Often times while growing up my parents had vehicles that weren’t exactly “reliable” – spending money on fancy new cars – or even mechanics for that matter - was never really their thing… However, being prepared for the worst definitely was! (Like Boy Scout prepared… ALL the time!)
No matter what time of year it was there was ALWAYS a tool box stashed in the car, and if it was winter you can bet there were blankets, candles, matches, boots, sand, and even snacks in the car too!
I’ll never forget how exasperated my dad was one night a couple of years ago when I stopped by their house – in the dead of winter with several inches of snow on the ground – AND wearing my bedroom slippers of course. He just about came unglued! “What are you doing?! What if your car broke down?!” (I think he may have even called me crazy…)
I scoffed – “I have a cell phone and roadside service… what do you mean?”
Oh did I ever get an earful!
While cell phones and road service are great they’re not the only tools to have in your winter survival vehicle kit. I have to give my dad credit on that one… I guess I would be really grateful to have a blanket and boots if for some crazy reason my cell phone wasn’t working!
So, here’s a list of must haves if you are going to be traveling in the Midwest this winter (even if it is just a few miles to mom and dad’s house you go!)
Make sure you update the contents of your kit on a regular basis and make sure all drivers and passengers know where to find it.
With all of the snow and inclement weather we’ve experienced in the midwest these past few days, our next “Safe in the Moment” post is how to be safe when driving in snow and wet weather. We included wet weather because, well… we hope the snow will melt sometime!
Driving in Snow/Ice
The Weather Channel listed some great snow and ice driving tips. The best tip to staying safe while driving in bad weather is to avoid driving if at all possible. But if you need to brave the snow and ice, make sure your car is prepared and follow these tips below.
Driving in Wet Weather
Melting snow can cause wet roads and risky driving situations. Taking into account these simple tips from the National Safety Council can save your life.
While driving in snow, ice or wet weather conditions try to minimize distractions. Limit your cell phone use, adjusting the radio or anything that takes your attention off the road.
Danny Manley, owner and president of AquaProof Inc., used to spend three days and hundreds of dollars hauling loads of dirt and concrete to the dump every single time he and his crew finished up a job. He realized he needed a better solution. Exploring his options led to a simple machine switch that’s saving Manley and his AquaProof crew thousands of dollars and many hours of tedious labor.
AquaProof Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, performs basement waterproofing, drainage work and foundation and structural repair. Founded in 2002, the company has 25 employees and serves both residential and commercial properties. Although the basement waterproofing industry is a competitive business, Manley has positioned AquaProof to provide completely customized services. Instead of prescribing basement waterproofing as a fix-all solution, AquaProof combines interior and exterior waterproofing techniques to repair damaged foundations and water-logged yards.
“Our niche is to customize our services for each project,” Manley said. “That’s why my company doesn’t specialize in just one service. Basement waterproofing is definitely the most common job we perform, but certainly not the only one.”
When a client comes to AquaProof for an estimate, Manley assesses all aspects of the problem from the yard and gutters to foundation cracks and basement flooding.
“Not only does waterproofing basements and fixing damaged foundations allow the homeowner to utilize that space again, but it also increases the home’s resale value,” Manley said.
Basement waterproofing can include interior work, exterior work or a combination of both. The first step for interior waterproofing is to place a protective layer of carpet and an exhaust fan in the basement. Then, AquaProof employees begin the heavy lifting. Using a jackhammer, they remove 12- to 18-in. (30.5 to 45.7 cm) of floor around the perimeter of the wall. Next, a trench is dug along the footing and shaved down 1-in. (2.5 cm) every 10 ft. (3 m) to create a pitch.
All of the dirt and concrete is hauled out of the basement in five-gallon buckets. When the excess material is gone, a soil separator is placed in the trench and covered with a layer of gravel, the floors are cleaned and the concrete is re-poured. Water is diverted out of the basement by pumps or gravity, depending on the specific problem in each home.
For exterior waterproofing, a trench is opened on the exterior walls of a home or building. AquaProof employees inspect the walls for cracks and repair any that are causing problems. Tar is applied to the entire exposed wall and plastic is lined on the bottom of the trench. A drainage mat is secured to the wall to prevent water from coming into contact with it. To finish up, filter fabric is placed in the trench on top of the plastic, perforated tile is laid on top of that and everything is covered by gravel. All of the soil is replaced and tamped down to prevent settling. Laying grass seed and straw are the final steps to completing the exterior waterproofing process.
AquaProof’s expertise extends well beyond just interior and exterior waterproofing.
“We combine the interior and exterior systems in applicable areas,” Manley explained. “Our additional services include sump pumps, grading, French drains, fixing bowed walls, stabilizing foundations, downspout lines and window well repair.”
Although it sounds counterproductive, the AquaProof crew must often create an even bigger mess before solving a homeowner’s original problem. Jackhammering basement floors and digging trenches stirs up a lot of dust and misplaces hundreds of pounds of concrete, gravel and dirt. During the exterior waterproofing process, displaced dirt is simply tamped back down into the hole once the wall cracks are repaired. When it comes to interior waterproofing, however, the process isn’t so easy. All of the excavated material must be hauled out of a basement by hand and transported back to the shop for temporary storage. Clients end up with a clean, leak-free home, while Manley and his employees are faced with mountains of rubble at their shop.
