Monthly Archives: February 2019

Employee Spotlight: Lucien Provost

Lucien Provost

Lucien Provost

Meet Lucien Provost!

Provost is the parts operations manager at the Hugg & Hall branch in Broussard, La., and has been with the company for more than 22 years. In this role, he handles day-to-day parts operations, controls inventory, manages the parts team and much more.

Provost is a native of Lafayette, La., and, before onboarding with Hugg & Hall, worked at both Deep South Equipment and Briggs Equipment. Before joining the parts team in Broussard, Provost worked at the Little Rock, Ark., branch as part of the service team for about 16 years. Recently, Provost spoke on his favorite things about working at Hugg & Hall.

“I enjoy working with the parts group here and handling the day-to-day activities,” said Provost. “When I worked at the Little Rock branch the holiday get togethers were a lot of fun. Eating together, the cakewalk and the gift exchange. It really gave it that small company feel.”

Provost emphasized that he enjoys being a part of the Hugg & Hall team.

“I strive to get the job done right the first time and keeping our customers happy,” said Provost, speaking about the things he’s professionally passionate. “A neat and organized workspace and warehouse.”

Provost is married and has one preteen stepson and one son (22) in college. The family also has three dogs and a school of fish. In his free time, he loves kayaking, camping, grilling out, the local gun range and spending time with his family.

People may be surprised to know that, years ago, he worked with his father on the filming of the hunting, fishing and guide television program, “Provost Adventures.”

The company would like to send out a huge thank you to Provost for all of his hard work and dedication throughout the years. To start your own Hugg & Hall story, visit our hiring site today.

Hugg & Hall Featured In Volvo CE Video

Hugg & Hall Featured in Volvo CE Video

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company Featured in Volvo Construction Equipment Video

Little Rock, Ark.–

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall), with locations throughout Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, was recently featured in a video produced by Volvo Construction Equipment, as part of a spotlight on customer, Riley Paving.

Hugg & Hall proudly provides Riley Paving, an asphalt company, parts and technical services focused on minimizing downtime caused by any issues related to their Volvo machines.

“We’ve gotten really good service out of all of our equipment,” said Casey Riley, superintendent of operations at Riley Paving, in the video. “The Hugg & Hall guys, they’ve really come a long way with these machines.”

“The service and service response, I guess, to me is more important than the value of the equipment,” said Riley. “If a dealership does not have the service to back their equipment up, they just will not sell it. But as far as working with the guys, we all have a great relationship. I mean, if you have a problem, you call them, they address it.”

Multiple representatives at Riley Paving attested to their satisfaction with the services Hugg & Hall has provided their operations.

“We’re happy with Hugg & Hall, Volvo, altogether,” said Chuck White, principal and estimator at Riley Paving, in the video. “They’ve been tremendous and I would recommend it to anybody in the asphalt business.”

The service that Hugg & Hall provides is very important to companies like Riley Paving because one malfunctioning machine can inhibit an entire project from timely completion.

“The up time is quick response from our techs and our service department,” said David Jordan, a heavy construction salesperson at Hugg & Hall, in the video. “As you can see, you know, one machine goes down in this operation, it holds up the whole chain.”

Hugg & Hall is grateful for their partnership with Riley Paving and looks forward to continually providing excellence in parts and technical services.  

Check out the video below.

Common Diesel Exhaust Fluid Issues & How to Avoid Them

Common Diesel Exhaust Fluid Issues & How to Avoid Them

Problem: Mixing DEF with diesel fuel


One common issue stemming from diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is intermixing the fluid with diesel fuel. DEF and fuel tanks are sometimes located near each other on machines, so this is a common issue with very expensive consequences.

DEF is a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) which is used as an emissions control solution for diesel engines. DEF is incorporated in engine systems via the DEF tank and mixing the fluid with diesel fuel can potentially create thousands of dollars in damage.

To avoid this issue, operators should become familiar with the difference between the two tanks before use. Usually the DEF filling port is smaller in diameter than that of the diesel tank and the cap for the DEF tank is typically blue.

