And -- when no parts are available -- the key crewmen are all trained fabricators, molding metal into shapes that keep grain storage and handling facilities in operation.

Not knowing when problems may arise, Doak Construction crews are on call every weekend. The firm's office and shop are located at 404 East B Street in McCook. Doak Construction can be reached by phone at 308-345-3194 or toll-free by long distance at 800-638-9183. The firm's e-mail address is

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