MH Equipment Blog

  • A Future in Forklifts

    “More customers are looking to get out of maintaining equipment — the maintenance side of the business — and focus on their core-building equipment,” said Rick Stearns, who serves as the Davenport branch manager.

    The company has a solid client base that includes big names like Deere, Hon and Monsanto.

    That keeps MH Equipment looking for new ways to grow its business. This year is off to a great start. Since maintenance makes up nearly half its business, the company is moving ahead by fine-tuning its focus.

    “Complacency in our industry just won’t work,” said General Marketing Manager Dannelle Dahlhauser. “We need to continue to grow within a changing business environment.”

    While other manufacturers downsize and do more with less, MH Equipment continues to grow. Despite a sales dip during 2009, it expects a 15% staffing increase in Davenport.

    That means more hands-on jobs for mechanics and technicians, who service Hyster equipment and other brands both in-house and on location. With on-the-job training, it turns into a good opportunity for qualified job seekers. One that also helps clients.

    “We really try to go out there and determine what their needs are,” Dahlhauser said. “Really help them be successful with their fleet and with their business as well.”

    A business that naturally has its ups-and-downs with forklifts is mostly climbing these days.

    “Our connection with the people makes us more than a company to work for,” said Stearns. “It’s more like a family.”

    A family with a future in forklifts.

  • Sleep Deprivation Facts

    In conjunction with our post about the importance of getting enough sleep in order to reduce injuries, we wanted to post some interesting sleep deprivation facts. You can find more facts, here.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities. If you are experiencing a sleep disorder, offers a great sleep disorder guide.

  • Being Safe in the Moment Pays Off

    Congratulations to everyone in our Dayton branch for reaching 4 years injury free and proving that being Safe in the Moment leads to zero injuries.

    Thank you, to everyone in Dayton, for being a good example and for being a great ambassador of safety to our customers!

  • Sleep Maximizes Safety

    Economic consequences of sleep loss cost the country an estimated $15 billion, annually, due to increased health care costs, automobile accidents, workplace injuries and decreased job performance.

    Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as drunk driving. An estimated 100,000 crashes are caused each year by drowsy drivers. Sleep deprivation is equal to and in some cases greater than alcohol and its’ effects on driving ability. Everyone knows that it’s a poor choice to drink and drive, we we rarely are conscious of driving while sleep deprived. Lack of sleep is also a safety hazard while on the job. Impaired judgment and slower reaction time can lead to an injury. A few weeks ago, we blogged about how staying healthy helps prevent injuries. Part of being healthy is getting enough sleep.

    Lack of sleep can cause:

     Enough sleep is essentional to:

     Sleep experts offer some recommendations for how to maximize your ability to have a deep, restful sleep.

    Some more facts  and statistics about driving drowsy are available, here.

  • Decatur Hi-Lite

    Decatur: The Soybean Capital of the World.

    The Decatur Branch was established in September of 1996 with one full time technician. Today the branch has grown to 5 full time Technicians, a Parts Clerk, a Service Manager/Rental Coordinator, 2 Aftermarket Salesmen and one Unit Salesman. The Decatur Branch handles all service equipment needs, dock and battery & charger repairs, rentals and aftermarket sales as well as new equipment.

    Decatur, IL is a small town with a big history. It was founded in 1823 and was named after The War of 1812 naval hero Stephen Decatur, Jr.  The city is noted as being called “The Soybean Capital of the World”.  President Abraham Lincoln was the most notable resident who settled with his family west of town in 1830.  Decatur hosts the largest street festival in the state of Illinois.  Every year over 150,000 people come to the celebration to enjoy live bands, vendors and fun activities for the whole family.  The Decatur branch donates rental units for use at the festival as well.

    Decatur was the original home of the Chicago Bears from 1919 to 1920.  The football team was then known as the Decatur Staleys and played at Staley Field. An area of interest close by is the Macon County Speedway which opened in 1946.  It is now owned by Bob Sargent, NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Tony Stewart.

    The Decatur branch has sponsored the Champaign Dream Team which is a youth baseball team.  They truly enjoy their sports! The branch enjoys NASCAR racing, cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals, and watching the Illini football and basketball teams.

    Here are a few interesting tidbits about the branch employees. Jerry Lutz brings in the best treats including a taco dip and Christmas treats. The “Go to Geek” at the branch would be Tom Owen. Shaun Lyon was voted most likely to send to the reality TV show “Survivor” because he has a short fuse and is up for any challenge thrown at him. Ron Stedman achieved the title “Best Sense of Humor” because he always makes conversation by making jokes or remarks to make the day more enjoyable.

    Service Manager, Michelle Hamilton does a great job keeping the branch running smoothly. Thanks Decatur!

  • Why MH

    When we first started blogging, we wrote about the standards we hold when working with customers, and the value of exceptional customer service.  The words we live by have shaped our business and the relationships we hold with customers, each and every day.

