MH Equipment Blog

  • Quad Cities Hi-Lite

    The Quad Cities branch is one of the three original locations of MH Equipment.  Now located in Davenport, Iowa, their beginnings started in downtown Moline, Illinois, however in 1976, a fire destroyed the Moline location and the branch relocated to East Moline where it remained until June of 2008 when they moved to their current location.

    Nearly fifty employees make up the team at the Quad Cities branch including; Material Handling Specialist, Chuck Freeland, Aftermarket Representatives, Bill Baker and Mark Meyer, and Rental Manager, Jacob Greenwalt.  The Davenport branch includes a very large territory that spans over 320 miles from the southern most to northern most corners of the territory so these guys have a lot of land to cover when out on their daily sales calls.  To put it in perspective it would take six hours to drive from corner to corner of the territory!

    Part of our mission at MH Equipment is to support the communities in which we live.  As part of that culture the Quad Cities branch are annual supporters of the Quad Cities Festival of Trees.  The Festival of Trees is the annual fundraiser for Quad City Arts, a local not-for-profit arts agency. It takes more than 3,500 volunteers,  over 650 designers, nearly 3,500 CenterStage entertainers, and over 150 Sponsors help to make Festival of  Trees possible. Festival has a $2.5 million dollar economic impact on the community and is recognized as one of the top events in North America, raising over $4 million dollars in support of local arts over a 20 year period. Over 100,000 people experience Festival annually, making it one of the largest attractions in the Quad Cities. This fundraiser makes it possible for Quad City Arts to provide quality arts programming year round for residents of six counties in Eastern Iowa and Western IL.

    For the last seven years, Davenport has sponsored Upward Basketball for Underprivileged Kids. Upward Sports provides a fun kids sports experience based on healthy competition.  Upward Sports is one the world’s largest Christian sports league for children with leagues in nearly every major city.

    The Quad Cities is home to John Deere Corporate Headquarters, the John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run, and the John Deere Commons which houses historical information on the company as well as a vintage 1900’s Deere dealership. Visitors to the Quad Cities also frequent the Rock Island Arsenal. During the civil war, the island was used as a prison camp, but today is utilized for production of military equipment such as the Howitzer & Abrams Tank.

    Even though Davenport has a large group they are a very close-knit, supportive bunch!  Not only is the Quad Cities a great branch to work at but the area is full of fun and historic activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family!


  • Cincinnati Hi-Lite

    The Cincinnati branch has a long history in the Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and South East Indiana markets. MH Equipment Cincinnati originally opened in 1934 when the Al Bode and Ray Finn families came together to form the Bode Finn Company.

    Prior to becoming the Bode Finn Company, the Finn family made Aluminum Ice Wagon Bodies used to deliver ice to families and businesses to refrigerate food. Al Bode’s Grandfather made wagons used in the circus and they can be seen today at the Ringling Museum of Art in Saratoga, Florida.

    The Bode Finn Company was purchased a number of times in the late ninety’s and finally became MH Equipment in September of 2003. MH Equipment Cincinnati currently has 48 employees, housing employees from the following departments Parts, Service, Rental, New, Used, Training, Railking, JCB Construction, Marketing and one President.

    Cincinnati is one of the few branches designated as a re-build center. We are equipped with a state of the art paint booth which enables us to safely and professionally prepare used equipment from a mechanical and cosmetic standpoint. It is not uncommon for a customer to comment that a completed piece of used equipment looks like new. Our used equipment technicians, Jeff Cutter and Tim Whittington, have been providing MH Equipment salesmen and customers with quality equipment for the past six years.

    The Cincinnati branch is fortunate to administer the General Motors parts contract which has helped to provide the branch and company with good net profit. Mark Hoerst and Shanell Jones have done a great job managing this account along with their other everyday duties. They process parts orders and bi-monthly invoices for 62 General Motors plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico. We are currently looking forward to a contract extension with General Motors to take us into 2011.

    From a personal stand point, many Cincinnati branch employees are living a culture of giving back to their local communities. Cincinnati employees have participated in the Right to Life, Hospice of Hamilton, donations to St. Josephs Orphanage, the local food pantry, American Cancer Society, participated in building improvements at local churches, volunteering as a football director, assistant soccer coach, assistant baseball coach, and much more. It is obvious that Cincinnati branch employees believe in People, Passion and Purpose.

    When you get a chance to visit the Cincinnati branch you may also want to plan your trip around the following places of interest –

    Kings Island, The Beach Water Park, Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquarium, Natural History Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, The Creation Museum,  Krohn Conservatory, River Downs, Riverboat Casinos and much more. After a day of fun you can dine at one of following restaurants which are well known Cincinnati eateries – Montgomery Inn Ribs, Skyline Chili, Larosa’s Pizza and Graters Ice Cream.

