The Peoria/East Peoria Branch is steeped in the origin of MH Equipment. For a long period in the company’s history it has been at the root. This may always ring true as it is a part of the very beginning of the MH Equipment story.
In 1952 a collective group purchased what was then a Hyster Company Store located on South Adams inPeoria. Within a short period of time the store was moved to 309 N.E.Rock Islandwhere it remained until the fall of 2008 when it took up residency at its current location across the river in East Peoria,Illinois.
The current larger facility provides a much improved flow between departments and has provided some much needed upgrades because of the space and layout of the facilities. These enhancements have provided a customer friendly layout which offers greater support and accessibility to parts and service.
One of the other unique characteristics of the branch is its connection with the Illinois Corporate West Division. The branch and the corporate share the facility together. The front of the facility provides comfortable home offices that support the company’s region with Sales (New and Resale), Fleet, and Management personnel.
Currently the Peoria/East Peoria Branch consists of one manager, one service coordinator, one parts technician and ten qualified service technicians. Three of the technicians (Randy Ragle, Frank Christian and Del Rickena) each have over 30 years service at MH Equipment while the remaining technicians have five years or greater. The sales department consists of two after-market and one new/resale unit salesmen.
Julie Doubet (Service Coordinator) provides the grease and the glue which holds together the Service and Parts Departments as well as serving as the MH Equipment ambassador to the customer base. If she’s not the face of the Branch, she is its voice.
Throughout the years the branch has held luncheons or picnic events (normally around the summer and fall holidays) as a means of stepping back at times to regroup and enjoy the moment together, especially in light of the daily grind in which everyone gets caught up in. These times provide for some lighthearted amusement for everyone.
Birthdays are normally celebrated by donuts or other special treats. It is traditional for the person having the birthday to be the provider of the feast. One individual happens to always ask for his birthday off while the rest of us suffer from withdrawal. Regardless of the guilty consequences you can expect one day in March going without the much anticipated donut.
Like any branch there are positive and negatives, there are good times and not so good, but overall the branch maintains a good attitude and spirit and understands its part in the MH Equipment big picture of things.
Chuck Krusey has worked at MH Equipment for three years as a Material Handling Specialist at ourWaterlooand Des Moines Branches. Before coming to MH, Chuck worked at a Caterpillar dealership for 23 years. He went from a Product Support Representative to sales to Branch Manager.
Since joining MH, Chuck says that his most rewarding sales experience is taking a strong Caterpillar customer and converting them to Hyster. He says he has sold them 12 units since working for MH. Chuck says he enjoys meeting many different customers and using different selling techniques for each of them.
Chuck [pic: the tall man in the red shirt] has been married to his wife, Jolene, for 38 years. They have three children. One resides inFloridawith her husband and four daughters, one lives inIowawith her husband and son and the youngest is in his last year at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). As a family, they enjoy jet skiing and doing any outdoor activities such as football or basketball games. Chuck and his wife Jolene enjoy spending time and spoiling their grandchildren.
For fun, Chuck likes watching Iowa Hawkeye basketball and football games. He also likes to play golf and pick up games of basketball. His favorite food is barbecue ribs and when asked who, in history, he would like to have dinner with he answered John Wooden. Something unique most people don’t know about him is that his son-in-law, Brad Meester, plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Professional Football League.
When asked what he likes the most about working for MH Equipment, he answered his co-workers and customers.
Last week, we talked about how to safety is each person’s responsibility. This week, take a look around at your co-workers. Some co-workers are your friends during work hours and even after work. You know about their families, their likes and dislikes and what they do for fun. In addition to taking responsibility for your own safety, you can also be on the lookout for unsafe conditions for your co-workers and correct them or report them to your supervisors as soon as possible. Help your fellow workers get through each day and make it home without an accident.
Here are some things YOU can do:
Here’s some practice for you:
Fix the hazard.
Eliminate future hazards.
The Dayton Branch was first opened in 1945 under the name of the Bode Finn Company. They were located on First Street in Dayton. The branch then moved toWebster Street for a few years and then in 1973, moved to our current location onProduction Court.
The Bode Finn Company was purchased by Hyster Company in 2000 and became Hyster Mideast. In 2003 John Wieland purchased the company that is now MH Equipment.
MH Dayton currently has 32 employees from the following departments: parts, service, rental, sales, training and telemarketing. Combined, the Dayton Branch employees have over 500 years of service working for Bode Finn/Hyster Mid East and MH Equipment.
