At MH Equipment, we believe People Matter and that is why we partner with Gallagher to share helpful tips and tricks for staying healthy. This month, we’re focusing on several topics that come up during the holiday season: Stress Eating, Finances, and Over-Scheduling. Each of these articles highlight areas that can help get you through the holidays without the weight gain, the stress of overspending and putting too many events on the calendar. We hope that each of these articles helps everyone that might start to feel stressed over the holiday season. Happy Holidays.
Learn More: December 2019 Employee Health Newsletter
We carry a wide variety of products including high capacity forklifts and specialty lifts. Sometimes it can be hard to determine what you need and when. That is where our experts come in. Matt is part of our Big Truck and Specialty Equipment division. We sat down with him to answer your Big Truck questions:
What are "Big Trucks"?
"A “Big Truck” is a forklift with a higher capacity than what would be typically seen in a local home improvement store or lumber yard. They can be used to unload entire trucks at one time or handle overseas shipping containers in ports and rail yards. Our Big Truck customers handle large machines, concrete, steel and lumber and work in ports, power plants, construction sites, mills and manufacturing facilities around the world."
How do I know I need a Big Truck vs. a regular forklift?
"Knowing what needs to be moved determines what size of truck you need. Our Material Handling Specialists can help you determine what piece of equipment is needed. Let us know what you need to move and we can help provide the solution."
Is renting a Big Truck an option?
"Absolutely - Our rental fleet has a wide range of Big Trucks and Specialty Equipment. Last week we delivered a 36,000 lb. capacity truck to a customer. We are sending one of our 55,000 lbs. capacity trucks out today to handle steel coils and we are renting trucks to handle even larger loads of over 100,000 lbs.!"
What makes MH's Big Trucks different than competitors' lifts?
"Few can match MH Equipment’s breadth of experience, service expertise, and fleet management solutions. Our suppliers offer a wide array of safety and productivity solutions. Among these are our real-time telemetry solutions, state-of-the-art service access, and in the last decade we’ve seen tremendous improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced operating costs as well."
What features do Big Trucks have to keep my operators safe?
"Our equipment is designed with operator and pedestrian safety in mind. Solutions range from the simple hi-vis standard seatbelts, panoramic mirrors, and traditional back-up and motion alarms or strobe lights to sophisticated proximity and object detection systems and perimeter cameras. And, really, it all starts with good visibility, to the front, sides, and rear of the trucks."
What is one of the operator’s biggest concerns when operating a Big Truck?
"Operators tell us that they want a comfortable work environment so that they can be productive all day long. Air suspension seats, air conditioning, and an infinitely adjustable steering column addresses many of these concerns."
What service options are available with MH for Big Trucks?
"We offer the same quality service options available with all of our equipment from routine maintenance, PMs, and call-in repairs, to fleet management. If someone needs a service, we can do it quickly and efficiently."
What else does MH offer that is unique or unusual?
"Big Trucks and specialty equipment is comprised of a wide range of material handling solutions, not only the Hyster and Yale “Big and Jumbo Trucks” and the Rico Pegasus high capacity cushion trucks. We also offer EX rated explosion proof forklifts as well as Combilift, Landoll, Bendi and Drexel equipment for specialized load handling solutions."
Are you ready for a BIG TRUCK or specialized solution? Call your local MH Branch today to get in touch with Matt or another one of our specialists.
At MH Equipment, we believe People Matter and that is why we partner with Gallagher to share helpful tips and tricks for staying healthy. This month, we’re focusing on metabolic syndrome, the 5 health risk factors involved, and how these greatly increase your risk for a number of serious chronic illnesses. We’ve highlighted some very simple changes that can be made for a healthier you! We hope this article helps anyone that might be struggling with one or more of these risk factors.
Learn More: November 2019 Employee Health Newsletter
MH Equipment partners with MH Engineered Solutions to provide our customers warehouse distribution, order fulfillment, warehouse software solutions, and more. They represent our supply chain division and work closely with our Material Handling Specialists to make sure our customers get the right solution for their operation. Scott Hennie, MH Engineered Solutions President, sat down with us to answer your supply chain questions:
1. What role does warehouse layout play in the supply chain process?
"Layout is an important fundamental of warehouse design. A strong layout with properly placed and sized travel and access aisles will increase operating efficiency and shorten the time from dock-to-stock-to-shipping."
