Originally published by Business View Magazine, July 2016:
When MH Equipment of Peoria, Illinois, one of the country’s largest and fasting growing material handling service providers and a long-time dealer of Hyster and other name-brand forklifts, bought Elite Supply Chain Solutions two years ago, an Ohio-based, Design Build company for the warehouse, distribution, and order fulfillment industry, it still remained to be seen if the synergies between the companies would provide win-win-win opportunities for their clients, MH, and Elite.
All the signs seemed positive, though, according to Scott Hennie, President of Elite. “MH Equipment’s primary business is its lift truck sales and service,” he explains. “Elite Supply Chain Solutions works in a very similar market by designing and implementing what we call ‘integrated systems,’ which is essentially the equipment that stores and moves product within a warehouse and distribution center and the software that goes along with it.”
Hennie says that a typical client for Elite is any company that is involved in warehousing, distribution, or order fulfillment. “And within that industry, the market segments are food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, retail, automotive aftermarket, pet supplies – essentially anything in the supply chain is a potential client of ours,” he says. “We will work with clients from a facility that is anywhere from 50,000 square feet to two million square feet. Our customers range from family-owned entities in the $20 million revenue range to Fortune 500 companies traded on the stock exchange.”
So the benefit for MH Equipment in this partnership is to be better able, now, to penetrate Elite’s client base by supplying the lift trucks – the machinery that lifts and moves product – to the same customers that have benefited from Elite’s integrated solutions. “MH Equipment was looking to expand its core business and thought this might be one opportunity to create that expansion,” Hennie says. “So they purchased Elite and made it part of their business offering to complement the lift truck side.”
Of course, Elite can likewise benefit from MH Equipment’s current and potential clients who are located across 30 company locations in eight regions and across several states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. “Part of the business model for Elite,” says Hennie, “is to take existing relationships that MH Equipment has with their clients and have MH Equipment introduce them . . . and vice versa.”
After two years, it appears that the union is a strong one and that this partnership was truly made in corporate heaven. “It brings a total, turnkey solution to our customers,” Hennie exults. “Not only the storage and the inventory movement equipment that Elite provides, but also the lift truck part of an operation that typically is needed in a distribution center.”
Dannelle Dahlhauser, Director of Marketing and Sales Support for MH Equipment, agrees. “A good portion of MH Equipment’s customer base is looking for facility solutions such as that offered by Elite; and with forklift services being MH’s primary offering, we are a natural fit,” she says. “Anything that needs to move people or product – we have a variety of material handling equipment, forklifts being our primary line.” Scott remarks upon the strength of working in tandem from a marketing perspective. “There are only a handful of organizations that have both capabilities under one umbrella,” he states. “So, if our clients are looking to have a single source supplier, those sources are very limited. Within our market footprint, there are geographic areas where we are the only ones that can provide that level of value.”
Hennie goes on to cite an example of the kind of synergy of which this dynamic duo is capable: “In the lift truck marketplace, there’s been a shift from what has historically been classified as ‘sit down/fossil fuel type trucks, to ‘stand up/electric trucks. Historically, MH Equipment has been very strong in the sit down/fossil fuel type,” he begins. “Why that’s significant is that the world that Elite plays in - the warehousing, distribution, and order fulfillment world – is very much a major user of these stand up/electric type trucks. So, that creates an opportunity for MH Equipment to work with Elite and generate the applications and the opportunities to bring that product to the marketplace.”
While working together to serve that same marketplace, both companies are also continuing to expand and innovate own their own. “We’ve made a couple of pretty significant investments in the last six months,” Hennie says. “Two software packages – one is a 3D modeling and animation software package that allows us to develop our designs in a 3D model and to simulate the operations for the customer. I think that’s very
significant in helping the customer understand the solutions that we’re providing; enabling them to see what the results are and how the operation will actually function. The second software package is an inventory modeling software package that will allow us to take a customer’s inventory data and then, through the software, generate the recommended storage equipment type based on several criteria that we input. That criteria can be how fast or often the item moves, or certain physical characteristics of the item.”