    There are many benefits to living and working in Cincinnati but for families with children, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital ranks right up at the top of the list. The Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of only eight pediatric hospitals in the United States to be included in the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Reports 2010 Best Children’s Hospitals. When it comes to your children’s medical care, Cincinnati is the place to live.

    We look forward to 2011 and hope that all MH Equipment employees have a safe and happy New Year!

  • Top F-I-V-E!

    You know by know that MH Equipment is BIG into safety. We talk about it a lot, around here and you might be wondering which branches have the highest safety records. You’ve seen posts about some of our branches reaching momentous milestones and achieving safety awards…so out of 27 locations, the top 5 branches as far as safety goes are:

    A big “Thank You” goes out to all employees working within these top 5 branches for being Safe in the Moment.

    [note: safe days recorded on 05-12-11]

  • Branch Highlight Answers

    (1) Which branch has moved 4 times?


    (2) Which branch is connected with an Industrial Supply company?

    Des Moines is connected with Iowa Machinery.

    (3) The Soybean Capital of the world is home to which MH Equipment branch?


    (4) How many employees does the Dayton Branch have?


    (5)  John Wieland purchased this branch in April of 1994.


    (6) Located in the heart of Distribution Warehousing and the Sand Capital of the world is…


    (7) This branch is located near the Amana Colonies, an area of interest near their location.

    Cedar Rapids

    (8) __________ is located in ‘beautiful Bluegrass Country.’


    (9) This branch has 4 employees that have 20+ years of experience.


    (10) During 1993 and 2008, this branch experienced the flooding in which they “narrowly escaped.”


  • Branch Hi-Lite Quiz

    How well do you know MH Equipment? Here is a short quiz that will test your knowledge about some of our branches. Comment answers below, and we will post the answers in a couple hours. Good Luck!

    (1) Which MH Equipment branch has moved 4 times?

    (2) Which branch is connected with an Industrial Supply company?

    (3) The Soybean Capital of the world is home to which MH Equipment branch?

    (4) How many employees does the Dayton Branch have?

    (5)  John Wieland purchased this branch in April of 2004.

    (6) Located in the heart of Distribution Warehousing and the Sand Capital of the world is…

    (7) This branch is located near the Amana Colonies, an area of interest near their location.

    (8) __________ is located in ‘beautiful Bluegrass Country.’

    (9) This branch has 4 employees that have 20+ years of experience.

    (10) During 1993 and 2008, this branch experienced the flooding in which they “narrowly escaped.”

  • East Peoria Hi-Lite

    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.

  • Dayton Hi-Lite

    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.

    Some fun facts about the Dayton employees:

    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.

  • Grand Island Hi-Lite

    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!

  • Ottawa Hi-Lite

    Located in the heart of Distribution Warehousing, in the middle of the Sand Capital of the world, lies the Ottawa Branch. U.S. Silica, Wedron Silica and Technisand are three of the major sand mining industries in the world. U.S. Silica being the largest is located in Ottawa, IL.

    Ottawa is a small territory branch that service three counties: LaSalle, Putnam and Bureau. The Ottawa Branch began in 1984 as Illinois Valley Lift Truck (IVLT). They were part of an Allis Chalmers/Komatsu dealership before the owners decided to branch out and start the company. In 1986, the facility that they are currently in was built. MH Equipment acquired the company in 1998 and at that time they had four techs. Today, they have grown to six road techs, a service clerk and a branch/service manager. Later they added a 60? x 100? addition that now houses  the service and paint departments. It has an OSHA approved paint both that can fit some of the largest units around. They have had a H360XL and a 4250 Rail King in for painting and they fit with no problem.

    In 2000 and 2001, the Ottawa Branch received commendation for Safety Achievement from Three Rivers for working without a recordable injury for both of those years. Three Rivers is an organization that provides required safety training. The technicians are required to have this training before they are allowed to work in some customer facilities. The Ottawa Branch also received a Gold Award in 2001 from Three Rivers for achieving a 25% reduction in OSHA recordable incidence rate as compared to the previous three years.

    Fred Milby serves as the branch/service manager. Most of this team has worked together for several years. Each of them puts forth the WIT (Whatever It Takes) effort to get a job done.

    Treats are appreciated at the branch. It is agreed among all at the branch that Donna Bayer, the service clerk, makes the best pineapple upside down cake!

  • Cedar Rapids Hi-Lite

    Cedar Rapids was acquired by MH Equipment with the purchase of Iowa Machinery in 2001. The Cedar Rapids Branch started with two resident technicians in its early stages and has grown to eight technicians, one service manager, one parts manager, one branch manager and one aftermarket salesman. During this time of growth, we purchased a full service hydraulic shop and moved our facility to our current location in 2007. This added an exciting new opportunity in the areas of hydraulic repair and custom tube manufacturing in addition to sales and service of material handling equipment.

