Monthly Archives: May 2019

How Service Supply Vending Saves Time & Money

How Service Supply Vending Saves Time & Money

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) recently installed Fastenal vending machines at the company’s El Dorado branch. The machines provide an option for technicians to purchase personal protective equipment/shop supplies in a convenient way, with no cost to the company.

With this new vending system comes several benefits including: on-demand purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE), potential for tool-specific requisition management, cost savings, reduced need to purchase parts from branch’s in-house Parts Department which increases productivity for both teams (service and parts).

“We are not only saving time for the technicians, but it’s saving time for our counter folks as well, because they aren’t having to pull the parts or restock the parts,” said Tracey Gibbs, Regional Director of Parts, referring to the boost to efficiency that the new vending system provides.

By supplying a percentage of Fastenal Exclusive Line products the new vending system saves the company about $4320 annually, according to Gibbs.

“We estimate that we will save over $3500 at this branch annually, which could be significant savings for each additional branch we add,” said Gibbs, referring to the El Dorado branch. “We will continue to monitor and keep our fastest moving items stocked in them. Another benefit is our technicians and truck drivers are able to access these machines after hours.”

Fastenal stocks and replenishes their vending systems on a weekly basis.

Thank you to the Fastenal team for providing the El Dorado branch the tools and resources they needed to create a more efficient and productive operation.

Combating Worker Fatigue

Combating Worker Fatigue

As about 38 percent of U.S. workers sleep less than seven hours a night, according to a study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, worker fatigue is an issue increasingly affecting workplaces throughout the country. It is most concerning in occupations where machinery will be operated because fatigue can impair a driver/operator’s ability to safely maintain focus throughout their shift. As such, it’s important for companies to consider how they can better support and educate their workers on the dangers of fatigue and work together on how to avoid any fatigue-related issues.

Worker fatigue is a problem both because of safety-related implications and productivity loss.

  • Several studies state that workers who have a sleeping disorder are more likely to be involved in a workplace safety incident
  • Fatigue-related productivity losses cost almost $2,000 per worker each year, according to estimates from a 2010 study conducted by Alertness Solutions

Lack of sleep results in a 13 percent increased risk of death and the loss of 1.2 million workdays per year in the United States, according to a report by RAND Corp. The report recommends companies to create a culture within their organizations that:

  • Understand the importance of sleep and promote it
  • Create brighter workplaces with settings for naps
  • Deter lengthy use of electronic devices after work

According to an article published by the Manufacturing Safety Alliance, lack of sleep and worker fatigue can have negative effects on many aspects of a worker’s life, including:

  • Ability to make decisions
  • Ability to do complex planning
  • Communication skills
  • Productivity and performance
  • Attention
  • Ability to handle stress
  • Reaction time
  • Ability to recall details
  • Ability to respond to changes in surroundings or information provided

Fatigue can also result in:

  • Inability to stay awake
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Increased errors in judgment
  • Over the long term, fatigue can result in negative health effects, such as loss of appetite and digestive problems, and other chronic health conditions, including depression. These effects can result in:
  • Increased sick time, absenteeism and rate of turnover
  • Increased medical costs
  • One study has shown that fatigue can have similar effects to drinking alcohol:
  • 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.05
  • 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.08
  • 24–25 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.10

According to the article published by the Manufacturing Safety Alliance, there are some measures that can be taken that may improve one’s quality of sleep, including:

  • Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day
  • Turning out the lights immediately once going to bed
  • Not reading or watching television in bed
  • Making the room as dark and quiet as possible
  • Some people sleep better in a cool room
  • Establishing regular eating times
  • Avoiding caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, especially before bedtime
  • Exercising regularly

Although workers are responsible for being well-rested, managers should provide information, motivation and resources, according to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Communication is one of the most important ways to combat worker fatigue, according to an article published by Toyota Forklifts. The article suggests educating workers on fatigue-related issues and working together to determine the biggest causes of their fatigue so that it can be addressed. For example, if the lighting in the work environment is an issue then companies might consider looking for more ergonomic alternatives. Another important suggestion communicated in the article is the vital necessity of establishing methods of communication between workers and the organization. This is critical so that any issue can be addressed before it becomes a safety hazard or contributes to an unsafe work environment.

