Meet Chuck Freeland, our Material Handling Specialist at our Quad Cities Branch.
How long have you worked for the company and which branch do you work at?
22 years at the Quad Cities Branch.
What did you do before you came to MH?
Worked for CAT in Mt. Joy, Iowa for 15 years.
What has been your most rewarding, satisfying or proudest sales experience you’ve had since joining MH?
Growing the HON/Allsteel account from a cold call made in 1990 to the 240 truck fleet maintenance account it is today.
Tell us about your family.
My wife and I will celebrate 39 years of marriage this year. I have a son and daughter as well as a grandson and granddaughter. Nancy and I enjoy teaching the teen Sunday School class at our church and serving in our church worship team. Nancy and I enjoy walking/hiking together and try to spend a week each year fishing somewhere up north.
What are your specialties, or your area of expertise?
Consultative selling of new, used and allied equipment.
What are your hobbies?
Deer hunting, fishing and caring for my farm.
Who’s one person in history you’d like to have dinner with?
What do you like most about working for MH?
My teammates and customers.
We currently have 23 branches that have gone one whole year without injuries. It is possible to avoid injuries if you focus on being safe in the moment.
Here are some of the most common workplace injuries and how to avoid them.
Falls: commonly result in strains, sprains, broken bones, knee and head injuries.
Lifting: commonly results in strained back, neck or shoulders.
Automobile Accidents: can result in property damage and personal injury.
Forklift and Other Equipment: can result in many types of injuries.
What precautions can you add to our list in order to avoid workplace injuries?
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.
Have you been to our website lately? If so, you might have noticed our new video feature that we’ve added to our site. We’re really excited about this application because not only will you be able to look at pictures of equipment, but we will also be featuring videos of equipment as well. Take a look at our video library and check out some of our newly added videos!
We’d also love to hear what specific videos or featured equipment you would like to see added to our video library. Please comment if you have any suggestions.
OSHA says that only trained and authorized operators are permitted to operate a forklift and it’s the employer’s responsibility to train and authorize them to drive. A refresher course is required every 3 years or after an accident or near miss. How long has it been since you or yours have been instructed on forklift safety? Safety is a choice each individual makes everyday.
Here are a few simple things you can check for either yourself or your employees.
We’ve included a checklist in which you can print and rate you or your employee’s performance according to “good,” “fair” or “poor” driving safety.
Have a safe day!
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!
Here are the answers to yesterday’s safety quiz. How well did you do?
1. Answer: False. Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is best to establish a safety culture through policies, procedures, training and supervision.
2. Answer: True. Serious conditions often arise from small injuries if they are not cared for at once.
3. Answer: True. Personal protective equipment is meant to protect workers from specific hazards associated with their job responsibilities. Policies, procedures, training and supervision all contribute to the safe use of PPEs.
4. Answer: False. Slips, trips and falls are the most frequent cause of accident and injury in the workplace. Staff should be encouraged to maintain a neat work area for safety reasons.
5. Answer: False. One person’s common sense is not necessarily the same as another’s.
6. Answer: True. The correct floor covering must be chosen and appropriately installed and maintained if its usefulness is to be continued.
7. Answer: False. Slips, trips and falls cause the most workplace accidents. Encourage everyone to clean up spills or alert housekeeping right away.
8. Answer: False. OSHA says you must have a fire evacuation plan in place to protect the safety of your staff (and clients).
9. Answer: False. Standing on chairs or stools, especially ones with castors, is a great contributor to slip and fall injuries in the workplace. Instruct staff to only use appropriate step-stools or ladders and to follow ladder-use safety protocol.
How well do you know office and shop safety? Take our safety quiz, below and comment with your answers.
Take the quiz to see how much you know about office and shop safety. Remember, our goal is ZERO injuries.
1. Workplace safety is the responsibility of the person(s) wearing the risk management hat.
2. Any injury at work, no matter how small, must be reported immediately to the person’s supervisor and receive first-aid attention.
3. Safety glasses, gloves, helmets, and safety shoes, although not a fashion statement, must be worn on the job if policy requires them.
4. Staff members who work best with piles of materials about their areas are just as safe from accident and injury as the neatniks.
5. Safety is just common sense. We don’t need to waste time training people not to put their hands on a hot stove.
6. Floor covering has the highest use of any part of a building.
7. People will walk around spilled liquid on the floor; the best thing to do is to wait for the housekeeping staff to clean up spills properly.