It’s important to train operators on the difference between the two tanks and the exigency of never intermixing DEF and fuel. If/when this issue does arise, do not start the engine and call a technician, immediately. If ever in doubt whether the right tank was filled with DEF, drain and flush the tank(s).

Problem: DEF contamination


DEF is very prone to contamination if exposed to other materials or fluids, even minimally. If contaminated, DEF will not perform efficiently. Contamination around the fuel cap or in-and-around the storage area can create issues like an uptick in consumption, a malfunctioning system or an engine which starts to intermittently shut down.

If these issues arise, monitoring the concentration of urea-based DEF may be necessary. Ideal concentration is between 32.5 and 37 percent.

The best way to avoid issues related to DEF contamination (and downtime) is to train all operators and maintenance staff to clean the area around the tank before the fuel cap is removed and to make sure that DEF is stored properly in designated containers and to never store in containers used for other fluids.

Problem: Improper handling of DEF


Another common problem that people can encounter with DEF stems from mishandling the substance. It’s important to properly store the fluid to avoid complications like premature degradation. Here are the pertinent pointers to remember when storing DEF:

  • Store out of direct sunlight.
  • Store in stainless steel or plastic totes or as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Store indoors in a cool, dry location.
  • It’s best to store in an area between 12 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • DEF expands in very cold temperatures so if storing in a cold area, use an expandable container.

For more information, check out this helpful Diesel Exhaust Fluid checklist from Volvo Construction Equipment or contact us today!

Employee Spotlight: Katie Hicks

Katie Hicks

Meet Katie Hicks!

Hicks has been working at Hugg & Hall for more than 20 years. She started her career with the company as a parts salesperson and currently works as a field service coordinator at the Little Rock, Ark., branch. In this role she handles the coordination of field service repairs which may include: receiving customer calls, dispatching technicians to work sites, opening work-orders, keying time logs and ensuring all I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed before billing work-orders.

“I get paid to tell men where to go,” said Hicks with levity. “I basically take care of any needs that the technicians have. I am also the person who would take care of the service calls for customers who call with units that are in need of repair. Key the technicians’ times, daily. Proof all work-orders before moving them to the appropriate category to be closed or filed. There are almost too many duties to name them all.”

“Having the ability to cut up with my fellow coworkers every now and then,” said Hicks when asked about her favorite aspect of the job.

Hicks recently spoke on some of her favorite experiences at Hugg & Hall throughout her time working for the company.

“Being at Hugg & Hall as long as I have, I have seen some coworkers come and go,” said Hicks. “I had a few that are no longer with us that I guess you could say livened up the atmosphere. I have two in particular that I owe the honor. One was Bill Betts. He is the reason that I am employed here at Hugg & Hall. The other, Jim Painter, taught me everything I know and some things that I did not need to know.”

Hicks has a wonderful husband of more than 13 years, two daughters (28 and 10) and a son (27). She also has a 16-year-old granddaughter, a 15-year-old grandson and a brand new, infant granddaughter (“the love of my life”).

“If I did not have a 10-year-old, my hobbies would be boating and camping,” said Hicks. “But as it stands right now, my hobbies are her hobbies. These hobbies are softball, everyday, softball, with a little volleyball thrown in there from time-to-time.”

The company would like to send out a huge thank you to Hicks for all of her hard work and dedication throughout the years!

How Battery Regeneration Reduces Waste & Improves Efficiency

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) continually seeks to find innovative

Xtender Battery Regenerator

 ways to increase productivity and better provide the reliable service customers need. One way the company does this is by employing different tactics in each branch to better serve the unique needs of each, regional customer-base.  At the Springdale, Ark., branch, the company recently implemented an Xtender Battery Regenerator which is extending the lifespan of many batteries and machines.

The Xtender Battery Regenerator restores and prolongs the lifespan of all sizes and types of lead-acid batteries including flooded, gel, AGM and valve regulated (VRLA) types, according to their website.