The ACOEM offers the following suggested characteristics for an effective fatigue risk management system:

  • Supported by peer-reviewed science
  • Decisions determined by data collection and analysis
  • System-wide use of tools, systems, policies and procedures
  • Constructed into the corporate safety and health management systems
  • Ownership taken by senior leaders
  • Shift scheduling
  • Training for employees on fatigue and managing sleep disorders
  • Workplace design
  • Monitoring of fatigue

Product Support Team Gathers for Unprecedented Meeting in Little Rock

The Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) Product Support Team gathered for a meeting like no other. For the first time (in anyone’s memory) all parts and service managers, as well as all product support sales representatives (PSSRs), gathered together to build comradery and talk about upcoming changes in the coming year. This unprecedented meeting took place in downtown Little Rock, Ark., from May 14 to May 15 at the DoubleTree Hotel and the Robinson Center.

Vice President of Parts and Service Operations, Chris Shields, set the tone for the next two days by offering definitions of comradery and what it means to be a team player in a company of this magnitude. Shields also spoke on the game plan for the meeting, noting that the first day would be difficult because he was going to be talking about the various struggles the departments face internally. He said that he hoped by the end of it all each department would have a better sense of what it means to be a team.

“One objective, one team,” said Shields. “Relentless passion to be the best provider of services that deliver maximum equipment up time to our customers.”

Before diving into the struggles of the Product Support Team, Shield’s spoke on the team’s achievements from the previous year. The Product Support Team had a record-breaking year, they contributed about 45% of the company’s total gross profit. With technicians bringing in 72% of total revenue deriving from product support operations.

“We are in a great place as a company, not only to provide quality service to our customers but to provide quality service and training to attract and retain skilled technicians,” said Shields on the importance of the role technicians serve. “Saying things like ‘they could’ve done better’ or ‘they should’ve tried harder,’ is unacceptable. The value of our techs can’t be understated.”

Larry Denson, Parts Operations Manager at the Hugg & Hall Oklahoma City branch, was surprised by the impact technicians play in the overall success of the company.

“To see the average number in dollars of their (technicians’) contributions to the company’s gross profit and the bottom line was eye-opening, to say the least,” said Denson. “I think if more of the employees understood this it could and should help to eliminate some of those negative views technicians are saddled with.”

Shields was also proud to announce that the team is currently doing business with 55 Fortune 500 companies and 17 Fortune 1000 companies, a large majority of which are located, or have a substantial presence, in Arkansas.

“You should be very proud to do what you do and you should be very proud to do what you do with this company,” said Shields.

When it came time to address the struggles and hardships that the Product Support Team has been facing internally, Shields addressed it head-on, owning up to his part of the problem.

“I receive that, I own that, I believe in that,” said Shields.

The room grew quiet as everyone seemingly began to realize that the problems and issues they were having with specific departments were universal.

“The great thing about old walls is they can be removed,” said James Burgess, Product Support Sales Representative at the Hugg & Hall Fort Smith branch. “Our culture is changing with the business landscape, we are proving to be progressive and self-reflecting. I’m excited to be a part of the Product Support Team and look forward to the great things ahead.”

After the meeting, everyone gathered at the Flying Saucer, a local restaurant near the River Market, for dinner. This was also a great time for everyone to decompress and enjoy meeting people from other branches.

“It is always a neat experience when you get to put a face with a name,” said Denson “You hear these names of your counterparts that are in the same position as those you work with at your branch and then you finally get to meet them.”

The next morning, everyone gathered for the second half of the meeting. Shield’s kicked off the meeting by introducing structural changes within the Product Support Team’s leadership. After the new introductions were made, Mitch Perry, Regional Vice President of Product Support for the southern region, and Mark McLarty, Regional Vice President of Product Support for the northern region, conducted break off meetings with their respective colleagues to answer any questions and set the tone for future meetings.

“This isn’t going to change today, we aren’t going to be all huggy dovey as soon as we leave here, but you’ve got my trust and I hope I’ve got yours,” said McLarty to his group.