With two to three projects going on at one time, the pile of rubble amasses quickly. Until recently, Manley and his crew used a skid steer to load the excess material into Manley’s pickup trucks to be taken to the dump. Sometimes the process would take up to three days, becoming excessively costly and time consuming. The loaded skid steer had to be driven up a ramp in order to reach the bed of the trucks. When the trucks were filled, they had to be unloaded at the dump and driven back to repeat the process over and over. Manley not only paid for gas and wages for his employees, but also incurred a $35 dumping fee with each load. After three days and 57 loads, Manley had spent thousands of dollars. He needed a better solution.
Manley worked closely with his local JCB dealer, MH Equipment in Cincinnati, Ohio, to explore machinery options. His MH representative asked if Manley would be willing to try a different machine — a JCB 524-50 telescopic handler. Manley demoed the telehandler in his shop and was immediately convinced of the machine’s advantages over a traditional skid steer.
The telehandler streamlines the entire rubble-removal process. Due to his speedy little machine, Manley now has the ability to haul away the excess material in six hours instead of three days. The telehandler’s 5,000-lb. (2,268 kg) load capacity shaves hours off the loading time, while its greater lift height eliminates the need for a ramp and enables the crew to load bigger trucks with taller side rails. These larger trucks can hold three times much debris than the smaller trucks Manley was using before, and the dump charges them a small cost of only $15 per load. This more efficient process helps Manley save $2,500 to $3,000 per day when removing construction debris.
While Manley’s old skid steer was certainly a useful machine, the telescopic handler was simply a better fit for his unique needs. Skid steers are ideal on landscaping and construction sites when smaller loads need to be moved from one location to another. They also can be fitted with several different attachments including a forklift, bucket or snow plow, making them great all-purpose workhorses. However, according to Jim Blower, senior product marketing manager of JCB North America, compact telehandlers like Manley’s new JCB 524-50 can actually handle the same tasks as a skid steer and also are available with many attachments.
“Compact telehandlers can be outfitted with a number of attachments, making them able to perform many of the same tasks as a skid steer loader, for example,” Blower explained. “While skid steers are also highly maneuverable and useful in crowded spaces, compact telehandlers have an extendable boom that provides greater reach if you’ll be lifting any loads across obstacles or up to a higher level. Some compact telehandlers can even be used as a compact loader when outfitted with the appropriate bucket attachment.”
The 524-50 JCB model Manley purchased is an 85 hp (63 kW) machine with a 5,000-lb. load capacity. It’s capable of reaching a height of 17-ft. 4-in. (5.3 m) and, unlike a skid steer, it can travel up to 18.6 mph enabling it to be driven on roads between jobs if necessary. The telehandler’s robust load capacity isn’t inhibited by its small size either — the machine is only 6-ft. 11-in. (2.1 m) tall.
JCB carries a wide-range of other telescopic handlers to meet a variety of needs. The line-up includes telehandlers with 13 to 54-ft. (4 to 16 m) booms that can carry loads of 3,000 to 10,000-lbs. (1,361 to 4,536 kg). The smallest machines have been used by professionals who need the telehandler to fit through as small a space as a home doorway.
Manley said, “I save time by loading materials in the telehandler, because it’s a lot faster than using my skid loader. It saves wear and tear on my vehicles, and I only need one man on the job instead of three.”
Manley also uses the JCB telehandler to load trucks with supplies for the job site. The versatility of the machine is an added bonus. Saving time and money — two valuable resources for business owners — has made the most impact for Manley and AquaProof Inc.
“I think that this is an example of how important it is to always keep your eyes open for a better solution,” Manley said. “The new machine will pay for itself in savings in a little less than three years. If I hadn’t been open to the idea of replacing our skid steer with a telescopic handler, I’d still be paying thousands of dollars to get rid of the debris we generate at our job sites.”
As one of the Midwest’s largest forklift truck suppliers, MH Equipment advises forklift users to get prepared for ice, snow and freezing conditions to ensure that any forklifts critical to a supply chain run smoothly, reliably and safely this winter.
Some useful suggestions:
To help you be well prepared contact MH Equipment at one of our branch locations near you.
Seven years ago when I first started at MH Equipment, I remember how confusing it was to learn all of the different lift truck types and options available. I had previously come from the insurance business and hadn’t as of yet had the privilege of working in the material handling industry. Since I was new to the industry and obviously had a lot to learn, I began seeking out resources that could help me to become the ‘forklift expert’ I was determined to be. I wanted to be able to answer questions such as:
For most of you that have been in the material handling industry for years, you know that these are some of the most basic things that you should know about forklifts. However, for those that are new to the industry, or like me are still learning, being able to find the right resources to help you expand your material handling knowledge is essential. That is why I wanted to pass along a couple of links that helped me to learn more about lift trucks and the material handling industry.