2. What is the biggest risk of having a poorly designed warehouse?
"Safety! A poorly designed warehouse can create work hazards such as truck/human intersections, reaching hazards, climbing hazards. A well-organized facility will eliminate or minimize the safety risks to associates."
3. What proper equipment needs to be in place at a warehouse for packing and shipping inventory?
"For an efficient packing and shipping operation, organization is the most important tool. This can be accomplished or enhanced with equipment for staging orders, well designed and planned workstations and work aids to move finished orders from the packing area to the shipping docks – such as sortation conveyors, AGV’s or mobile robots."
4. What can a business do to prevent bottlenecks?
"Optimize the movement of information, product, and people. Understand workflows, product velocity, order demands, and throughput capabilities and design processes and systems to support the movement of the operation. A well planned and implemented Warehouse Control System Software (WCS) will help a business monitor and optimize the flow of inventory, data, and people. A good WCS can also monitor the “health” of the equipment utilized in the facility."
5. How can a business increase worker speed?
"Increasing worker speed is not as important as increasing worker efficiency. Providing proper automation and mechanical equipment will help reduce the #1 enemy of a warehouse worker – TRAVEL. A worker spends 80-90% of their time traveling. By eliminating travel, you can increase productivity work time. Goods-To-Person, Conveyor, AGV’s, Mobile Robots are all ways to eliminate or reduce worker travel time."
6. What types of businesses can benefit from an automated storage and retrieval system?
"Businesses with harsh operating environments, such as freezers. Businesses with high-volume pallet or unit load movements. Businesses that need to store a large volume of products and have a small footprint to store them."
7. What could businesses do today, in the next 24 hours, to improve their operation?
"Organize their product to make sure the fastest moving items are close to the shipping docks and at an accessible level."
You have questions and we’ve got the answers. Our goal is to provide you the answers you need when deciding how to keep your operation moving on the rails. We asked our Railcar Mover team to sit down with us and answer some of the tough questions our customers:
1. Why are railcar movers essential to switching operations?
"Railcar movers are essential primarily because they give the customer the flexibility to move their railcars on their own schedule and not have to wait on the railroad to move their railcars. It keeps the whole plant working and moving the line as efficiently as possible."
2. Why should I buy a railcar mover instead of a switcher locomotive?
"The reason a company would buy a switcher locomotive would be because of the tractive effort that is required for the moves they are making. Generally speaking, locomotives have much more power than a railcar mover. If a customer demands versatility in getting off one track and getting on another, a railcar mover is ideal. A track survey by qualified specialists like our team can easily identify the right option for a customer."
3. What should owners do annually to make sure their railcar mover stays up and running?
"There are three things a customer can do to minimize downtime. First, make sure that the operators are doing the pre-shift inspection. This may identify any issues before they may become serious. Secondly, I recommend that a certified technician does service on the machine every 500 hours. The last thing a customer can do to make sure the machine stays running is operator training. This makes sure that each operator does not develop bad habits over time. A trained operator will be a safer operator, thus minimizing excessive abuse to the machine."
4. What is the most common safety concern when operating a railcar mover?
"The most common safety concern while operating a railcar mover is the ability to brake and stop. With the weight and momentum involved in moving loaded railcars, having the ability to use the train air brake system to stop the railcars is a key concern of operators. Visibility of co-workers, spotters, and other vehicles are also another main concern for railcar operators. The features of a Rail King help alleviate these issues."
5. What is the most important feature of the railcar movers MH offers?
"Besides safety-related features, 24/7 support is the best value we can offer our customers. It will cost a plant thousands of dollars in downtime if the railcar mover is down. Being there when a customer is experiencing problems is crucial."
6. Should I buy or rent a railcar mover?
"Renting a railcar mover is usually a short term answer for a customer who currently has a mover that needs repair; their locomotive has gone down or they have a short term need for extra capacity or a specific project they are trying to complete. There are some customers who prefer long term rentals and they fill their need based upon financial considerations along with other reasons. Buying a railcar mover is a long-term investment in their business and addresses a specific need in their daily operation."Got more questions? Reach out to our team of Railcar Mover experts by visiting mhrailcarmover.com or calling your local MH Equipment location.