For its part, MH Equipment recently rolled out a new fleet management program with its own proprietary software. “We take a customer’s fleet and add all of their equipment information into our software program and then we’ll manage their fleet from that program, letting them know when their service is due, if there’s been any operator abuse, etc.,” Dahlhauser says. “It’s a very robust system that can also work in conjunction with some of the things that Elite does, as well, once they begin discussions of equipment,” she adds, once again alluding to the combined focus of the two entities and how well they complement one another.
As the marriage continues to blossom, Dahlhauser reports that MH Equipment is intent upon moving more aggressively into the stand up/electric market. “The market is shifting from IC (Internal Combustion) lift trucks to predominately electric with electric lift trucks now comprising approximately 60 percent of the market’s purchases. So, obviously, we would like to be a bigger player in that game,” she says. Hennie says that one of Elite’s long-term goals is to have an Elite office or presence in each of the regions that MH Equipment currently operates in. “Right now, Elite is headquartered in Hudson, Ohio, and we have a Sales Engineer in one other regional office,” he says. “But, ultimately, we will have an Elite presence in each of the eight regions that we operate.”
While it’s clear that the corporate marriage of these two harmonizing companies is apt to provide much economic benefit to their mutual bottom line, like any strong union, the pairing must also be built upon a deeper sharing of company tenets and beliefs. Happily, that is precisely what sealed the deal, according to Hennie. “When Elite and MH Equipment started talking, there was a lot of synergy in our vision, and our values, and our mission. Both entities take our vision, mission, and values very seriously. If you look at our logos and our taglines, you’ll see the words: People, Passion, and Purpose,” Hennie says emphatically. “All people matter and are due honor and respect; our passion unites us; and our purpose is to make the communities that we work and live in, better places.”
People, Passion, and Purpose – not to mention first-class, engineered solutions paired with first-class equipment and machinery. It seems that the merger of Elite Supply Chain Solutions and MH Equipment is indeed, just the beginning of a successful relationship.
Original article can be found at this link on pages 134-141
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Fred Metzger, President of MH Equipment, has announced that MH Equipment will be partnering with Combilift to become a stocking dealer.
Combilift, based in Monaghan, Ireland, has grown to become the global leader in the long-handling market. The company is operated by experienced and well known industry leaders from within the specialty forklift industry. Combilift represents the world's first IC engine-powered all-wheel-drive multidirectional forklift. It is actually a combination of forklift and side-loader, and is highly maneuverable, very safe, very cost effective and supremely efficient.
“As a globally recognized company with localized service and support through our key dealer network, Combilift is ideally placed to work alongside MH Equipment in providing a high quality service to customers. We are delighted to work with MH Equipment” Paul Short - North American Sales President
“MH Equipment and Combilift Inc. are pleased to announce MH is now a stocking dealer representing Combilift products across MH’s geographic footprint. The products from Combilift are recognized for their application innovation as well as for productivity, durability and quality which well supports MH’s commitment to provide its Customers innovative solutions and unparalleled value while striving to be a good steward of resources.” States MH Equipment President Fred Metzger
Started in Peoria, Illinois in 1952 as one of the smallest Hyster forklift dealerships in the United States, MH Equipment has grown to become one of the largest and fastest growing material handling services providers in the US. In 1994, the company was purchased by current CEO John Wieland. Since then, we have grown from a relatively small company of 50 employees into an organization comprised of multiple dealerships, over 700 employees and 28 servicing locations throughout the Midwest.
Fred Metzger, President of MH Equipment, has announced that MH Equipment will be partnering with Tractive Power Corporation to bring innovative and practical solutions to the industrial rail industry.