    Teamwork is what is emphasized at the branch. We have a caring team and through every challenge, whether business or personal, each member is willing to step up and do what it takes to get through it. It takes each of us working together to be successful and Cedar Rapids has been blessed with a great group. Our saying has always been “if you do the right things long enough, good things will happen” and we feel our success over time is a testament to that.

    An area of interest close by the Amana Colonies which is a popular attraction located south of Cedar Rapids. Amana is a historical German community established in the mid 1850?s. The name Amana means “remain faithful”. This comunity is like taking a step back in time. It is filled with authentic German restaurants, furniture store, winery, leather shop and more. The area is also known for its entertainment provided by the “Old Creamery Theater” where the staff produces several theatrical productions each year.

    The branch’s favorite team is the Iowa Hawkeye football team. Here are a few other tidbits about those who work here.

  • Lexington Hi-Lite

    The MH Lexington Branch was acquired from Hyster Mideast in January of 2003. MH Equipment is located in the beautiful Bluegrass Country. We are excited about the upcoming world Equestrian Games to be held here in Lexington on September 25th. Our athletes and competitors are preparing for the event. From hotels to area resaurants, many are hoping the games will serve as a spark that will bring new attention to the community that will continue long after the games have come and gone. Games have been held every four years since 1990. They were in Germany in 2006 and will return to Europe in 2014 to be held in Normandy, France.

    MH Equipment, Lexington is a small branch and as such we enjoy a working comradeship that larger places usually lack. Since many of us have worked together for several years, our collegues are more like an extended family.

    Most people will recognize that MH Equipment, Lexington is located in central Kentucky. However, we at MH Equipment, Lexington like to point out that we are located in UK Big Blue country, and we are extrememly proud that our Wildcats made NBA history by sending (5) players to the NBA in the first round draft- and this includes the number 1 pick! Now that basketball is over, and as fall comes to the Bluegrass, we are now looking forward to UK football with our new head coach, Joker Phillips. We are sure it will be an exciting season. Go Cats!

    Ricky White is a service tech at the Lexington Branch. Ricky competes in most of the KY tractor pulls. He is sponsored by MH Equipment and the Valvoline oil company.

    Rick also has an unusual nickname. He was so small when he started school that the kids said he was no bigger than a chigger. Low and behold, he is known by all his friends and family as Chigger. Chigger is now on medical leave from work due to open heart surgery. Please join us in praying for his quick recovery.

    Lexington parts manager, Walter Gill, starred in Dives and Diners. The show was shot in Lexington at the Parkettes drive-in. The show is supposed to air on the Food channel Sept. 20, 2010 at 10 p.m.

    Robyn Hermenitt (wife of Brandon Hermenitt) always sends in her special Hawaiian meatballs and nutty cheese bars to help us keep up our energy. Thank you, Robyn.

  • Charleston Hi-Lite


    The Charleston Branch began in 1981 as BODE FINN. It consisted of HYSTER snorkel lifts/AWP, sales, parts, rental and service. MH Equipment acquired the branch in 2003. Today they have 21 employees specializing in Hyster and JCB, but claim they will work on anything and everything. The branch has 11 employees who have 11+ years and 4 employees who have 20+ years of service.

    Mayor Danny Jones says, “…our people are known for genuine hospitality and follow their passions to make our city a great place to live, visit and invest in the future.” The Charleston Branch employees are a reflection of what people from WV are about: friendly, caring, considerate, and proud.

    Areas of interest close by include the Tri-State Gaming Center (dog racing and casino), Charleston Levee (boating activities and concerts), and Clay Center which is the center for arts and concerts. When it comes to cheering, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, the branch’s favorite team is, of course, West Virginia University!

  • Eldridge Hi-Lite

    The Quad City branch of Iowa Machinery was established in 1991 in Davenport Iowa on East 59th street. We have physically moved our operation 4 times since finally settling in the Eldridge Blackhawk Industrial Park. Everyone has moved a household and we all know what a chore that can be. Try moving a business and keep the business operational at the same time. The number of times we have moved qualifies us as professional business movers. Iowa Machinery acquired C.E. Armstrong and Sons in 2000 and we in turn were acquired by MH in 2001. We have had as many as 12 employees right after the Armstrong acquisition but have stayed at 6 as we are now for most of that period. We moved into our current and permanent location in Eldridge in 2006. It has approximately 1,000 sq ft of office space, 2,500 sq ft of warehouse and a new 2,500 sq ft repair center/blade welding facility.

    Our area of service is totally driven by our customers. We all know that our job is to get the customer what he needs when he needs it. We sell a multitude of industrial tools, tooling, machinery and services to our customers. All 6 of us realize we may have to wear different hats in order to perform our job. There is never a lack of things to do and it makes it much easier when everyone cooperates with each other.