You have questions and we’ve got the answers. We asked our Industrial cleaning equipment team to sit down with us and answer some of the tough questions our customers have when purchasing an industrial sweeper or scrubber.
DJ, our Cleaning Equipment Program Manager, and Don, an MH Sweeper-Scrubber Specialist, are experts when it comes to industrial cleaning equipment. See their answers below to questions every Warehouse Manager and business owner face when considering the purchase of industrial cleaning equipment.
1. How do I know if my business is the right size for industrial cleaning equipment?
"We can outfit any size business with the right size floor care machine, from small office machines to large outside parking lot machines. Every business can benefit from cleaning equipment." – Don
2. How do I know if I need a sweeper or a scrubber or both?
"It depends on the facility. We find the correct machine for your unique application. We would be glad to make a visit to a customer facility to conduct a floor cleaning survey to determine the right machine for the application, at no charge." – Don
3. How do I know what head type to use?
"Good rule of thumb is if you need to pick up solid debris, then a cylindrical sweeper/scrubber combo scrub deck is what to use, as it will deposit debris into a catch hopper while it is also scrubbing the floor. A disc head scrubber is capable of applying more down pressure for heavily stained floors and is capable of using soft pads for polishing fine floors." – Don
4. How are traction drives and brush drives different?
"A traction drive machine pulls itself and with a brush drive system, your brush spinning on the floor moves the machine forward, you’ll still need to push a brush drive machine is certain circumstances." – DJ
5. How do I dispose of dirty cleaning solution?
"Great question! This will depend on the cleaning chemicals you are using to clean with and the size of your drains. Let us help you find the right solution for your wastewater." – DJ
6. Should I buy or rent an industrial scrubber/sweeper?
"If you plan on keeping the machine for more than 5 years it is best to purchase new. If you’ll only be using the machine to clean up corrosive liquids, rental is the way to go." – DJ
Got more questions? Read our blog post "4 Questions to Ask Before Buying an Industrial Sweeper or Scrubber" to help answer your questions or call our specialists at your local MH Equipment location.
Find out more about becoming an MH Equipment Technician by visiting our Technicians Career Page for details on open positions, benefits, and more!
Every warehouse, retailer and distributor is different. Every company has its own unique operational goals and objectives. Every warehouse manager solves problems differently. But in the material handling industry many of us have something in common--a reliance on dock doors to move products effectively.
In our experience, we’ve found our customers with dock doors usually fall into one of three categories. Which one sounds the most like you?
Maybe you’re a combination of more than one of the above, but chances are you relate to a lot of those problems. Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing or distribution, anyone with a dock door knows the importance of keeping them in good working order.
Once you know which type of dock door manager you are, the question really becomes: what are you doing about it? Do you fully understand how a good dock door maintenance strategy will improve each of the three areas above? How are you handling the need to maintain the effective use of your dock doors? How are you taking care of this critical part of your operation?
You’re likely doing one of three things.
If you find yourself in category C (and maybe even category B) it’s time to think about this choice a bit more in depth. The last thing we want as an equipment company is for our customers to have a dock door out of service. Especially for our customers who are operating with only one door. If that door breaks down, your entire operation is halted, and there just isn’t time for that!
If you’re not on a regular dock door maintenance plan with MH Equipment, we want you to be aware of the consequences that could pop up.
Having your doors inspected on a regular basis to look for small repairs or maintenance should be a no-brainer. But at the same time, it also seems like such a minor part of the overall operation, that many managers gloss over this piece.
By the end of this article, we hope you have an idea of some of the negative consequences that can happen as a result of delaying this work. And taking it a step further, we hope you realize just how important it is to get your warehouse on a regular maintenance schedule before the end of the day. It just takes a simple phone call to get it all set up. Call MH Equipment now at 888-564-2191 to see the ease of the process.
If you’ve been avoiding maintenance on your dock doors, be on high alert for one or more of the following consequencing to come knocking.
#1 Small issues can become big issues.
A small crack in the concrete, one light that is out, a seal that’s not tight; each of these issues seems small by itself, but each one will contribute to a larger problem eventually. Soon a small crack or poor lighting could lead to any number of issues.