“It regenerates batteries that are assumedly bad,” said Brad Sebastian, Fleet Maintenance Coordinator at the Springdale branch, referring to how the Xtender Battery Regenerator is supporting organizational operations. “Now that we have it, instead of waiting five years for a battery to go bad, we can start testing them more frequently and you’re not going to have that continuous drop in battery life. A lot of these are normally 10+ hour batteries and we’ll see some that are getting five to six hours before regeneration. In some cases, the Xtender has more than doubled the life of batteries.”

Batteries lose capacity and efficiency due to sulfation, which is the accumulation of extremely hard lead sulfate crystals. Sulfation is increased due to lack of proper maintenance, incorrect charging and inactivity, according to their website. The Xtender successfully de-sulfates and restores batteries by softening and dissolving the extremely hard crystals during a six-stage process. These stages include discharging and electrical high-frequency pulsation phases.

“Some of these older batteries, we’re hoping to get another two to three hours so that the battery is capable of completing a continuous, eight-hour shift,” said Sebastian. “It’s proven itself, already, to extend the life of each battery we’ve regenerated. We’re saving money by not having to buy batteries as frequently.”

Another benefit of the Xtender Battery Regenerator is waste reduction. Extending the life of current batteries ultimately reduces waste created by old batteries. As sustainable practices are in greater demand, this added benefit is especially important. 

“It’s just like anything,” said Sebastian. “If you don’t maintain your car, it’s going to break down. If you don’t maintain your battery, it’s going to break down. In the end, instead of replacing batteries every four to five years, we can now extend the life which reduces waste and, in turn, reduces the cost and frequency of disposal.”

Hugg & Hall continually seeks to identify ways to better serve customers, reduce waste and streamline operations. The company looks forward to incorporating innovative methods in support of these objectives.

Takeaways from the 2019 Business Forecast

2019 Economic Forecast

Presiding consensus at the 2019 Business Forecast presented by the Center for Business & Economic Research, a part of Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, was that the economy has slowed but should remain strong barring any unforeseen occurrences affecting the financial system. The forum occurred on Feb. 1 at the John Q Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Ark. The various forecasters overwhelmingly predicted a cooling of what has been the longest stretch between recessions, other than the period between the early 1990s and the early 2000s. Yet, at the forum, the 2019 financial environment was predicted to remain relatively steady. Here are a few takeaways from the forecast.


Carolyn Evans, Head Economist and Senior Data Scientist at Intel Corporation, presented on the many factors contributing to the 2019 global economic outlook.

  • “Global economic growth is projected to soften from a downwardly revised 3% in 2018 to 2.9% in 2019 amid rising downside risks to the outlook,” according to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects.
  • “Growth has peaked amidst escalating risks,” according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Economic Outlook.
  • The OECD forecasts world real GDP in 2019 to drop from 3.7% in 2018 to 3.5% in 2019.
  • “The danger of a global economic downturn has risen, but the probability of a recession in 2019 is still low,” according to IHS Market. “After a brief spurt in 2017 and 2018, growth in the G7 economies is reverting to trend, and emerging markets are unlikely to come to the rescue.”
  • IHS Markit projects that world real GDP to drop slightly from 3.2% in 2018 to 2.9% in 2019.
  • The global business sentiment remains confident but confidence has dropped slightly in recent months, according to data collected by IHS Markit, Caixin, Eurostat and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).


Ross DeVol, of the Walton Family Foundation, presented on the 2019 economic outlook, specifically as it relates to the U.S. market.

  • The U.S. economy is currently experiencing its 100th month of expansion.
  • Consumer confidence and spending remains high and, while real personal consumption growth has risen moderately, consumer confidence has grown significantly with more than a 1% increase, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Conference Board.
  • Home sales have begun to retreat as mortgage rates rise, according to the Census Bureau and National Association of Realtors.
  • A notable year-over-year change is the increase in small business confidence, new core capital orders and business investments, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the NFIB.
  • The 2019 economic outlook summary includes a GDP percentage change from 2.9 in 2018 to 2.6 in 2019 and 1.2 in 2020 and a consumption drop from 2.7 in 2018 to 2.6 in 2019 and 1.0 in 2020. Business fixed investment is forecasted to drop from 5.5 in 2018 to 5.4 in 2019 and 2.1 in 2020.