Howard Waker, our road service, technician has the nickname “Howard the Duck”. Howard first acquired the name while he was working on an AWP unit at a local GM facility that was undergoing modifications. Howard heard a pipe clinking its way down from above him and quickly “ducked” under the AWP unit just in time to avoid the pipe. Howard found the pipe sticking in the floor right where he was standing. Later that week at the same location, while standing by a candy machine, once again he “ducked” just in time to keep from getting hit from a stray piece of metal falling from above. Years later he still has the nickname “Howard the Duck”.
John Lovins, our trainer, and his daughter both have Dodge Dakota pickup trucks that they enjoy working on together and taking to various drag strips across the country. John has won several national and regional events. He has been seen on ESPN winning national events. John has been a record holder for several years in various classes of drag racing. He is currently updating his daughter’s truck in search of better performance.
Some local attractions around the Dayton Branch are, Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball, Dayton Gems Hockey and the Dayton Art Institute.Dayton also hosts the Dayton Vectren Air Show each year which brings in world renowned acts like the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. A few attractions with free admission and parking are the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum, Allwood Gardens and the Cox Arboretum.
After a day of sightseeing or sports you can refuel at Marion’s Piazza, a Dayton tradition for over 45 years and ranked 2nd in the nation. Marion’s Piazza has several locations through out theDayton area.
MistiPeak, an Aftermarket Sales Representative at our Cincinnati Branch, has been with MH Equipment for about 11 years (will be 12 years in January). Before coming to MH, Misti worked for Crown for seven years. After being contacted by a recruiter for Hyster Mid-East, Misti made the transition to MH Equipment.
“There have been many milestones in my career at MH,” Misti says, “it is hard to choose one thing that has been the most rewarding, but most recently, I was very proud to pick up an account that is very high profile to the Cincinnati area: Procter and Gamble.” Misti explains that she thinks the account adds to MH Equipment’s list of recognizable and respected customers and will aid in company growth. P&G had done business with our competitor for 10 years plus before MH was awarded their business in Dec. 2010.
According to Misti, her specialties or expertise is fleet management. “I have always been on the service side of the material handling business. I would say my specialty is fleet management, on the service end. I seem to do best when I can look at a company’s existing fleet and practices and evaluate their spending, utilization and record keeping while bringing MH Equipment’s fleet management strength to the table.”
Misti has been married for three years to her husband, Jason. They have a daughter, Stevi, which is 22 months old. Currently, they’re in the process of building a new house which takes up most of their time along with getting used to the new edition to the family. Jason and Misti are also adjusting to Stevi’s ever changing and growing independence and Misti says it’s a great experience!
For fun, Misti and her husband customize old cars. “A few years back we took part in the Hot Rod Power Tour with one of our vehicles we had just finished; it was a great experience and awesome trip! We were ‘long haulers’ for any of you that know what that means. We enjoy attending various types of car shows, cars of all years and styles.” In addition to car shows and customizing old cars, Misti and Jason also enjoy the dirt track. Although she claims there isn’t enough time right now between her baby and building their house, there was a time when they attended weekly to toot for a few friends who take part in the racing. Misti makes sure to mention that she also loves spending time with her three sisters whom all live away from her.
Homemade enchiladas are Misti’s favorite dish, which her and her husband makes together. The recipe is an old recipe her mother got from a distant relative (by marriage) that still lives inMexico. “I really like Mexican food.” says Misti. “Although, I have had many, many failed attempts to perfect it in my kitchen, I always enjoy trying authentic (as authentic as it can be in Cincy) Mexican food when I get the opportunity.”
If there was one person in history Misti could have dinner with, she would choose her grandfather who passed away when she was young. Too young, she says, to realize what a great part of history he was involved in. Besides the obvious spending time with him, she would love to hear stories of what he experienced during WWII and the invasion ofNormandy. According to Misti, he was also a part of theUStroops that aided in liberating what was left of some of the concentration camps. She says she would love to hear the real stories and accounts of his experiences. She’s always been fascinated with WWII, so coupled with spending time with her grandfather, that would be a great dinner for her!
One thing most people don’t know about Misti is that “she gets dirty in the garage.” She says she works on their cars right along with her husband, which includes pulling an engine, installing dynamat, sandblasting, painting or whichever the task is at hand! Another thing most people probably don’t know is that her family went on a long weekend trip toOklahoma Cityto pick up her 2010 Mother’s Day gift which was a 1974 Pontiac Firebird (a model which is dear to her).
In conclusion, Misti says she loves working at MH. “I enjoy the people I work with as well as what MH stands for and the values that is passes on to its employees and finally to the customer. This means a lot to me in my career, I feel luck to have found a home here.”