It just takes one truck pulling out too soon, or one load to be dumped in order for major revenues to be lost. Even factors outside of your control like the weather can impact the health of your loading doors. Harsh weather can impact the concrete, seals, and the doors themselves. Don’t ignore the small issues, because sooner or later they will become big issues. And big issues are much more expensive to fix.
#2 Dock safety is compromised.
Safety should always be a high priority, both for your employees and the drivers who are loading and unloading each day. Wear and tear on the doors, or docks that aren’t aligned properly could cause major safety issues. A door that doesn’t roll up properly, or a truck that tips could result in injures. Keep everyone safe by getting on a regular maintenance plan, you’ll prevent problems you might not have even known were possible.
#3 Loading efficiency suffers.
Making a driver work harder to get in position due to a preventable issue is frustrating. It’s frustrating for both you and the driver. The five minutes it takes them to reposition and line up properly multiplied over thousands of loads will cause your efficiency to plummet. It only takes our dock door experts about an hour to do an inspection and repair any small issues on your door. An hour once or twice a year to prevent hundreds of hours of inefficient practices is more than worth it.
#4 Relying on non-experts.
We know you have great people on staff who are more than capable of checking the occasional issue. But when you’re forced to rely on people who have other things to do every day, you’re not trusting this maintenance to the experts, and you’re definitely not guaranteeing the work will remain a high priority and be done at regular intervals. Not to mention, you likely won’t have the paperwork of all the maintenance done each year if you do the work in-house. Let the dock door experts do the work they’re qualified to do. It’s one less thing you and your team will need to worry about.
#5 Decreased credibility
An inefficient dock leaves drivers and external partners frustrated. In their mind, you know the load is coming, so you should have the doors ready for them and in good working order. To not have that will impact the way all of these partners view your business. Your reputation is a critical piece of your operation, so don’t allow it to suffer by avoiding something as easy as regular dock door maintenance.
An effective dock door maintenance strategy always starts with awareness. Now that you know what could happen as a result of ignoring or delaying this work, it’s time to take action to prevent these consequences. Contact the dock door experts at MH Equipment today and learn how easy and pain-free it is to get on a regular maintenance plan.
Our dock door technicians will put you on a plan and come inspect your doors on a regular basis, and you’ll never have to worry about small issues becoming major problems again. We’ll fight to help you maintain your stellar reputation, improve safety, and increase efficiency the best way we know how.
Don’t wait to schedule this crucial maintenance. Call MH Equipment today at 888-564-2191 and keep your dock doors running smoothly.
How do I know when to have my forklift tires pressed?
We know this isn’t everyone’s favorite answer, but...it depends.
There are many different factors that can impact how often you need to change the tires on your forklift. But to get you started off in the right direction you can do a quick self-audit to know what replacement schedule will best fit your forklift’s needs.
If you have a relatively low number of in-use hours per day, drive on indoor terrain and carry lighter loads, it’s likely your forklift tires only need to be replaced once a year or less. However, if you’re running your unit more than 6 hours a day, on uneven or varying terrain with heavy loads then the tires on your unit will need to be replaced twice or three times each year at a minimum.
Answering the above questions probably gave you a good idea about whether you need to replace your tires more often than you are, but remember the results of the audit are meant to be a helpful resource or guideline. It is of course best to contact the professionals directly to get the most accurate recommendation for your forklift based on your individual needs.
Right now you can take advantage of the opportunity to have an expert view your tires. Call us at 888-564-2191.
A simple way to tell if your forklift tires need replacing is to look at the lettering on the side of the tire. If the tread on the tire has worn down to the top of those letters or below, it’s time to schedule tire pressing--now!
Many manufacturers also include a wear line or a safety line. If the rubber is worn close to or past that line, the tires need replacing ASAP.
While checking the tread and amount of remaining rubber is a good rule of thumb, there are other threats you need to be aware of when it comes to proper forklift tire health. Including:
That’s just to name a few! The point is, there are many unforeseen circumstances that could cause problems with your forklift tires.
Regular Tire Pressing Schedule
The absolute safest and most efficient way to know when it’s time to replace the tires on your forklift is to get on a regular tire pressing and forklift maintenance plan. A regular schedule takes the guesswork out of your equipment maintenance.