    The following is a testimonial from our website:

    “We have been customers of MH Equipment for all most 10 yrs. The last week explains why. In the last week, the Decatur office has helped us keep our 5 trucks running after several unexpected breakdowns. Michele relayed I was experiencing a problem to MH Equipment technician Shawn. Shawn called me back and talked me through enough diagnosing to get the truck running again. Shawn followed up with me later in the day to confirm that the truck was still running. I had PM’s scheduled for other trucks when a problem developed with one of those trucks. I called Shawn because the office was closed. He relayed the message to Michele who inturn made sure the needed parts were on the truck coming to do the PM’s. Craig has also helped me locate parts from old outdated part #’s and has had them in my warehouse the next day. You should be extremely proud of your staff in Decatur. They are doing a great job. In this day and age of poor or no customer service, MH in Decatur is a bright spot that other companies wish they could match. ”

    Lenny Little
    Precision Soya
    Farmer City, IL

    MH Equipment has provided excellent customer service and top quality products for over 50 years. Throughout those years, we have built close relationships with many of our customers across all of our locations. We would love to hear about your relationship with MH Equipment and our products and services we offer. Please share your story by filling out the customer survey on our website.

    To further connect with MH Equipment, “Like” us on Facebook, “Follow” our company on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Hand Safety

    Hand injuries are avoidable if we are being Safe in the Moment. The most important thing is to make sure you and your employees know where both hands are at all times while working. Many injuries occur when you or yours are working with one hand, but forget where the other hand is, and it strays into a danger zone.

    It may sound weird to ‘forget’ where your hand is, but there are statistics to prove that hand injuries are not uncommon. In a 2006 study done by Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding non fatal injuries, they cited that out of a total of 380,440 injuries reported by good producing industries, 110,480 were injuries to the upper extremities (wrist, hand (except finger) and finger). Finger injuries were the highest out of the upper extremities.

    To avoid hand safety, here are a list of our do’s and don’ts.



    OSHA has a great amputation factsheet with information about the most common hazardous conditions and machine motions, OSHA standards and how to protect workers from amputation.

  • Erie Hi-Lite

    Erie: Vacation Spot and SNOW!

    The Hyster dealership in Erie, PA was  established in the early 1960’s. MH Equipment acquired the Erie facility in 2003 and is the fifth and by far the “best” owner. Currently sixteen employees work at the branch including ten on site technicians.

    Erie’s cornerstone customer is General Electric Transportation. General Electric manufactures locomotives, wind power, and off highway equipment. The Erie branch services their entire mobile fleet from personnel carriers to over-the-road tractor trailers. Of course, we also service their material handling equipment which is over 550 pieces of equipment. The dealership has had a presence at G.E. since 1972. 

    MH Equipment services Erie County, Pennsylvania and Ashtabula County, Ohio. Because of our unique location next to 5 sets of railroad tracks we always have train noise to contend with but we like (GE) trains.

    Nearby areas of interest include Presque Isle State Park that has close to 6 miles of beaches and excellent Walleye, Perch, Bass and Lake Trout fishing. Presque Isle Downs and Casino is a new  addition to the area. The Erie Seawolves is the minor league baseball team in town. Erie has become a destination point for many vacationers from all around the country. However, winters in Erie can be a little trying at times. Last winter, the snow started in mid October of 2008 and our last snowfall was in mid April 2009 with a total snowfall of 146”.

     The majority of the employees’ favorite sports team would be the Black & Gold (sorry Iowa it’s not the Hawkeyes) and one person in the office roots for the Mets. Erie’s veteran employees are William McShane 37 yrs; Mike Estok 34 yrs; George Eckard 30 yrs; Dave Fuchs 30 yrs; Keith Braddock 24 yrs; Ty Loucks 15 yrs and Paul Markham 12 yrs. Thank you Erie, for all those years of service!

  • World’s Smallest

    We take a lot of pride in our Hyster equipment, but we can’t overlook our line of high qualityV. Mariotti forklifts and lift trucks. Below, is a video of one of our Mariotti trucks. It is, indeed, the world’s smallest operator on-board  lift truck. Check it out.

  • Safety Thought Provokers

    Whether or not you or yours have had any injuries (recently, or at all this year), keep your guard up. Post safety reminders in the shop, around the office, or where ever you think they will get the most use.

    Phrases to act as a reminder to be Safe in the Moment:

    Be on the lookout for hazards and continue to correct safety issues. Emphasize being Safe in the Moment.

  • Bowling Green Hi-Lite

    The Bowling Green Branch was acquired by MH Equipment in 2001. It is surrounded by many attractions such as the Corvette plant and museum, Mammoth Cave National Park, Beechbend Raceway, Kentucky Downs, and a minor league baseball team called the Hotrods.  Western Kentucky University sits close by and you can almost hear the branch fans yelling “Go Big Red!”

    The branch loves the Food Network and the most popular sport among the staff is NASCAR. When asked, “Who among those at your branch would you send to participate on the reality show “Survivor”?  They chose Don Stinson because in his spare time he trims trees as side work and climbs without a rope. Don is also the great fisherman of the group. He has entered several fishing tournaments and won thousands of dollars as well as a fishing boat.