8. Most planning is a waste of time. We’ll just dive in if we have an accident or injury and take care of the situation on the spot.
9. Chairs or stools can be substituted for a ladder to get items out-of-reach as long as an employee “spots” the person using the chair or stool.
Answers will be posted tomorrow. Good luck!
Congratulations to everyone in our Danville and Charleston branches for reaching one year of being injury free and proving that “Safe in the Moment” works. Safety is a top priority at MH Equipment and our goal is to have everyone remain safe, every moment of every day.
To read about our MH Equipment family in Danville, click here.
Pictures, videos and stories in the news regarding the devastation in Japan due to the earthquake and tsumani are heart-wrenching. In keeping with the MH value of investing in our communities, our His First Foundation is making a $15,000 donation to Samaritian’s Purse for disaster relief in Japan. His First Foundation, one of our corporate charities, is also matching employee donations for Japanese disaster relief.
If you’re interesting in making a donation, please consider donating to Samaritian’s Purse for disaster relief. Not only are they helping Japan, but they are supporting many other relief projects as well.
Forkliftaction.com released an article this morning about 3 new products that emerged at ProMat this year. Mariotti was among a few exhibitors showing new equipment, and we are proud to say we offer this new piece of equipment! To see how the world’s smallest forklift operates, check out our previous video post.
The following description is courtesy of forkliftaction.com.
“The interest level was very high and we expect sales to follow,” says Francesco Bruno, sales manager with the firm in Grugliasco, Italy, near Torino. “We will also present the forklift at the CeMAT show in Hannover [Germany, in] May.”
Mariotti began developing the AC 4-6C in 2009 and conducted beta trials with an Italian customer in mid-2010. “All the electronic, hydraulic and mechanical components are the same as those found in the ME AC 8C-10C,” Bruno says. “The major differences are the mast and the size of the forklift.”
The AC4 has a lifting capacity of 750lbs (338kg) and the AC6 can lift 1,100lbs (495kg). The width for each is 31 inches (77cm) with a standard or duplex mast and 34 inches (85cm) for a triplex mast.
Smith-Gramley Ltd of Loves Park, Illinois says the Mycros AC6C list price, including battery and charger, is USD24,000.
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.
The MHEDA Journal wrote a great article last July about the award-winning successes of distributors in 2009, a year that was dismal for much of the material handling industry. While employees were being let go and sales were a struggle, the year wasn’t all bad. Tweaks to strategies and a concentration on customer service made all the difference.
Each of the distributors listed in the article were named to at least one manufacturer’s list of 2009?s Top Dealers. What were their secrets to come out successful in a down a year? Here is how MH Equipment did it.
“I may be unusual in that I look back at 2009 with more affection than any other year I’ve owned MH Equipment Company besides my first year. Two of our six divisions earned Dealer of Distinction awards, which is partially a testament to how well we’ve performed in those regions. Our market share has always been strong in Illinois and Iowa. What made this year a little different for us was the company’s overall financial performance. Our revenue was down 29 percent in 2009, but we still found a way to be reasonably profitable. I’m pretty proud of that.
“We really focus on fleet management. We tell the customer that we will take care of their entire fleet for X number of years for a fixed number of dollars. By having a lot of those contracts in place, it helps us communicate with and remain partners with the customers. They have an agreement in place already so we know they’re not going to leave us. They may want to adjust the terms, and that’s okay, but the fleet management accounts keep the long-term relationships intact.
“We teamed up with Hyster’s national accounts team to take advantage of some great opportunities in our territory to have some large transactions. Agriculture, which makes up a huge portion of the economy in the states where we earned awards, lagged the general economy a bit, so we had some success focusing on that segment of the marketplace. There are three large companies in particular with whom we’ve developed relationships and all of them made purchases last year. That’s a culmination of years of being partners and working together. Those kind of relationships aren’t created overnight.
“The thing that makes MH Equipment successful is the leadership team. We reorganized our structure last year to streamline our operations. We put one of the owners, Darrell Randall, in charge of our marketing, and another owner, Fred Metzger, in charge of all unit sales for the company. Having top-level executives in those roles helped us be more strategic and efficient with our limited resources.”
John Wieland, CEO
MH Equipment Company (Mossville, IL)