What does a regular forklift maintenance plan look like?
You’ll work with the experts to pre-determine how often your tires will need replacing. Based on the recommendations and your schedule, the qualified technicians can schedule regular, ongoing work on your forklift.
At MH Equipment, we have hundreds of highly qualified professional technicians ready to meet your equipment maintenance needs. We will work with you to determine your needs and suggest a tire pressing schedule. Then we’ll put the plan in action and all you have to do is watch it run on autopilot.
Forget having to remember or track the last time key maintenance was done, we’ll do the heavy lifting for you.
If you’re realizing your tire maintenance is overdue, don’t panic -- we’ve got you covered.
Give our tire experts a call and give us the make and model or your unit. We have hundreds of styles of tires in stock, and we can get you on the schedule ASAP to take care of that importance maintenance.
Tire pressing services are available at MH Equipment’s 31 service locations around the midwest. And in select locations (St. Louis, Missouri and Des Moines, Iowa) we also have a mobile tire pressing unit we can dispatch to do the work at your location. This mobile option is an added bonus that helps you maximize the amount of time you can keep the unit in use.
We always urge our customers not to delay forklift maintenance of any kind. When you’ve been in business as long as we have you see more “worst case scenarios” than you’d like to.
That’s why we always recommend getting on a regular maintenance schedule. A regular schedule puts the burden of the maintenance on our shoulders instead of yours. After all you don’t want these consequences looming over your head because you delayed tire pressing:
Of course, a regular maintenance plan goes a long way in keeping your tires in great shape, but another piece that needs to be addressed is how to keep your tires in good condition once they’ve been replaced. There are a few simple things you can do in your daily operation to reduce the amount of overall maintenance required. And who doesn’t want to save on maintenance costs?
Tire pressing is a necessary part of forklift maintenance. Replacing the tires every few months could seem like a pain, but if you trust the process to the experts and let the replacement schedule run on autopilot you won’t have to worry. The maintenance process, the safety of your crew, and the longevity of your unit will be in good hands.
We’re here to do the heavy lifting for you (figuratively and literally).
Give MH Equipment a call today and set your forklift tire replacement schedule at 888-564-2191.
Whether you’re brand new to the material handling industry or you’ve been around forklifts and large material handling equipment for decades, safety reminders are always beneficial.
It just takes one person making one unsafe decision in one moment to cause a big, irreversible problem.
At MH Equipment, we take safety very seriously. Our slogan is to “Be safe in the moment.” We preach this reminder consistently to our staff. Take each day moment by moment. Look around. Make a safe decision in each and every moment.
OSHA standards require many different safety features and behaviors in order to keep forklift operators safe in the moment. The most important thing about forklift operation is that the drivers and pedestrians go home safe at the end of the day.
Safety is a topic that cannot be taken lightly. We encourage you to take a few minutes today to read through this list of safety topics. Refresh your staff with frequent trainings and reminders to keep these ideas in mind each and every day they are operating or working near a forklift. You should review the entire OSHA standards regularly, but this list is a quick reminder that will go a long way in between full safety reviews.
All forklift operators are required to be over the age of 18 and to have completed the operation skill training course. This training must be renewed every three years and is offered at a variety of our locations.
Always complete a visual inspection before using a forklift. Most forklift operators are not technicians, so it’s important that you’re only doing a visual inspection. Look for leaks, objects in the way of the unit, or issues with the tires or forks. If you see a leak, do not touch it. Don’t place your hand under or into anything in order to feel for cracks or leaks. This is a visual inspection only, because the leak could contain hazardous chemicals that could cause serious injury. Leave the leaks to the professionals. If you see a leak be sure to report it to your supervisor and in the meantime, use a different piece of equipment.
Every time you’re operating a forklift you should be wearing your seatbelt. Many makes and models now have a bright red seat belt which makes it obvious to pedestrians and supervisors whether or not you have the belt in place. Do your part to also remind your coworkers this is a necessity. It just takes a moment to buckle it in place, so be safe in the moment.
Obey the speed limit in your warehouse. Remember that forklift speed isn’t only about the operator being able to safely maneuver the machine, but also about the safety of the pedestrians walking near the unit. Driving at a responsible speed ensures the driver stays alert and is able to react in plenty of time, while also giving pedestrians ample time to see equipment approaching.