     We have a total of 67 years experience in the Industrial Distribution business between the 6 employees, and cover the Eastern 1/3 of Iowa and the Mississippi River valley area in Illinois and Missouri.

    We do have one official award given to our branch. It was awarded by the Rock Island Arsenal’s commander to us in 2004. It is the “Commanders Certificate of Appreciation” award given to suppliers that have performed in an outstanding manner to help complete a vital mission for the Arsenal. We were instrumental in supplying vital and difficult to find hardware and soft goods to retrofit the Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan with armor plating to help protect our troops.

     As far as areas of interest go every June we are fortunate to have either the Navy Blue Angels or the Air Force Thunderbirds fly directly overhead for 3 days prior to the Quad City Air show. They practice their routine and get familiar with the area landmarks in preparation for the weekend shows. They fly as low as 200 feet above our building. We are only a mile from the Davenport airport and we are directly in their flight path. The Quad Cities also has the John Deere Classic Golf tournament every year which is a very big deal. Davenport is also the home of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league team the Quad City Bandits. They have one of the most modern ballparks in the country for single A baseball. Eldridge is also closing in on the 10 year mark for accident free work days.

    Chicago baseball is definitely the most watched sport. Although there are 2 different “camps” in our branch most of us know that the “Cubs Rule and the Sox Drool”. We can agree that our favorite snack is pretzels. Unfortunately, we do not have a go-to Geek in Eldridge; we are definitely “geekless”. Tom Vanzuiden has been trained in how to free up our office printer but I don’t think that takes him to Geek status. We all have a sense of humor and share jokes and snappy “comebacks” throughout the week. We all believe that work is something we need to do so we might as well enjoy what we do and who we do it with. Jeff has said many times “If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something else.” I guess with 67 years of experience we must enjoy what we’re doing.

  • Waterloo Hi-Lite

    The Waterloo branch was established as Iowa Machinery in 1970. In 1999 Iowa Machinery moved to its current location. (Pictured) In 2000 Iowa Machinery was acquired by MH Equipment.

    The Waterloo branch currently has 22 employees, covering 27 counties in Iowa. We have 12 technicians, 3 shop, 7 road and 2 resident technicians which cover our Fort Dodge territory.

    Our largest customer in Waterloo would be John Deere, which has 5 locations in Waterloo. About 35% to 40% of our business comes from John Deere. We continue to grow new opportunities within the plants with their other allied equipment which includes, personnel carriers, semi tractors, trailers, Ag tractors, tuggers and automated guided vehicles as well as all of the equipment at the Engine plant who chose to stay with MH Equipment.

    Areas of interest in Waterloo are the 5 Sullivan Brothers Museum, which was founded in honor of the five brothers that all enlisted in Navy during World War II and gave their lives during the war. We are host to the Waterloo Bucks baseball team, which is part of the Northwoods League, which is comprised of top college prospects in North America, and the Waterloo Black Hawks USHL hockey team. The University of Northern Iowa Panthers also find their home in nearby Cedar Falls.

    Melissa Lennie (wife of Ben Lennie) provides the best treats. But we can not forget Cale Miller’s cream cheese pumpkin pie, it is awesome.

    The funniest nickname goes to Brian Stroh his nickname is “Nozzle”. He is a volunteer fireman for the LaPorte City Fire Department and is also a clown, where he performs at birthday parties and parades.

    John Lowe and his wife Angela have the most unique pet, which is a Pot Belly Pig.

    Paul Quist is a numismatist, which is a person who collects coins.  When another employee at the branch needs change from one of the machines, Paul is sure to check every coin before giving change.

    We have great team in Waterloo working together for a common goal of being successful in all that we do!!

  • Ottumwa Hi-Lite

    The Ottumwa Branch was established in 1989 under a contract to service John Deere. MH Equipment acquired the facility in 2000. The employees work out of a 6800 square foot building focusing on servicing Cargill and John Deere. The Ottumwa business climate is a lot different than the other MH branches. The southeast Iowa business community is a very tight knit group that works with each other to serve the needs of southeast Iowa.

    The Ottumwa Branch is located on the Des Moines River. During 1993 and 2008, the river rose to flood stage threatening the facility, but both times they narrowly escaped. With amazing effort, the community banded together in time of crisis to help each other out.

    A little piece of trivia about Ottumwa is that according to the hit TV show MASH, Radar O’Reilly was from Ottumwa, Iowa. Venders from all over the United States often ask the employees at the branch about that. Actually, the actor was not from Ottumwa, the show just portrayed Radar to be a farm boy from Iowa.

    The Ottumwa Branch has nine employees including six technicians. The branch works well together. At the end of each day the employees do what is needed to accomplish what needs to be done. Ottumwa Branch has a large rental fleet and territory size with upward of forty to fifty pieces out at a time. The Ottumwa Branch ran a market share on truck sales of over 90% this year. Way to go Ottumwa!