In 1966, Gabe Greene founded G. Greene Construction Co., Inc. as a one-man operation based in Allston, Mass. A carpenter by trade, Gabe began working at medical facilities and steadily grew the company by earning repeat business. If a client had a need, Gabe wanted to take care of it for them – a value that still holds true at the company today.
“My father always said he didn’t want his clients to call anyone else for something he could do,” said President and Owner Bob Greene. “When several institutions asked if he could do snow removal, instead of saying no, he decided to buy a couple of machines and added that service to the business. We continue to partner with a majority of the same institutions he built relationships with in the ’60s, largely through our snow removal service, while expanding our operations to new clients as well.”
Bob began working for his father in high school and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He completed a few semesters of college and quickly realized his true passion was working in the family business.
“After high school, I spent a year at Northeastern University and decided it wasn’t for me,” recalled Bob. “My father had a job site close enough to campus that a couple of my friends and I could go straight there after class and work for a while before shooting back to our next class. Whenever I had any free time, I was working with the crews.”
Following his days at Northeastern, Bob joined G. Greene full time and within a decade became President, after his father retired in 1996. Since then, the business has grown to more than 150 employees and has established relationships with medical institutions, defense contractors and power providers, in addition to its snow management jobs throughout New England. The company separates itself from the competition by self-performing many aspects of its projects.
“My father taught me that we never wanted to simply get one job, do it and leave,” noted Bob. “With our current accounts, we’ll go from building to building, floor to floor, wing to wing and office to office. We could be building a manufacturing space for one of the defense contractors; and paving a parking lot, pouring sidewalks, installing utilities and adding granite curbs for someone else. We’re capable of completing a broad spectrum of tasks.
“We excel at working in highly sensitive spaces,” continued Bob. “We have specialized crews that can pass any necessary background checks and will do the job right the first time.”
G. Greene does not have a typical job, rather it focuses on building relationships with clients.
“We’re not so much work-driven as we are client-driven,” noted Bob. “A lot of what we do is proprietary or classified. We might work on an ICU, on an OR at the Boston Children’s Hospital, or we could build a radar range for one of the defense contractors. Whatever our clients need from us, we’ll do.”
The firm also performs utility installation and repair in Boston. The projects often include exploratory excavation to locate existing utilities. To avoid damaging the utilities, G. Greene added a Vactor TRUVAC HXX vacuum excavator truck to its fleet.
“It’s become a necessity to have a vac truck now,” stated Vice President of Site/Civil Division Peter Desisto. “Conventional digging doesn’t fly in the city because no one knows the true location of the utilities. The TRUVAC makes our work safer for the crew, the company and the existing utilities around it.”
“The truck is comfortable and easy to maneuver around the city,” added Operator Larry Brown. “Once I’m at a job site, I operate the machine by remote control. It’s easy and safe because I can see everything without obstacles.”
Since adding the TRUVAC vac truck, G. Greene has increased its business with two local energy providers.
“We have many crews dedicated to distribution repair work for one of the providers, and another crew digging test holes to find a route through the city for a new transmission line to the substation,” explained Bob. “The TRUVAC truck has been handy because very rarely do the utilities and map match up, which means we need to do exploratory digging to locate where they actually rest. The vac truck allows us to pull up to any location and quickly identify the existing electric, gas, water and sewer utilities without worrying about damaging the structures.”
“We didn’t realize how much we needed the truck until we got it,” added Peter. “We use it every day. It’s a critical part of our fleet, and we couldn’t work without it.”
Equipment backed by support
Bob does not profess blind loyalty to one brand of equipment. He expects reliable machines that are backed by dealer support. Lately, he has worked closely with C.N. Wood and Sales Rep Brian Doherty to fill his equipment and service needs.
“We prefer Komatsu machines for our larger excavation projects and snow removal jobs,” shared Bob. “Doing regular maintenance on the Komatsu equipment keeps it running and our projects on schedule. Choosing Komatsu is easy because the machines are user-friendly, and C.N. Wood backs them up with excellent service and support.
“If I need anything, I know I can pick up the phone and call Brian,” continued Bob. “He and the team at C.N. Wood are great to work with.”
G. Greene’s Komatsu fleet includes wheel loaders ranging from WA250s to WA380s, as well as excavators in size from a PC30MR to the PC228USLC. For its snow removal service, C.N. Wood also plays an essential role.
“Recently, we demoed several wheel loaders, and my operators all preferred Komatsu,” explained Bob. “More than the quality of the machine, I know that I can call Brian and have a new piece of equipment within a day and a half. When we need something, they’re right there for us.”
While Bob has no plans to retire any time soon, his daughter, Shelby, recently joined the company and is learning the business from the bottom up. Bob plans to slowly teach her how to run the company while continuing to build relationships with customers and add new business.
“She’s like me at 22 – no interest in coming into the office and wants to be at the job site,” noted Bob. “But, as I’m doing things, like visiting clients or working with people, I’m trying to include her. I told her that although my father retired at 62, I have no plans of retiring soon, because I love this company and what we do.”