MH Equipment Blog

  • Make the Most of Limited Space with Narrow Aisle Forklifts

    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:

    Able to Maneuver Tight Spaces

    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.

    Safer for Everyone

    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.

    More Affordable than Conventional Models

    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.

    Easier on the Driver’s Body

    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.

  • How to Decide Between Forklift Types

    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.

    Internal Combustion Forklifts

    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.

    Electric Forklifts

    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.

    Narrow Aisle Forklifts

    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.

    High Capacity Forklifts

    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.

    Forklift Tires

    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.

  • How to Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs

    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.

    Our Process

    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.

    Analyze Utilization

    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.

    Reduce Downtime

    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.

    Ongoing Monitoring

    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.

  • Take MH out to the ballgame!

    MH Equipment was contacted by a Producer at ESPN  to rent material handling equipment.   The equipment was needed to move in items for the coverage of the St Louis Cardinals‘  Monday Night Baseball game.   Peggy Alexander, from our St. Louis branch was on hand to get a few shots of the action!  Thanks Peggy!

  • 2012 Branch Events are in Full Swing!

    MH Equipment’s 2012 Branch Events are in full swing!  We have recently completed events in Bowling Green, Dayton, Des Moines, and Lexington.  At each of these events we showcased our MH Fleet Software as well as all of the great people of our branches!


  • Hyster Company Names Dealer of Distinction Recipients

    Hyster Company recently honored its top-performing dealers with its prestigious Dealer of Distinction award. The 2011 award-winning celebration, held on Kiawah Island, S.C., marked the 18th year that Hyster has honored its dealers for their industry-leading level of performance in all areas of the materials handling business. “Hyster Company’s Dealer of Distinction Awards Program recognizes dealers with focused leadership who have driven their companies to the highest level of performance in all areas of the business,” said Jonathan Dawley, president of Hyster Distribution. “The dealers that make this commitment to strive for distinction elevate their organization to this elite level.”To become a Dealer of Distinction, dealers must reach elevated goals in customer satisfaction, dealer performance, general management, truck sales, short-term rental, training, aftermarket sales, and parts and service operations.

    Recipients of the 2011 Dealer of Distinction award include:

    Arnold Machinery Company – Utah
    MH Equipment – Iowa Division
    MH Equipment – Kentuckiana
    Papé Material Handling, Inc. – Portland
    Papé Material Handling, Inc. – Eugene
    Papé Material Handling, Inc. – Central Washington
    Papé Material Handling, Inc. – Sacramento
    Papé Material Handling, Inc. – Spokane
    Sellers Equipment, Inc.
    Wajax Industries – West
    Arnold Machinery’s Colorado Division was named a Dealer of Merit.