Strong Customer Relationships are Key to Success for Bowen Dozer Service
Less is More: Keeping Small and Ensuring Customer Satisfaction Leads to Repeat Business for Bowen Dozer Service
A large percentage of signs that are posted on telephone poles likely go unnoticed or unheeded. That’s why when Dan Bowen nailed up a few around the Meeker, Oklahoma, area to advertise his new business, he was surprised at the response.
“The number of calls I received shocked me,” admitted Bowen, Owner of Bowen Dozer Service. “In a very short time, I had several jobs lined up, and the vast majority of the people I serviced became repeat customers. They referred us to others, who also became regular customers. Each year, many of them call me to do work that takes anywhere from a day to a week.”
What may be even more shocking is that Bowen had little experience in the services he was providing when he started Bowen Dozer Service nearly 12 years ago. At the time, he only had a small dozer he’d purchased to clear some of his own land.
“I had been in several other business throughout the past 40-plus years, so I had experience with the financial aspects and customer service,” Bowen recalled. “After running the dozer, I knew that I could clear and move dirt.”
Bowen continues to offer both services, along with earthmoving including pond and shop-pad construction, for area farmers and other residents. Working within a 60-mile radius of Meeker, which is approximately an hour east of Oklahoma City, Bowen Dozer Service also builds house pads and does general grading for homebuilders. The staff is made up of Bowen and two operators.
“I started small and have intentionally kept things that way in order to ensure that we can take care of our customers properly,” said Bowen. “That’s been key to our success. A large portion of our work is still done on a handshake and by the hour. Customers trust that I give them a fair and honest rate. We show up when we say we will and the job is done to their satisfaction before we leave.”
Takeuchi-Fecon Combination Proves Productive
One thing that has changed for Bowen Dozer Service is the increasing number of jobs that involve grinding and mulching trees and brush, rather than burning. Bowen added a new Takeuchi TL12V2 Track Loader equipped with a Fecon Bull Hog mulching head to complete those tasks.
“I went with the TL12V2 because it has the most horsepower, and the high flow rate allows me to run several attachments, providing versatility,” said Bowen. “I use it for clearing as well as small grading and even demolition jobs. I chose the Fecon head because I believe it’s the strongest one on the market. It has a great reputation in the forestry industry and with other contractors around here, as does Takeuchi.”
Bowen purchased the combination from Kirby-Smith Machinery with the assistance of Territory Manager Ryan Bebee. It joined a fleet that includes Komatsu D39EX, D39PX and D51EX Dozers as well as a PC160 Excavator.
Operator Carl Smith pushes brush with a Komatsu D51EX Dozer. “I like that I can see both sides of the blade, which is not possible with some other brands I have ran in the past,” said Smith. “That’s great for working in tight spots, such as along a fence row where we need to be exact.”
Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. is a leading distributor of heavy equipment and cranes in the central United States. As a full-service dealer, Kirby-Smith has been serving the construction, mining, and industrial markets since 1983. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company also has full-service branches in Tulsa, McAlester, Kansas City, St. Louis, Dallas, Fort Worth, Abilene, Amarillo, Odessa, Lubbock and Waco.
“My relationship with Kirby-Smith started when I bought an old Komatsu dozer, and the parts department in Oklahoma City went above and beyond to help whenever I had a need,” Bowen said. “They continue to take care of me from every standpoint. That, in addition to carrying top-of-the-line equipment like Komatsu, is why I continue to do business with Kirby-Smith.
“Ryan was instrumental in making sure the Takeuchi and Fecon were the right fit, as he has been with the Komatsu machines,” Bowen added. “Although I have a small operation, they treat me like a big, long-time customer, and I really appreciate that.”
Solid Miles of Brush
Bowen expects to continue putting plenty of hours on all of his machines, especially the Takeuchi track loader and Fecon mulching head combination.
“More and more people are moving out this way, and they want part of their property cleared or cleaned up,” explained Bowen. “That’s especially true if they have cedar trees, which there are many of in this area. With a great deal of brush between here and Oklahoma City – nearly a solid 35 miles of it – there’s a lot of work to be had. We are prepared for it.”
This article originally appeared in the KirbySmith Connections magazine, which is produced by Construction Publications, Inc.