Customers in Action

Greenfield Trucking


February 20, 2017

“I demo’d the dozer, and never gave it back”

Greenfield Trucking

After World War II, the United States saw great economic prosperity. An abundance of new businesses cropped up across the country, including Greenfield Trucking Inc., which was founded in 1944 by James Greenfield. Seventy-plus years later, his grandson, Mike, is leading the Clarksville, Tennessee, business.

Mike is President and co-owns Greenfield with his wife, Sabrina, who is Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. He oversees field work, which today largely involves providing full site packages for commercial developers within a 50-mile radius of Clarksville. Services include demolition, clearing, grubbing, mass and fine grading, utility installation as well as subgrade preparation for roads and building pads.

“I prefer projects that involve all, or as many of those services, as possible,” explained Mike. “Customers appreciate that we handle a significant portion of their site work so that they don’t have to deal with a large number of contractors. That, along with providing quality results on time and budget, helped us build a solid list of repeat customers and referrals.”

Greenfield Trucking’s focus shifted nearly 30 years ago when Mike assumed the reins from his father, Doug, who gained leadership of the company after James retired in the early 1970s. Mike expanded services with the addition of underground utility installation that includes water, sewer and storm lines.

“Each generation expanded the company in some way,” explained Mike. “My grandfather started with dump trucks and hauling, hence the name Greenfield Trucking. When my dad took over, he added topsoil sales and bought a loader to fill the trucks. Within a couple of months, it was busy on jobs spreading topsoil. That led to customers wanting us to do more and eventually to full site prep.”

Mike really flipped the script in terms of the type of work that Greenfield Trucking performs. In the early years, his father and grandfather concentrated on residential projects. Mike, in contrast, decided that commercial was a better fit for him, and today that makes up nearly all of the company’s business.

“I like commercial projects because they are typically multi-day jobs, as opposed to residential, which can often be a couple of hours here and there,” said Mike. “The first year I did commercial work, it was roughly 20 percent of our business. By the second year, there was an even split. Now, it’s more than 90 percent of our total work load.”

Steady through the years

Two constants serve as the foundation for Greenfield Trucking. The first is Mike’s hands-on approach as he oversees dirt work from the cab of a machine. The other is the familiar faces on the company’s staff of approximately 15 people.

“We don’t have much turnover, and I think that’s largely because we are a small, tight-knit group that considers each other family,” said Mike. “I have a couple of guys who have been here for more than 20 years. Other than Tim Rittenberry, who is in charge of utilities; John Willis, who oversees trucking; and me, no one really has a particular job title. We all do whatever it takes to get things done.”

The staff completes several projects each year, such as the recent site work for a new restaurant in Columbia where Greenfield Trucking hauled in roughly 4,000 yards of dirt to build the site and installed about 600 feet of water line. On an assignment in Clarksville, it hauled off nearly 10,000 yards of earth and put in 3,000 feet of storm pipe, as well as 150 feet of new water line.

Saving time, money with a D61i

Greenfield Trucking

Greenfield Trucking avoided driving stakes on either project. Instead, Mike relied on his Komatsu intelligent Machine Control D61EXi-24 dozer and its factory-integrated machine-control system. He purchased the dozer last year from Power Equipment Company and Sales Rep Matt Spence.

“The savings of time and material costs have been significant,” Mike stated. “We don’t need surveyors to drive new stakes or replace the ones that invariably get knocked down. The dozer is accurate, so we spend less time and manpower checking grade, and we don’t have to worry about removing or placing too much material. We run it in Economy mode on nearly every job. That lowers our fuel usage, which, in turn, reduces operating expenses.

“Having a machine without masts and cables is a great advantage compared to traditional GPS systems,” he added. “I demo’d the dozer, and never gave it back. Matt and Power Equipment set it up, and they have been tremendous with support since we purchased the machine.”

Helping customers save

The company looks for ways to provide exceptional service, too.

“We try to do a little more than other contractors, like finding ways to help customers save money without cutting corners or sacrificing quality,” he explained. “If they see that we’re invested in helping them rather than just doing their work, they will call us back, and we will have customers for life. That’s the way we have always approached business.”