MH Equipment Blog

  • Incident Rate Excellence Award

    In honor of our weekly safety posts, we thought it would be appropriate to share an award that we received in April to prove that our safety program, Safe in the Moment, works.

    On April 28-29, MH Equipment was awarded a safety award  for Incident Rate Excellence from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council during their 58th Annual Professional Development Conference and Expo held in Bettendorf, Iowa. We were one of over 150 business, industries and government agencies in Illinois and Iowa to receive an award for promoting active safety programs and reducing OSHA recordable injuries among our employees. In order to qualify for this award, we had to demonstrate that during the 2010 calendar year, our incident rate was lower than the national average for our specific industry of material handling.

    We are very excited to share this award with you, in hopes that our safety program’s success will inspire you or yours to implement or act on a safety program. Most of the safety posts we display each week comes from our Corporate Safety Department and are tailored to you, our readers. Some topics may seem trivial or common sense, but our safety awards and milestones we have shared with you are living proof that our program works.

    Be Safe in the Moment!

    To read the full press release, click here.

  • 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!

  • Brake for Safety

    At last, Spring has sprung and construction zone are popping up all over our roadways. Speeding and inattention are the two biggest reasons for collisions in road work zones. Construction zone accidents are most often caused by vehicles exceeding the appropriate speed in the designated zone. Not only are people inside the vehicle at risk, but the construction zone workers who are out on the road are also at risk. Also, each year thousands of farm vehicles are involved in accidents on public roads. Most of the collisions between slow-moving farm equipment and cars occur on dry, open highways during the day. With construction, farm equipment, school zones and other hazards, we have to make sure we are driving Safe in the Moment.

    Safe driving tips for…

    Farm communities:




    In General:

    We hope this post helps remind you of the “little” things we might forget while on the road. Spring weather also brings out a lot of factors that we’re not used to seeing due to colder weather. Be Safe in the Moment!

  • 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.

  • Safety Milestone

    We would like to congratulate all of our St. Louis Branch employees for reaching one full year without injuries! Their safety milestone is yet another example proving that being safe in the moment works and injuries are 100% avoidable.

  • Meet: Chuck Freeland

    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.

    Favorite food?


    Who’s one person in history you’d like to have dinner with?

    Ronald Reagan.

    What do you like most about working for MH?

    My teammates and customers.

  • Zero-in on ZERO Injuries

    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?

  • 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.

  • New Feature

    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.

  • ReSale Feature of the Week

    FOR SALE: 2007 Hyster H80FT

    This piece of equipment is available at our Grand Island, Nebraska Branch. For more information, call our branch at (308)382-3585 or toll free at 1-888-564-2191. You can also fill out a contact form, here.




  • Driving Zero Home

    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!

  • 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!

  • Safety Quiz- Answers

    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.

  • Office & Shop Safety Quiz

    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.

                                        True                 False

    2. Any injury at work, no matter how small, must be reported immediately to the person’s supervisor and receive first-aid attention.

                                        True                 False

    3. Safety glasses, gloves, helmets, and safety shoes, although not a fashion statement, must be worn on the job if policy requires them.

                                        True                 False

    4. Staff members who work best with piles of materials about their areas are just as safe from accident and injury as the neatniks.

                                        True                 False

    5. Safety is just common sense. We don’t need to waste time training people not to put their hands on a hot stove.

                                        True                 False

    6. Floor covering has the highest use of any part of a building.

                                        True                 False

    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.

                                        True                 False

    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.

                                        True                 False

    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.

                                        True                 False

    Answers will be posted tomorrow. Good luck!

  • More Safety Milestones

    In lieu of our usual branch highlight, today, we are congratulating two branches for achieving a great safety milestone. ?????

    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.