Why should you worry about safety? There are a lot of reasons. It also helps to remember that your unsafe behavior doesn’t affect just you, it can affect the people who work around you, too. The important thing to remember is that your actions do have consequences.
Those who don’t concern themselves with working safely are at higher risk of being injured in an accident. Even with workers’ compensation and disability payments, most injured employees who are out of work receive less money than they’d get in their regular wages if they were working everyday. Lost time away from the job can really impact your salary and take-home pay.
What can you do?
Safety is important and it’s everyone’s responsibilty.
Barry Cahoon is our Material Handling Specialist who works out of our Omaha Branch. Barry’s work history is somewhat unique compared to others, because he has just returned to MH Equipment (welcome back, Barry!). So far, he’s been back at MH for about a week (and worked here about 3 years previous to his departure), but he’s been in the material handling field for a long time. “I was with another forklift dealer for two years after I left MH Equipment. It took me two years o come to my senses!” says Barry.
According to our seasoned MH Specialist, his specialties are working with customers and turning them into partners.
Getting more personal, Barry says he’s been happily married for 29 years (at least that’s what his wife tells him, he says). He has two children. His son just had a baby girl this year and made Barry a grandpa. Barry’s daughter is entering her senior year of high school next year. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hunting. He also watches the Red Green Show (which, according to PBS is a hilarious insight to men, their dreams and their obsessions for those who aren’t familiar). His favorite food is simple: beef. Barry claims that he doesn’t have a favorite sports team, as the only sports he follows is whichever one his daughter is playing at the time. We also asked Barry which person in history he would like to have dinner with, and he answered John Candy. He said he thinks it would be a blast and that they look alike!
Overall, Barry says the thing he likes most about working for MH is the people. “It has been great coming back!” he says.
We’re glad to have you back, Barry!
Many employees are married and have children. The employees bring great diversity to the branch both with their interests and hobbies. Nebraska is home to the Huskers, the well-known competitive college football team. Besides their interest in football, most of the branch also takes an active interest in car racing. While some are avid watchers, others are actually in the races. Some other interests enjoyed by the employees are ranching, photography and bowling, just to name a few.
The Grand Island Branch takes pride in being devoted to teamwork not only while at work, but also outside of the workplace. A majority of the employees live in the small neighboring town of Cairo. They have known each other for many years and this attributes to their ability to work closely and successfully together. The branch as a whole is successful because of their dedication to the company, their dedication with providing customers the best service possible and their dedication to teamwork. Each person makes a great contribution with their skills and personality. The branch has an excellent record of safety as well. They currently just celebrated close to three years of being accident-free with a branch lunch. Way to go Grand Island!
Chris Herrington is our Material Handling Specialist at the Bowling Green Branch located inBowling Green,Kentucky. He’s been with MH Equipment since 1999 and currently works two markets inKentucky(Bowling GreenandPaducah) and theEvansville,Indianamarket. Before working at MH Equipment Company, Chris attended school and worked part-time for his relatives who own New Holland dealerships. He was referred to MH by a friend and took a position as Parts Manager.
Since working at MH, Chris says that his most satisfying and proudest sales experiences have been landing new customers. “I love the challenge,” Chris says. According to Chris, his specialties within his trade are simply building new customer relationships.
As far as his personal life goes, Chris is engaged to be married this September (Congrats, Chris!). In his spare time he enjoys drag racing, riding motorcycles, traveling, fishing and the water in general. Chris’ favorite food is seafood and his favorite sports team is the Tennessee Titans. If there was one person in history he would like to have dinner with, Chris said it would be his grandfather because he passed away when he was two years old.
In summary, Chris enjoys working for MH Equipment mostly because of the core values MH holds such as family and faith.
In honor of our weekly safety posts, we thought it would be appropriate to share an award that we received in April to prove that our safety program, Safe in the Moment, works.
On April 28-29, MH Equipment was awarded a safety award for Incident Rate Excellence from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council during their 58th Annual Professional Development Conference and Expo held in Bettendorf, Iowa. We were one of over 150 business, industries and government agencies in Illinois and Iowa to receive an award for promoting active safety programs and reducing OSHA recordable injuries among our employees. In order to qualify for this award, we had to demonstrate that during the 2010 calendar year, our incident rate was lower than the national average for our specific industry of material handling.
We are very excited to share this award with you, in hopes that our safety program’s success will inspire you or yours to implement or act on a safety program. Most of the safety posts we display each week comes from our Corporate Safety Department and are tailored to you, our readers. Some topics may seem trivial or common sense, but our safety awards and milestones we have shared with you are living proof that our program works.
Be Safe in the Moment!
To read the full press release, click here.