Reader Profile: Lane Greco

April 25, 2019

For the last 22 years, Lane Greco has made a living cleaning up after nature’s fury. “Anywhere along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, sooner or later, a storm is going to hit your area. You want to be prepared for it because that’s a hot item to be ready for whatever situation comes along,” says Greco, owner of Greco Construction in Belle Chasse, LA, outside of New Orleans. Greco Construction provides services in storm-related work, including site preparation, land clearing, demolition, dirt work, and disaster relief to southern Louisiana as well as north Florida through its Jacksonville, FL, location.

“We’ve done everything from reclaimed vessels—the biggest vessel we reclaimed was an 850-ton deck crane barge that we pushed back into the water after a hurricane—to the smallest job of delivering fuel to a pumping station through six feet of water to where no one else could get fuel to during Hurricane Isaac so we could pump the water out and get other equipment in to repair and clean up the disaster area.” Greco’s fleet is a mix of rental and owned equipment. The jewel of his fleet is a DX300LC-5 excavator, on which he finds a hydraulic thumb useful for most jobs he tackles.

What He Does Day to Day
“When we finish a day, we plan for the next day,” says Greco. He hires temporary workers from a pool of highly-skilled people who can deliver the high level of quality he expects, Greco says, adding it’s difficult to maintain people full-time with some jobs temporarily halted due to weather saturating the ground. Greco likes collaborating with clients, such as on a recent renovation job removing concrete for Community Coffee as the company expanded its loading facilities. “We coordinated our work with them so as to not mess up their timeline to get their deliveries out. The joint worked well for the both of us,” he notes. Most of Greco’s work now is for government entities, such as hurricane-related debris removal near flood-damaged levees to help the US Army Corps of Engineers maintain levee right of way.

What Led Him to This Line of Work
Greco’s love for construction equipment developed while he worked for his father Lionel Greco, a heavy equipment supervisor for Plaquemines Parish. He learned to oil and grease machines and then became a machine operator. He then joined the US Army National Guard, which he credited for developing such skills as attention to detail. Greco started his own company with one job and one piece of equipment. “It’s really not a job, it’s a passion I’ve had over the years,” says Greco. “Everything that is in me, my Dad instilled in me. When I started my company, he said, ‘When you’re taking this big leap, you have to do something to separate yourself from the rest of the guys. When you set the bar, set it high. Other than that, you’re just another contractor.’ He was so right.”

What He Likes Best About His Work
“I’ve always had a love of equipment,” says Greco, adding he “inherited” that from his father’s own passion for heavy equipment. “I even catch myself looking at the new stuff coming out to see if there’s anything that can benefit our company’s future. I love being in the field because I watch a project come together and years later I can drive by it with friends and say this is a project I was part of years ago. I watched it from the beginning from clearing the land to what it is right now. I can drive around all over New Orleans seeing projects I’ve been part of.” Greco’s father passed away more than a year ago. Greco says his father supported him through the long hours he put in to build up his business. “I wish he could be here today to see what we’ve become,” notes Greco.

His Biggest Challenge
Trying to not overload himself with work is his biggest challenge, notes Greco. “I have customers who have been with me throughout my 22 years in business and many letters of recommendation,” he says. “I want to keep my level of high quality and customer service.”