Lallo Pipeline performs a variety of construction services in southern Oregon and is based near Medford. Vince Lallo and Kristie Lallo are the owners of the contracting company and have grown the firm to be one of the most recognized in the area.
Their success has not come without challenges, including a lack of skilled workers, which is common in the construction industry. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the issue, they have partnered with their local construction equipment dealer, Wilson Equipment, to develop new ways to get the work done. One way is by outfitting a crawler excavator with a tiltrotator accessory and a specially fabricated grading attachment. The need came about because of certain job sites where Lallo Pipeline is operating its excavating equipment.
“We do a lot of commercial projects and city work, including sewer, main water, and main storm drain,” Vince said. “We get into situations where we’re working in tight areas, like around buildings and existing underground utilities, and it creates a lot of handwork.”
A lack of available labor meant Vince and Wilson Equipment needed a solution to replace the manual labor on Lallo Pipeline’s job sites.
“Using a DEVELON DX140LCR with a tiltrotator and the planer attachment, we successfully work in tight spaces where we’re able to get around utilities,” Vince said. “It cuts way back on the labor and time, which makes us a lot more efficient.”
Vince explained that on some of the commercial jobs where his employees are working, there are large concrete pads with utilities subbed up, such as plumbing and electrical, and this presents challenging space constraints.
“You can’t get graders in there,” he said, “which previously created the need for a lot of manual labor. We trim a concrete pad within two or three hundredths of grade with the tiltrotator and get it ready for the concrete crews to come in. We previously had two or three laborers on the ground with a grade checker. Now we can grade them with just a grade checker and no labor.”
Having been in business for more than 25 years, Lallo Pipeline performs a significant amount of repeat work for its customers. According to Vince, that is because of the company’s high standard for quality. He said with technology getting better, especially for his construction equipment, it makes it easier for his operators to maintain quality levels.
“The GPS and the technology, it’s going to make it easier to run the equipment,” he said. “And with advancements in equipment, it’s going to be simpler for operators to do their job. They won’t have to be as skilled to run the equipment as before. The equipment is more comfortable. It’s safer. And that’s going to help a lot in the upcoming years.”
Vince worked alongside his father until his father’s retirement. Afterward, Vince further enriched his construction expertise by working at various companies in southern Oregon. In 1998, Vince launched his own business, specializing in excavating for both residential and commercial projects.
“I’m more or less self-taught,” Vince said. “I’ve just always been self-motivated since I was growing up. I was never handed anything. My dad is old school. You work hard for everything you get. Nothing was handed to him, and nothing was handed to me. We worked together with the motivation of the success that we wanted to build in life. I was raised with that, which is a good thing.
“Thanks to the upbringing by my mother and father, I am where I am today. I’m grateful for the valuable industry trade I learned from them. Their teachings throughout the years mean everything to me.”
It is rare to find Vince working in the office. He dedicates a significant portion of his day to visiting the company’s job sites, and he is not hesitant to operate a machine or get his hands dirty.
“I am on every job,” Vince said. “It’s rare when I don’t get to a particular site and work with my employees.”
“We have a good group of employees working as much as seven days a week, 12 hours a day if we fall behind schedule,” Vince said. “We schedule our jobs, and we aim for four to five 10-hour days a week.”
When employees are hired, they are put through a training program on how to operate and properly maintain the construction equipment.
“We’re just starting our hands-on training program with our employees, and we just train them from the ground up,” he said. “And, in some cases, we’re getting better employees that way than we would with those that have gone to equipment school.
“We try to treat our employees more like family and not a number at a big corporate business. We want them to enjoy their job, so we take care of them.”
A critical factor in the company’s success has been the reliability of its construction equipment and its ongoing partnership with Wilson Equipment to meet its heavy and compact equipment requirements. Supplementing the DX140LCR-5 excavator are DEVELON mini excavators, crawler excavators, and a wheel loader. The newest addition to the lineup is a DX225LC-7 excavator equipped with a tiltrotator accessory.
Vince said that when he arrives on a job site with the latest high-tech DEVELON equipment, he is confident and has the advantage of knowing that the customer will also feel that he is the right choice to get the job done and stay on schedule.
“It is very rewarding when we are awarded any job that we bid,” he said. “As always, and just as my father told me, ‘You always do what you say.’”
“I can see where the equipment is located, track the hours, and monitor the fuel levels and maintenance,” Vince said. “Our mechanic keeps an eye on the machine’s hours, and he visits the job sites to ensure that the fluid and filter changes are being performed.”
Construction business owners like Vince and Kristie can access the telematics fleet management system through a computer or a smartphone app. They can set criteria for machine alerts, which notify them of any issues with a machine. Dealers also routinely receive these alerts, enabling them to respond promptly and address problems before they escalate.