“We have the resources and people to do something incredible,” said Perry.

After a short break, everyone gathered to conclude the meeting. The meeting ended with small presentations from Lucas Hall, Product Support Software/Data Developer/Business Analyst, Tracey Gibbs, Corporate Parts Manager and Tom Mitchell, Product Support Manager at the Hugg & Hall Springdale branch. Each presented on new initiatives to minimize downtime and maximize productivity. Each of these initiatives will be detailed in future blog posts.

“This unprecedented meeting provided a unique opportunity to share real-world experiences that may be brought to bear for the benefit of our customers both external and internal; time well spent,” said Mitchell.


Wallace Red Retires After 47 Years of Dedicated Service

Wallace Red Retires After 47 Years at Hugg & Hall

Wallace Red

Today, after 47 years of dedicated service to Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall), Wallace Red, Shop Service Technician at the Little Rock, Ark., branch, has officially retired. Red began with the company when it was led by Charlie Hugg as Clarklift of Arkansas.

“Words can’t describe how much I appreciate Wallace Red,” said John Hugg, President of Hugg & Hall. “His dedication to Hugg & Hall, our customers and important vendors is unequaled– literally, Wallace has been on our team longer than anyone in our history. Wallace has every characteristic you could ever want in a team member– he is smart, knowledgeable, dedicated to quality, dependable, willing to help and teach others– just a wonderful team player. Hugg & Hall will not be the same without Wallace. I am really excited for Wallace and the next phase of his life and wish him a wonderful retirement. My sincerest thanks for the contribution he has made to our company and for his friendship.”

John McKenzie, Service Manager at the Hugg & Hall Little Rock branch, recently spoke on the positive impact Red continuously has had on the entire organization.

“When I first started at Hugg & Hall, 18 almost 19 years ago, Wallace was the tech that I was told had been here since the beginning,” said McKenzie. “Now so many years later, Wallace has become a person that you always expect to be here.”

McKenzie expanded on Red’s loyalty and dedication and how much his presence will be missed.

“I believe that one word sums up Wallace and that is ‘loyal,'” said McKenzie. “Wallace has shown this trait to Hugg & Hall, his fellow coworkers but most importantly to his family. You could always tell that Wallace is a genuine family man and held them to the highest standard– he is so proud of his family. I know that I will miss Wallace and his sense of humor, his vast knowledge and just him being here every day like he has been for so long. Wallace have a restful and fulfilling retirement– we at Hugg & Hall wish you the very best.”

Robert Daniels, Parts Operations Manager at the Hugg & Hall Little Rock branch, attested to Red’s character and hard work.

“Wallace Red is as fine a person that I have ever had the pleasure to be around,” said Daniels. “A hard working, Christian man that devotes his off-time to family and helping those in need. Wallace is a testament to others of what a great company Hugg and Hall is.”

Chad Purdy, Shop Foreperson at the Hugg & Hall Little Rock branch, recently spoke about how Red’s colleagues will not only miss his many contributions to the company but will mostly miss having him around.

“Wallace has been a staple here at Hugg & Hall for 47 years,” said Purdy. “We all have gotten used to coming to work and seeing him here and working with him. His knowledge, experience and dedication will be missed. But most of all, Wallace is going to be missed not for what he brought to Hugg & Hall but for just being Wally.”

In his spare time, Wallace attends church and spends time with his family. He also spends every Saturday singing to nursing home residents. The entire Hugg & Hall team would like to thank Red for his hard work, dedication and contributions throughout his time with the company and wishes him the very best of retirements!

Wallace Red Retires After 47 Years at Hugg & Hall  Wallace Red Retires After 47 Years at Hugg & Hall

Wallace Red Retires After 47 Years at Hugg & Hall

ANSI A92 Safe Use Requirements: What to Know

ANSI A92 Safe Use Requirements: What to Know

As part of the new ANSI A92 updates, companies will be required to track and assess safe use procedures to a further extent. To help readers better understand the changes and how to acclimate to them, we’ve put together this quick breakdown which delineates the basics (not everything) of what you need to know.

The updated standards require that each job site undergo a thorough inspection before a MEWP can access, and be used on, the site. