Why is the World War II Museum project so unique?
“It's exciting for us because of the national exposure, but also because it's such a great honor to be involved in a project that honors my father, father-in-law and the generation of those who served,” Tiger said. “Also, because the job is 100 percent demolition, and we are licensed and bondable, we were able to bid the job as the general contractor.”
How do you manage to perform demolition side-by-side with preserving delicate, historic structures?
“It may not look to the average person like we're ginger, but with any demolition, we always exercise extreme caution to protect adjacent structures from impact and vibration,” Reagan said.
“The days of the crane and the headache ball have gone by the wayside,” Tiger added. “Today's technology allows us to exercise much more finesse.”
How is the technology different from 30 years ago?
“Dad was one of the first people to mount a hand-held jackhammer, to make busting up concrete more efficient,” Reagan said. “He built a bracket in a backhoe bucket to mount the jackhammer, creating more control and greater productivity.”
Since then, the technology has evolved, Tiger said, “from air-operated breakers to hydraulic breakers that deliver much less impact and vibration while delivering more energy into the point.
“Today, we have one of the largest hydraulic breakers in the area. It delivers 5,000-foot pounds of energy to a point to break concrete, compared to the 90-foot pound capacity of a handheld jackhammer.”
What sort of competitive advantage does this big hydraulic breaker give you?
“It allows us to break up footings, vaults and other big concrete structures. None of the other demolition contractors have anything quite that big,” Reagan said.
And it means a greater production rate with less impact to surrounding structures, Tiger said. “We performed work at Women's Hospital in Baton Rouge demolishing a former X-ray facility with a 6-foot-thick roof and 5-foot-thick walls. We did it in a timely fashion and without interfering with hospital operations.”
Other than the mounted jackhammer, what innovations have you developed to keep ahead of your competitors?
“When I started in 1978, no one was giving quotes to demolish concrete,” Tiger said. “Everyone wanted to do a time and materials bid, but we were willing to do the hard dollar number.”
Why is that important to a general contractor?
“That means we assume a lot of the risk on a project, and the contractor doesn't have to worry about going over budget or past deadline,” Reagan said.
“My philosophy has always been that contractors have enough problems,” Tiger added. “We get the job done and get out of their way, so they can complete the project without us adding to their heartburn.”
What is the scope of your services, and how has that evolved over the years?
“We've gone from breaking up sidewalks, driveways and streets in New Orleans to serving the whole Gulf Coast with building demolition, site preparations and interior guts,” Chris said.
How did you fare during Hurricane Katrina?
“We were blessed,” Reagan said. “Being on the West Bank paid off this time. We were able to hit the ground running and be a part of the rebuilding effort early on. We were able to assist a lot of our ongoing customers with gutting and removing things like CMU block walls that were blown out and pre-cast concrete panels that were dislodged.”
“Since the hurricane, there have been a lot of fly-by-night companies in town, but contractors knew they could count on us as a reputable, licensed and bonded company with a 30-year history,” Chris added.
What has been the key to your success?
“Dad still has a very hands-on approach to projects,” Chris said. “My dad's philosophy has always been ‘do what it takes to get the job done.' If that means us going out there and busting it up ourselves, that's what we'll do.”
How does your being a family affect the strength of the company?
“We are operating with a huge amount of trust, and we have the benefit of all of our input in the decision-making process,” Tiger said.
How important to your success are relationships with your customers?
“You don't have a company last in this industry without building solid relationships, and my dad has done a great job of building relationships,” Chris said. “When I go on a job and tell them I am Tiger's son, their face lights up. I think customers can appreciate that we hold the company as dear as our father does.”
The Daily Journal of Commerce wants to tell your company's story in our new Question and Answer feature to appear Mondays. If you're an architect, developer, contractor or supplier and want to have your company featured, contact Daily Journal of Commerce Editor Christian Moises at email@example.com