To increase safety and decrease damage in small areas, enlist the help of a spotter. Driving a forklift with obstructed views due to shelves, racks and even the mast arms on the lift itself can increase the chances of injury, damage to the forklift, or damage to the load or storage system. By working with a spotter who can give hand signals and verbal cues, you will drastically increase the safety in those tight, hard-to-see spaces.
When you’re entering and exiting the forklift at the beginning or the end of use, always use the 3 Touch Point system. A hand and two feet, or two hands and a foot should always be touching the unit as you climb up or down. Never jump from the unit or step into it without some extra support from the handles. Those handles are there for a reason, so use them!
Use the horn around corners or in low visibility areas. Never assume others will see you coming. The honking of your horn is a simple safety procedure that should be in place in every material handling business. It’s a little habit that goes a long way when it comes to safety. People get distracted, or they may not be looking in your direction, so give them every opportunity to know you’re operating a large piece of equipment and you’re headed their way.
Slow down when turning. As we pointed out in tip #4, speed can impact both the driver’s ability to operate the forklift safely and the pedestrians ability to stay clear of the unit, but speed around corners should also be addressed. Always be mindful that turning can make it hard for others to see you coming. Not only that, but corners increase the need to be aware of the load you are carrying. Turning too quickly can cause a load and thereby the forklift itself to become unbalanced, so be sure to slow down as you approach each and every turn. Safety in every moment is the only way.
Drive the forklift with the forks lowered to about 4-6 inches off the ground. You never want to drag the forks along the ground, nor do you want to drive with them too high. Operating a forklift with the forks positioned too high could cause them to make contact with a person or object. Those large metal forks don’t have much give, so keep them near the ground where they won’t hurt anything or anyone.
Now that we’ve covered some of the more important safety habits we should develop as responsible forklift operators and employee supervisors, we’ll cover a few things NOT to do. Most of them are pretty straight forward, but you never know who might need to be reminded of these things. A brief safety reminder meeting today could prevent a serious accident. Take a minute to remind your staff NOT to do these things.
A piece of wood on the floor, a large rock on the ground, a small metal object--many of these things seem innocent enough for your tough and rugged unit to drive right over, but it’s never a good habit to start. Always encourage your staff to move objects or drive around them instead of driving over them. Not only will it increase their safety and the safety of those near them, but it will increase the life and usability of your forklift tires and the unit in general.
Pallets or loads not centered on your forks could cause sliding or tipping that could injure yourself, others, or the load you’re carrying. Always take the extra time to reposition a load whose center of gravity isn’t stable. It may take a few extra minutes to get it positioned properly, but it will be time well spent.
All certified forklift drivers know this is not a safe practice, but make sure you’re holding the rest of your coworkers accountable to the same standard. It’s never okay to allow someone to jump on the back of your forklift or to ride on the forks, for any reason. Never compromise on this safety expectation.
Be mindful of the height of the doorways you’re driving through or other objects that may come in contact with the load you are hauling. It just takes one moment of forgetting this point to cause serious damage. Also, knowing the maximum capacity of your unit in relation to how heavy of a load you are moving is important. If you’re close or over the limit, reduce the size of your load and make multiple trips or find a unit that is better equipped to handle a load of that weight.
You now have some great talking points to bring back to your team for your next safety meeting. We can’t encourage you enough to have regular reminders for your employees to ‘Be safe in the moment.’
In fact, we’re so passionate about safety, we want to share one of our resources with you absolutely free of charge. This safety poster is used to remind our forklift operators, technicians, pedestrians and guests of our best safety practices. You can download it now and print it out to use in your warehouse or business. We suggest you hand it somewhere employees will see it every day or every time they use a forklift.
Again, these safety reminders are just helpful tips to use each day. To ensure you’re fully OSHA compliant, please visit the OSHA website related to forklift operator safety expectations.
If you’d like more information related to safety in the material handling workplace, please contact one of our safety experts today!
From consulting and strategy to layout and design through project management, engineering and installation, MH Engineered Solutions can help you identify which aspects of your business could be improved to maximize productivity, achieve business goals, and improve bottom-line performance. Find out more: https://www.mhengineeredsolutions.com/