Tractive Power Corporation, based in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, is a leading manufacturer of industrial engineered rail switchers. The company is operated by experienced and well known industry leaders from within the rail industry. Tractive Power Corporation is a privately owned company dedicated to finding better product and technology solutions for the rail industry.
“Tractive Power Corporation is very pleased to have partnered with MH Equipment. Based on MH Equipment’s long standing track record as a marketing and sales leader in the US rail car mover business and our ability to establish a partnership shows the viability that MH Equipment see’s in our product line. We are looking forward to a long and prosperous partnership with MH Equipment as we continue to grow our business in the United States,” states Tim Sanderson, Chief Operating Officer of Tractive Power.
“Before the addition of Tractive Power, we were limited in the number of rail cars we could pull due to size limitations. As a result, we knew our customers’ needs weren’t being totally met and we needed to provide them with a solution that not only increased their productivity but also showed the value MH brings to the railcar industry. By partnering with Tractive Power we are now able to provide our customers with the most efficient and economical railcar mover in the industry today,” said Charles Blankenship, Rail King Program Manager.
MH Equipment is a comprehensive railcar moving solutions provider with 28 railcar mover servicing locations throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia; offering new and used railcar movers and locomotives, parts, service, and rentals. Additionally, MH Equipment is one of the largest and fastest growing material handling services providers in the US.
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Company culture is the "personality” and atmosphere that defines the environment in which all employees work. Every business has one no matter the size. Company culture includes a variety of things from employee demographics to the company’s mission, vision, and values. Below are a few facts to help you see inside MH Equipment and understand our company’s personality:
So, what does this mean?
We’re so proud! We just can’t stop congratulating our teams in Evansville, Paducah, Louisville, and Bowling Green for receiving Hyster’s "Dealer of Distinction" award this past year.
“This award exhibits the continued hard work and determination of our employees,” explains Mike Goebel, South/East Region President. “The efforts of the branch teams has been the driving factor in our receiving this honor. They have earned this distinction for themselves and for MH Equipment, and it is well deserved.”
The “Dealer of Distinction” recipients represent the best of the best in our industry. The program itself measures success in area such as operations, finances, and sales performance. Most importantly, it recognizes winning dealers for their focus on the service and satisfaction of their customers and employees.
Forklifts are essential to warehouse operations—but not all forklifts are built the same. If you have limited space and narrow aisles, you'll want a forklift with high maneuverability. Narrow aisle forklifts provide the following benefits:
As the name suggests, a narrow aisle forklift is designed so that it easily fits down tight corridors. If your warehouse is especially cramped, you can invest in a very narrow aisle (VNA) forklift which will have no problem maneuvering around constricted spaces.
While forklifts increase warehouse efficiency, they can also be a liability. Mistakes happen, and one simple lapse in judgment on the part of the driver could end up hurting a lot of people (as well as damaging property).
Narrow aisle trucks aren’t just about improving the way work gets done in your warehouse. They’re also about ensuring the safety of your employees. These forklifts are easier to control than their conventional cousins. Although proper training is still important, these vehicles are going to be slightly more forgiving—especially for beginning operators.
The price tag on these machines will usually be less than the price of a typical forklift, but unless you’re looking to haul a heavy-duty load, you’re not sacrificing much in the way of capability with a narrow aisle truck.
Due to their reduced profiles, VNA forklifts are driven standing up. This is actually much easier on the driver, as the weight of their body is supported by the legs rather than the lower back and spine, as it would happen in seated forklifts. Over time, this pressure could result in back problems and daily fatigue.
Although the main benefit of a narrow aisle truck is that it can nimbly navigate the limited space of smaller warehouses, there are other factors to consider. At MH Equipment, we have over 60 years of experience helping companies like yours with their material handling needs. If you have any questions about narrow aisle forklifts, feel free to contact one of our locations or give us a call at 1-888-564-2191.
