- Written by: Gaftek LLC
- Produced by: Gaftek LLC
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
The petroleum industry is a serious one that demands experience, technical ability and dedication to succeed, which is precisely why Gaftek LLC has become one of New England’s most respected installation and service providers within that sector. The company provides full-service construction opportunities, assisting in initial assessment of what equipment is needed to initialize the completed solution.
Amy and Burnham “Burnie” Gaff Jr. founded the company from their Allenstown, N.H., home in 1997, operating with just one employee. Eventually, Gaftek’s activity outgrew those initial surroundings and the company relocated to a formal office in Nottingham, N.H., as the company’s determination, responsive service and expertise attracted the eyes of clients in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
By 2003 the Gaffs established a second office in Bucksport, Maine. The Nottingham office has since relocated to Epsom, N.H., and the Bucksport office has become primarily a vehicle maintenance facility, but Gaftek remains positioned to meet the needs of clients across New England with additional outposts in Westbrook, Maine, and a new corporate office in Bangor, Maine. “We provide a full set of services to the petroleum industry, but we’re also a licensed general contractor,” expands Burnie Gaff, president of Gaftek.
Gaff got his feet wet in the petroleum service industry while working for a subsidiary of Irving Oil prior to founding Gaftek. Gaff holds a Master Electrician license in both New Hampshire and Maine, and his combined experience has made it possible for Gaftek to expand with a full-service electrical and lighting division to compliment the company’s general contracting and petroleum services division, ensuring Gaftek continues to build a strong client following in many market sectors.
From concrete pouring to tank installations and upgrades to monitoring and efficiency improvements, Gaftek’s 70 professionals have clients covered throughout the life cycle of any piece of petroleum equipment and/or related infrastructure. The company even has technicians on hand to install point-of-purchase software and technologies to ensure effective, efficient and accurate transactions at a client’s place of business. “We have the capabilities to perform all of our services using in-house labor, but we will bring in additional subcontractors from a set network to keep up with the volume of work on hand,” explains Gaff.
Gaftek’s petroleum services address the needs of petroleum equipment at every stage of its useable life. Gaftek will install or upgrade above- or below-ground storage tanks, completing all shoring, backfilling, excavation and piping required, while also handling all the necessary registration, permitting and documentation to ensure installations are up to code. Gaftek’s experienced professionals will also carry out tank and facility inspections to identify any problem areas and develop a plan to remediate any issues. If contamination is detected, the company will alert the appropriate authorities and begin immediate actions to ensure the affected soils are contained, removed and properly treated.
Gaftek is certified to test for compliance on a variety of tank systems, including those equipped with cathodic systems to protect against corrosion and stage II vapor recovery systems, along with performing precision tank tests to ensure the strength and stability of a tank system. Gaftek maintains a 24-hour emergency response team to mobilize crews quickly in the case of an unexpected equipment failure, and if more than one-third of a client’s gas pumps are down, Gaftek will place the customer’s request at the top of a priority list, ensuring lost time and lost revenue are minimal.
In fact, the Gaftek team values its reputation for responsive service so highly that the company invested in state-of-the-art FleetMatics fleet-tracking software to cut down on fuel costs and ensure vehicles were dispatched as efficiently as possible. Within the first year of implementation Gaftek reduced its fuel costs simply by reducing the amount of time vehicles spent idling thanks to the improved routing provided, and Gaftek ensured these savings would be passed on to the client.
Additionally, Gaftek maintains the philosophy that leaving a good impression on clients is the best way to grow and the Gaftek team aims to find the most cost-effective solution every time. In particular, Gaftek has singled itself out for its ability to complete extensive replacements of older, degraded and defective equipment with as little excavation as possible. In one case Gaftek needed just two days to completely retrofit a client’s defective piping, which turned out to be from the now-defunct Total Containment Inc., whose flexible underground piping was manufactured with polymers not suited for current fuel types.
Leaving a Lasting Impression
Over the course of Gaftek’s 15-year history the company has built its fair share of fueling stations, and the addition of the electrical and lighting divisions enables the team to provide additional services for clients. Gaftek’s general contracting division built one of the largest fueling facilities in Maine, the Kittery Service Plaza along I-295, among many other locations, and Gaftek’s multiple divisions have provided additional clients looking to upgrade to more efficient systems. “We have been busy installing new LED lighting systems to the canopies of many gas stations recently,” adds Gaff.
In fact, the new electrical and lighting divisions have helped the company not only survive the sluggish construction market in the past few years, but Gaff attests that Gaftek has consistently grown, though gradually. “The economic downturn did affect us a bit, but we have become so diversified that we were able to recognize the need to adjust ahead of time and sales have actually gone up every year for the past three years,” admits Gaff. “The opportunity to expand is already presenting itself and we expect to definitely see a lot of expansion in the years to come.”
In the years to come Gaff and his diverse team of professionals will ensure the company’s growth by continuing to provide the most energy-efficient, environmentally friendly solutions throughout the petroleum services industry and beyond. Wherever the company looks to grow, Gaftek LLC will reinforce its commitment to putting regulatory compliance, site safety and client satisfaction first and foremost.
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