While 2019 is expected to cool, a more drastic slowdown is forecasted for 2020, according to DeVol’s projections.


Mervin Jebaraj, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, presented on trends in the Arkansas economic landscape. 

  • Overall employment in Arkansas has experienced steady growth since 2010 and unemployment rates have dropped significantly from more than 9% in January 2011 to about 4% in July 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Northwest Arkansas employment numbers are strong but slower than last year. Fort Smith employment remains steady while Jonesboro employment is on a growth trajectory.
  • Overall employment has seen starker increases in the metropolitan areas of the state and slower growth in rural areas.
  • Predictably, unemployment has decreased with the higher employment rates. Unemployment rates have decreased in each major region of the state.
  • Personal income in Arkansas has grown significantly since the 1970s but trails national averages by significant margins.

Impact on Regional Equipment Industry

Northwest Arkansas has seen about a 4% growth in employment in the construction sector, between December 2017 and December 2018. Little Rock experienced about a 3% decrease in employment in the “mining, logging and construction” sector but overall employment has grown significantly in the past decade.

Though home sales have begun to retreat nationally, it’s unclear how significantly this will impact the Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas regions and there continues to be major manufacturing and development in these areas.

However in Oklahoma, economic growth is projected to reach a standstill in mid 2019 because of a decline in energy prices, according to the 2019 Economic Outlook, published by the Center for Applied Economic Research at Oklahoma State University.

“Because of the time lag between changes in energy prices and energy sector employment, benefits of the rise in oil prices in 2018 will accrue through the first quarter of 2019,” according to the report. “After which, the decline in energy prices in late 2018 and early 2019 will cause energy sector employment to decline. Along with slowing of the national economy, the reversal of growth in the energy sector will bring the Oklahoma economy to a standstill during the second half of 2019.”

After enduring a 28-month recession that cost Louisiana over 23,000 jobs, the state’s economy began growing in 2018, according to the 2019 Louisiana Economic Outlook published by the Economics and Policy Research Group at Louisiana State University. That industrial boom and a revived oil and gas industry should produce a recovery from the 2015-17 recession, with 2020 being particularly strong for the state. However the forecast is based on assumptions that the national economy will remain steady, inflation and interest rates will rise but remain unthreatening, oil prices will rise gradually and natural gas prices will decline slightly.

The state should surpass 2,000,000 jobs on an annual basis for the first time in its history in 2019, according to projections published in the report.

Steady employment nationally and regionally paired with consumer confidence is vitalizing, barring any unforeseen changes.

Learn How to Protect Your Equipment From Theft

How to Protect Your Equipment From Theft

There’s no way to perfectly protect from theft, but there are some measures you can take to reduce your risk. Here are some tips for keeping your equipment protected!

Check your locks

When you’re starting your project, install secure lock and fence protections, and make sure they’re maintained. Check any locks, fencing, and other systems daily. This is especially important if you’ll be away from your jobsite for a few days. Identify any potential weaknesses before someone else does! 

Check your cameras

If your company has security or surveillance cameras, check and maintain them regularly. Make sure they are operating well, positioned at the correct angles, and that they area they’re covering is well-lit. Some cameras record over old footage as a default. It’s important to have external digital storage and keep the footage until the job is complete, if not longer. 

Have a secure process and keep all documentation

Vetting procedures can help keep your equipment safe. If you are renting equipment, make sure the company you’re renting from is legitimate and trustworthy. Keep a paper trail of credit checks and identity verification. Even if your equipment is vandalized or stolen, this documentation will assist law enforcement as they recover your property. 

Register your equipment

It’s always a good idea to register your equipment with databases like the National Equipment Register (NER). These databases store and maintain your equipment information and VIN numbers. That information can help law enforcement track down and, hopefully, locate stolen items. The American Rental Association (and other like organizations) have partnerships with databases that provide an extra layer of security and a contingency plan in the unfortunate event that your property is stolen.


Have additional questions about how to protect your equipment from theft? Contact us! 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in February 2023.