Although I am still not a ‘forklift expert’, finding and having these resources on hand have definitely helped me along the way. I am still confident that I will reach my goal of being a ‘forklift expert’ – someday.
What are some resources that have helped you learn more about lift trucks or kept you up to date on the material handling industry?
During the week of November 14-18, 2011 MH Equipment employees and their families were busy doing a little shopping. They then took what they purchased and filled shoe boxes with trinkets and toys for little boys and girls all over the world. By the end of that week we were able to collect over 300 shoe boxes that will make their way to children in need. While individually a shoe box full of toys may seem like a small thing, collectively we were able to impact over 300 children and bring light and happiness where there might have been none before. What an amazing effort!
For more than a decade, Samaritan’s Purse has answered the call to share the love of Jesus Christ with hurting children around the world. In 2010, nearly 8.2 million shoe box gifts were collected internationally from the United States and 12 other countries for Operation Christmas Child . Since 1993, more than 85 million gift-filled shoe boxes have been distributed to children in more than 130 countries worldwide.
Although the deadline to drop off shoe boxes was November 18, you can still participate by going online to “Build” a box of your own! (Click here for details)
We would like to thank everyone who participated in collecting and filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child! Because of your caring generosity, we will be making 300 kids who might not even know it is Christmas, happy this Christmas! Thanks to everyone who participated and making this year’s Operation Christmas Child a HUGE SUCCESS!
Introducing… Brad Klosterman! Brad is a Material Handling Specialist and has been with MH Equipment in Cincinnati since August 1, 2011 when MH Equipment acquired Yale Materials Handling in a deal that would make MH Equipment one of the first dual-brand dealerships in Ohio.
Brad says the most satisfying thing about working for MH Equipment has been the unquestioned support he’s received from everyone since joining the team. He appreciates the fact that everyone supports what he is trying to do.
The Class II part of our business – Narrow Aisle and Very Narrow Aisle trucks really spark Brad’s interests because applications for this product usually require a deeper level of involvement with the customers’ business as well a high level of attention to detail. Brad says this really affords him the opportunity to add value to what the customer is trying to accomplish.
Over the years Brad has been involved in a number of sales but the most unique was an application for the Department of Energy. They needed to vertically transport barrels of waste product related to the processing of uranium. Brad ended up selling them a mast assembly – no forklift – which was mounted to the floor and used essentially as an elevator for the barrels.
Brad celebrated 10 years of marriage to his wife Jennifer this last spring. Together they have two children, Macy is 7 and their son Kellan is 6. As a family they enjoy doing anything outdoors – soccer, baseball, going to the park, nature walks – you name it! They also enjoy movie night on Saturdays with the kids. Brad has recently taught himself to play guitar. He says it’s important to him to expose his children to music at a young age. When he has downtime he loves spending it with his kids. It doesn’t matter what they are doing as long as they are doing it together. Brad also likes to play golf (although he says he doesn’t get to very often anymore) and he enjoys staying physically active and working out.
Brad says he’s been a Cincinnati Reds fan for as long as he can remember – even when he was a kid growing up in Illinois! He and his family would go to Chicago at least once a year when the Reds were playing the Cubs. He must have had a little premonition that he was going to live in Cincinnati one day because he moved there after he graduated from College!
Brad says the best thing about working for MH Is getting the support of what a large corporation can offer combined with the feeling of working for a smaller company.
Thank you for sharing a little about yourself with us Brad! All of us within the MH Family welcome you and look forward to sharing in your successes!
Shanell had originally applied for a position at a staffing agency but when she went for the interview they told her they actually had another position that was better suited to her qualifications. They thought she’d be a great fit for our company – So, Shanell decided to go for it… and here she is 6 years later!
Shanell and her husband Aaron were married on February 26, 2011 after being together 10 years!! (Congratulations!) They have two children together – Jaylin who’s 9 and Jordin who’s 8. As a family they enjoy spending time together and taking turns enjoying each other’s hobbies. Jaylin loves to read so she reads to them as a family and Jordin is really into Marvel comics – so they always have to see the latest Marvel Comic movie. Aaron is really into football– Shanell likes to watch it with him (Cincinnati Bengals of course!) and said she’s actually learned quite a bit! Shanell said she also really enjoys reading in her free time, after being in school for the last two years she hasn’t had a lot of time for leisure reading – she’s done now and can’t wait to start a good book! They recently took a fabulous family vacation to Sea Grove Beach, FL and had a BLAST! They would love to make it an annual trip.
Shanell also is an online Supplemental Educational Services (SES) tutor for students who attend schools that have not performed well on the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) or the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). SES provides assistance with reading, language arts and mathematics to the lowest-achieving students from low-income families who attend a Title I school in the second year of School Improvement or higher
She says the most rewarding thing about her time with MH Equipment has been the personal growth she has seen within herself. Completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management was a huge accomplishment and she thanks the many people within the company that provided advice on different assignments.
Shanell’s strong points are definitely her ability to build effective relationships with her co-workers and customers and she has a keen sense for resolving business issues. She says the thing she likes most about working at MH Equipment is definitely the people and the mission of the company.