Investing in a forklift is a complex decision for your company. You need to choose the best possible option for your business’ unique needs. With so many different types of forklifts out there, we’ve put together the following guide to help you decide on the right one for your organization.
Of all the forklift categories, internal combustion (IC) forklifts are probably the most durable. While they can be used indoors, they’re designed to withstand the elements—which is why IC forklifts are commonly found on loading docks, construction sites, and shipyards. If you need a forklift that won’t break down in inclement weather, there’s no better option than an IC model.
On the other end of the spectrum are electric forklifts. These models still pack a lot of power, but their main benefit is that they cost a lot less to operate as they don’t need any kind of gas or diesel. You also don’t need to store fuel onsite as these vehicles only need charging stations. In addition, they tend to be easier to navigate and feature automatic braking, which increases safety. They are also quieter than conventional models.
One of the most popular types of forklifts used in warehouses is a narrow aisle model. As their name suggests, these narrow aisle forklifts are able to maneuver through cramped spaces and navigate tight turns. They don’t sacrifice power, though, and are generally a lot easier to operate than conventional models—making them an excellent choice for beginning drivers.
For the heaviest of loads, high capacity forklifts are best. Most models can easily lift 19,000 pounds, though some models are capable of handling twice that. While this level of power could be overkill for some companies, high capacity forklifts are essential if you regularly handle heavy loads such as shipping containers or concrete molds.
There are two different types of forklift tires: pneumatic and cushion. Cushion tires perform best indoors. Because they are made entirely out of rubber, they have higher maneuverability; however, they also need flat, smooth surfaces, which makes them incompatible with the outdoors.
Forklifts with pneumatic tires are essential for working outside. Pneumatic tires are designed with better grips. These tires keep forklifts farther from the ground so that they are more effective on uneven terrain. While some pneumatic tires are filled with air, others are solid rubber, which prevents punctures.
If you would like help making a forklift decision, feel free to contact us for a consultation. MH Equipment has been helping companies like yours since 1952 and we have a huge inventory of forklifts to fit your every need.
A forklift’s accessories, parts, and components are in a constant state of motion. This motion creates a “wear and tear” effect on forklifts which hinders peak performance. Some of the parts that can be effected include batteries, attachments, chargers, and clamps. Companies know that a truck with increased downtime is a detriment to not only their productivity but their company as a whole. Proper maintenance is the proper way to deal with these effects of wear and tear.
BENEFITS OF REGULAR MAINTENANCE ON FORKLIFTS CAN LEAD TO:
NEGLIGENCE OF PROPER MAINTENANCE ON FORKLIFTS CAN LEAD TO:
MH Equipment has been helping business for over 60
years. You can count on us to design a service plan featuring Periodic
Maintenance (PM) that suits your companies needs. Our trusted technicians are
outfitted with everything needed to complete lift truck maintenance at one of
our 27 locations or we can even come to you!
Maintenance will, without a doubt, help improve the overall experience of renting or buying a forklift. There are a variety of services available to select when thinking about a maintenance contract. Depending on your situation, each option will be tailored to meet the specific requirements to successfully keep everything flowing smoothly.
MH Equipment is happy to provide an excellent maintenance service to our customers. Contact us today to help improve the performance of your forklift’s accessories and parts!
Also, you can visit one of the links below for more information and contact information.
Warehouse management can be an unpredictable business, requiring a constant juggling act between supply, demand and inventory. When one of those factors changes dramatically, managers must adjust quickly or risk the whole operation shutting down. Fleet lifecycle management is a critical part of maintaining that balance. When your operation's demands change, is it better to rent or buy a forklift? When weighing the true nature of forklift prices, there are benefits to both.
As with any business decision, it generally boils down to selecting the option with the greatest benefit at the lowest overall cost. When making a cost comparison, multiply the cost of a rental by the time for which you need it and compare that to the amortization cost of buying a forklift. Additionally, you will want to consider how much credit you have and if using your credit to make capital equipment purchases is the best use of your working capital.