    Here are a few interesting tidbits about the staff. These come with a disclaimer…they had fun!

     The Bowling Green Branch emphasizes that they are a team. Everyone is like family and they look out for each other. Way to go BG!

  • Persistence Pays Off

    MH Equipment Demonstrates Its Worth  

    In sales, persistence pays off. Just ask Hersh Atkinson, account rep at the Columbus, Ohio, branch of MH Equipment (Mossville, IL), who had been calling on a large distributor of glass and adhesive products for almost 10 years before finally getting a foot in the door in 2009. “It was a matter of getting the attention of the right people,” Atkinson says. “The decision-makers were closed-minded about the equipment they had on hand and always wanted to stay with the existing vendors. When some new people came on board, they were willing to listen to alternatives.”


    The customer was building a large distribution center and put the project out for bid. Atkinson was included on the bid list and went to work preparing a solution. The project included sit-down electric lift trucks for loading and unloading trucks and placing products in racks, as well as reach trucks and order pickers for order fulfillment.  

    Atkinson worked with Hyster Company to round up one of each model of truck that the customer wanted and delivered them to the East Coast location with the help of another Hyster dealer in the area. “You’re only as good as your service after the sale, so our partner dealer was instrumental in delivery and proving that we could support the customer’s needs,” Atkinson says.  

    All the hard work paid off with an order of more than 30 trucks worth more than $500,000. Once Atkinson was awarded the deal, he had an eight-week window to build and deliver the units. “That was a challenge for the factory, but the whole team at Hyster pulled through and made it happen,” Atkinson says.  

    The customer was so happy with Atkinson and MH that they have since ordered a subsequent project of similar size. Just goes to show what a little persistence can do.  

  • Respiratory Safety

    The other morning, we caught glimpse of the  OSHA respiratory safety training video and thought it would be a great base for this week’s Safe in the Moment post. The video is about a half hour long, and discusses proper respiratory use and procedures for employers and workers.

    About 5 million workers in the United States are required to wear respirators on the job. Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard could prevent thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths each year.

    Respirators cover at least the nose and mouth, and reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles. There are different types and filter classes, so educate you and yours on the level of protection you are or can use.

    Respirators  protect against insufficient oxygen environments and harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays.

    A few chemical hazards include:

    Causes of inhaling in some of these chemicals can cause:

    To view the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard powerpoint, here. OSHA says that employers can’t rely on the expected protection that respirators provide without properly training their workers on how to use them properly.

    Be Safe in the Moment.

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  • Columbus Hi-Lite

    A few interesting facts of importance surround the Columbus Operation of MH Equipment.  Columbus is the largest city in the state of Ohio; is also the State Capital; is the home to three professional sports teams (Columbus Blue Jackets NHL, Columbus Crew Major League Soccer, Clippers baseball team – the minor league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) but most important of all is that Columbus is the home of The Ohio State University and the 2009 Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champion Buckeye Football Team.  Columbus eats, sleeps, and dreams Buckeye football 24/7/365.  Not just during college football season, but every day of every year it is all about Buckeye Football.  We even had over 90,000 fans at the spring inter-squad football game last year.  Central Ohio is football crazy and even more so when it comes to the Bucks.  If you ever come to visit the Columbus store on a Friday during football season, you can count on seeing many of the associates wearing an Ohio State jersey, an OSU polo shirt, or an OSU sweatshirt.  It is all about the Bucks!

    The Columbus branch, actually in Grove City just on the south side of Columbus, became part of the MH family January 1, 2003.  Prior to that date it was under Hyster Mid-East for approximately 4 years and was originally part of the Bode Finn Company which started operations in 1934 and opened the Columbus store in 1972.  Way back then Bode Finn not only had Hyster for the Columbus operation, but also housed an AWP (aerial work platform) business that included over 300 AWP’s in the rental fleet the last couple of years prior to the sale to Hyster Mid-East and Nations Rent (another long story for another time!).

    Columbus still has almost a dozen people that were part of the Bode Finn operation, including Mark Murphy – 35 years Road Tech; Jim Chainey 25 years Waste Reduction Road Tech, and Tim Duty 22 years Road Tech. The management group for Columbus has some experience as well.  Mark Dacken (Service Manager) has been here for 10 years,  Kim Freetage (District Rental Manager) is a 12 year veteran and Joe Lerner (Parts Manager) is a 12 year team member as well.

     The People make the branch so visit Columbus and meet some of your friends at MH Equipment.

  • And the Winner is…

    On our website, you may have noticed that MH Equipment is a multiple year  “Dealer of Distinction” award winner. Today, the results for the 2010 Hyster Dealer of Distinction awards were announced to all Hyster dealers across North America.

    Mh Equipment has earned the title “Hyster Dealer of Distinction” for 2010.

    Visit our website to learn more about this coveted award, and why we are so proud to be named Dealer of Distinction.