MK Weeden Construction Inc.: Honest Dirty Work
- Written by: MK Weeden Construction Inc.: Honest Dirty Work
- Produced by: MK Weeden Construction Inc.: Honest Dirty Work
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Monte Weeden founded MK Weeden Construction Inc. (MKW) in 1991, almost by accident. Weeden’s first project was meant to be a quick turnaround sale of a dozer to a local Lewistown, Mont., landfill company. Seeing potential, the owners agreed that Weeden would complete a contract to dig out a new landfill.
“I grew up in the industry,” says Weeden, owner and president of MKW. “I started this company when I was 23 years old.” MKW has since grown from six employees and one bulldozer to 200 employees and a fleet of equipment numbering in the triple digits.
MKW is now the largest dirt-moving contractor in Montana and Wyoming. “We do mining and mine reclamation, heavy civil construction, airports, roads and highways,” says Weeden. “We also do a lot of oil and gas work. We have done some high-end subdivision development work, aggregate production; we do everything but paving from Wyoming to Montana and into North Dakota.”
The company’s success is based off the fact that Weeden’s workforce is unmatched in the area. “That’s what makes us stand out,” he explains. “We have great employees and we have one of the largest equipment fleets in the area. We own all of the machinery and we purchase through local dealers; we have built long-standing relationships with many of them.” While the equipment is important to the nature of MKW’s work, Weeden believes his greatest asset is his people. His team is comprised of strong, professional, honest workers. “Their experience, hard work and integrity make up the backbone of the company,” Weeden says.
The company also operates 15 gravel pits and three crushers to supplement leveling and site work at MKW’s three locations. The team puts both equipment and experience to work in a number of industrial projects, as well. Clients range from government agencies and energy corporations, oil and gas companies, to Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Freeport-McMoRan, Montana Department of Transportation and Decker Coal.
The company is constantly pursuing new, challenging projects. “Right now we are doing some dike raises for a power plant operated by Pacific Power and Light of Montana,” says Weeden. “We’re building water retention ponds and raising the dikes on their cooling dams.” Other recent works include operating a Bentonite mine for Halliburton in Wyoming and a federal highway project for the Air Force called the Minute Men Missile. The team is also prepping sites for drill rigs, leveling pads and roads for future use.
Weeden and his team have established relationships with several major clients across the region, with such networks leading to more opportunities for the company and the possibility of geographic expansion. MKW has been recognized several times for its capabilities and steady growth, as the company was featured on Terry Bradshaw’s Winners Circle on MSNBC for Weeden’s impressive leadership.
Striving for Success
The recent economic crisis hit many construction businesses hard. Fortunately, MKW has carved out a healthy niche in the market. With broad capabilities Weeden says his team managed well throughout the worst of the storm. “From 2004 to 2008 every year just got better and better,” he says. “In 2009 it was as if the world stopped turning. We didn’t lose any money. We survived, and in 2010 we rebounded. Our volume dropped less than half in 2009. In 2010 we doubled our volume, and did it again in 2011. The key is to stay aggressive. You have to go out and find work. You can’t sit in the office and wait for the phone to ring.”
In 2012 business is better than ever for MKW. Weeden’s team is hard at work providing professional service, as well as safe working environments. The team is required to participate in the company’s intensive safety program with orientation at hiring and ongoing safety and task training. Weeden’s primary goal on every project is prevent accidents and injuries, saving time, money and, most importantly, lives. The company employs a full-time safety and health manager who is tasked with auditing every project regularly to ensure the team and equipment are in compliance. Weeden stresses accountability from the top down, which means each individual, including himself, takes responsibility for the safety of himself and the team.
MKW is building a legacy, one success story at a time. The team receives countless referrals and positive testimonies, which complement a broad and growing portfolio. Despite the company’s advantageous position post-recession, MK Weeden Construction Inc. continues to pursue challenging projects with a culture of safety, integrity and quality.
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