Whether you decide to rent or buy a forklift for sale,
MH Equipment can help you find the right forklift for your warehouse needs. As
Hyster and Yale forklift dealer, we provide the most trusted
brands in the industry and offer ongoing support for service, training,
service. In fact, half of our entire workforce is made up of experienced
With 27 locations across 10 states, MH Equipment offers convenient access for rentals and repair. We will drop off and pick up your fleet rentals, and you can trust that your forklift rental will be well-maintained and reliable.
Contact us today for help determining whether buying or renting is the right choice for your business.
Mariotti USA has spent the past few weeks conducting sales product training at MH Equipment. Pete Hinrichs, Business Development Manager for North American Sales for Mariotti USA conducted sales training with the help of Darrell Randall, President MH Equipment, and a variety of Regional Sales Managers. Salespeople from many MH Equipment branches also took part. Mariotti USA distributes V. Mariotti 3-wheel electric forklifts in the United States and Canada through an exclusive dealer network.
The Mariotti MINI, ME, MX & Mycros series forklifts are specifically designed to lift up to 3000 lbs in limited space or light load applications. Mariotti’s are the most compact electric riders on the market offering widths as narrow as 31 inches and heights as low as 75 inches. Mariotti lift trucks are designed and constructed for ease of handling, reliability, safety, and productivity. The Mariotti is the go-to forklift if your production area is limited, if you need to work in narrow aisles, you want integrated side shift as a standard feature, you want maneuverability, and you are looking for quality and dependability. Mariotti 3 Wheel Electric Riders are the world's smallest operator on-board forklift truck. Mariotti lift trucks can drive through a standard door opening, maneuver elevators, navigate the narrowest aisles and still deliver a heavy payload. MH Equipment sales people are ready to help area companies solve their small space or light load applications!
Technology is rapidly changing and expanding, bringing with it new improvements in materials handling machinery. Here at MH Equipment we are dedicated to bringing our customers the latest equipment advancements from the most trusted brands in the industry. As a registered Hyster dealer, we carry a full range of lift trucks and forklifts for sale from this premier manufacturer, and we want to share with you some of our top-performing models. Read on to learn about standouts in the high-capacity, Internal Combustion (IC), and 3-wheel electric categories.
Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts are built to withstand the toughest jobs, and are widely used on construction sites, on receiving docks, in agricultural applications, in warehousing, in manufacturing facilities, and in beverage distribution and bottling. The Hyster H50CT forklift is so prevalent in these varied industries because it’s versatile, reliable, productive, and tough.
The Hyster H50CT lift truck comes standard with a 2.4L engine for power and efficiency, and 4-wheel pneumatic tires for added balance and smooth driving; it has a load capacity of 5,000 pounds. This forklift model is popular because its lighter weight and efficient engine equal lower fuel costs for the business owner. The “cowl-to-counterweight” access and other design aspects of the H50CT make servicing easy, which provides further cost savings. Additionally, this model is ergonomically designed for operator comfort and reduced downtime.
3-Wheel Electric Hyster forklifts, like the A25-30XNT series, have superior handling, making them ideal for moving pallets and maneuvering in small or cramped spaces. The Hyster A25XNT, like all electric models, are emissions-free and safe for indoor use; making them popular in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. This Hyster forklift series is durably constructed to provide enhanced stability for the operator. The A25XNT also provides flexibility to customize the forklift’s hydraulics and traction to specified applications, making this forklift for sale one of the most high-performing options on the market.
We currently offer six Hyster models in this sub-section, all with the capability to tackle big loads in the warehouse, in the manufacturing plant, and on the construction site. The Hyster H280HD2 is a heavy duty forklift that can carry an impressive maximum weight of 28,000 pounds; it also has a lift capacity of 105,000 pounds. This machine was built tough to handle the toughest jobs, and it does it with ease.
The H280HD2 is perfect for general cargo applications; and heavy duty applications like lumber, concrete, and steel. In fact, Hyster offers optional front-end attachments for enhanced worksite flexibility. This model features a Cummins QSB 4.5L Tier 4 Final diesel engine with a turbocharger and intercooler paired with a 3-speed ZF WG 161 powershift transmission, all aimed to make your machine and your worksite more productive and efficient. Finally, the Hyster H280HD2 forklift is ergonomically designed for operator comfort and to provide greater visibility for a safer work environment.
Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, we’re sure our Hyster forklifts will meet your business needs. Allow us to help you choose the best model for your business, discuss how forklift prices breakdown over the life of the machine, or help you determine if renting makes the most sense for your bottom line. We can also introduce you to our fleet management solutions, which will further help to optimize your materials handling business and your machinery ROI.
If you’re in the market for a Hyster forklift for your business, contact MH Equipment today to discuss the best solutions for your individual needs.
Smart business owners are increasingly employing the services of fleet management companies, like MH Equipment, in an effort to monitor electric forklift utilization, equipment repair, fleet distribution across multiple locations, and of course, fleet maintenance costs. Using a fleet management company allows businesses to focus on their customers and products, while leaving the diagnostics and data analysis to industry experts. If you’re interested in maximizing your ROI and reducing waste, keep reading to learn how our fleet management solution can help your business.
Many businesses are woefully unaware of the monthly operating costs of their fleet, including related expenses like replacing tires and repairing leaks. This lack of information is detrimental to a successful business, and can lead to issues like downtime, avoidable repairs, and underutilized equipment. Our goal is to keep our customers informed and better prepared through our work.
The first step is to analyze your entire fleet and create a customized fleet management solution that will help you avoid common pitfalls.
Our MH fleet maintenance software is a flexible and affordable solution that enables us to track the utilization of your fleet, the hours used per machine, repair history, scheduling, and more for maximum operation efficiency. This web-based program has an intuitive design and interface that allows you to easily see the data we have collected and the reports we have compiled so you can make smart decisions for your business.
Analyzing the utilization of each machine is one of the most important aspects of fleet management, as it allows us to determine whether you are using each machine to its fullest capacity, or if you could benefit from modifying the size of your fleet. We help you determine your optimal fleet size based on your actual usage, instead of outdated planning models that your competitors are likely using. A secondary benefit of optimizing your fleet is that when you know which electric forklifts and boom lifts you’re working the hardest, you can schedule planned maintenance (our fleet maintenance software allows you to schedule repairs with our certified technicians, right from your wireless device) based on usage and aging, and more accurately anticipate repairs and projected repair costs.
Downtime is costly, and can affect a business’ ability to deliver merchandise and meet production demands. Our fleet maintenance software enables us to analyze your usage and determine the reason for your downtime, whether it’s due to repairs you could have avoided with planned maintenance, unexpected damage, uncharged batteries causing forklift delays, or operator inefficiency. Shift overlap can also result in downtime, as too many machines necessary for a short period of time (say 2-6 hours of overlap per day) go unused during the remaining hours of operation. This underutilization is ineffective and cost-prohibitive.
An added benefit of working with fleet management companies like MH Equipment is the continuous monitoring of the age and condition of equipment. This process allows business owners to instantly know the age of problematic machines, so they can determine whether repair or replacement is the most cost-effective. Additionally, this monitoring enables our customers to plan and budget for equipment retirement, which further helps in increasing uptime. When a customer decides to replace an electric forklift we help them determine whether it’s best to buy new or used, and advise them about the best technology suited to their specific needs.
Working with a fleet management company and using their fleet maintenance software is a smart business decision and a great way to reduce costs. Highly trained professionals, like ours, can help you configure, maintain, and manage your machines for the toughest everyday tasks.
If you’re in the market for fleet management software, contact MH Equipment today to discuss the best solutions for your individual needs.