Customers in Action

Creasey Construction

ARKANSAS CONTRACTOR MARKS SUCCESS BY BUILDING A LIST OF LOYAL, REPEAT CUSTOMERS

November 14, 2016

Creasey Construction began buying Komatsu excavators nearly 25 years ago and has not owned another brand since

Creasey Construction

Creasey Construction literally started by accident. Leon Creasey worked for a large construction company operating a drag line, helping build dams, roads and other projects. One day a farmer in the McCrory, Arkansas, area where Leon lived, got his brandnew trackhoe stuck. He called on Leon for help.

“Dad got it out and ended up buying the machine from the farmer,” recalled Mike Creasey, Leon’s son. “That was 1978, and I believe he had a vision for his future when he pulled that hoe from the mud. He realized excavator work for farmers could be lucrative, so he borrowed the money to buy the machine and went into business. I think mom cried for a week because she was worried they would never be able to pay the debt back, but it’s worked out well.”

Mike’s dad didn’t have to move the machine for his first job. The farmer hired Leon to clean every ditch, build a road and put in pipe. That started a relationship with what would become a repeat customer. Mike said that relationship building quickly became the norm for Creasey Construction.

“Over the years my dad built a list of farm customers who called him to clear trees and brush, clean ditches, construct tailwater pits, build levees and do custom work,” Mike recalled. “It is really an amazing story, because when he first started he didn’t even have a lowboy to move the excavator. The county judge was gracious enough to transport it from job to job for him. As his client list grew, he bought a lowboy, a pickup and fuel tank.”

Two-man operation

Like most owners of small construction companies, Leon let Mike hang around the jobsites when he was younger. “I greased the bucket, and when dad felt tired he would let me run the machine for 15 or 20 minutes,” Mike said. “As I got older, I moved away from the business and went to Memphis to work for a beer distributor.

Dad reached a point where he had a couple of machines, and a relative, Jack Harlson, worked for him. Jack went out on his own, so dad had no one to take over the business. I moved back in 1990, and we worked together for six years until I bought him out, and he retired.”

That left Mike on his own for a while, but today Creasey Construction is again a two-man operation. Mike typically runs an excavator while his cousin, James Shue, operates a dozer.

“I give a lot of credit to my parents for Creasey Construction’s continued success,” Mike said. “Dad built the business and taught me the right way to do jobs and treat customers. He’s still a good source of information and advice. My mom, Mildred, does all my billing, taxes and general paperwork, so all I have to worry about is digging. James also deserves a big pat on the back. He’s the best dozer operator I’ve ever seen, and he’s pretty good on an excavator, too.”

Promotes Komatsu, H&E

Creasey Construction

Creasey Construction began buying Komatsu excavators nearly 25 years ago and has not owned another brand since. Mike trades almost yearly for a new one and today runs a PC210LC-11. He also uses a Komatsu D39PX-22 dozer.

“We demo’d a PC200 and really liked the power and the way it operated,” Mike recalled. “The PC210 is really the perfect size for me. It allows me the versatility to dig, clear, clean ditches and more, and it performs productively and fuel efficiently, no matter the application. The D39 is smooth and powerful at the same time, so it works equally as well for pushing dirt and brush or finish grading. Tailing ponds often have two-to-one slopes, and that dozer has no problem gripping them. The visibility is outstanding with the slant-nose design. I love the Komatsu machines and promote the brand to other people looking for equipment.”

Mike also endorses H&E Equipment. He works with Sales Rep Jerry Matthis on purchases and occasional rentals.

“H&E currently services the PC210 under the Komatsu CARE program, which is a great value. What I really like is that they do the work when it’s convenient for me because they understand the value of uptime. H&E treats me the same as bigger contractors with huge fleets. When I visit the Little Rock store, the staff knows my name. That says a lot about a company. Jerry is a pleasure to work with.”

Always has work to do

Mike said there has never been a time when he didn’t have a job on his schedule.

“The type of work we do is vital to farm production and good land management, so even in tough times, we have been fairly busy,” Mike pointed out. “I concentrate on the same services that Creasey Construction was built on, and I have a customer base of approximately 200 farmers, hunting clubs and drainage districts across five or six counties that has remained loyal to us. Ninety percent of my customers will wait for me to do their work, and that’s something you don’t find very often anymore. They know I provide quality work at a fair, hourly rate, and that I’m going to continue to do this type of work. This is my niche and always will be.”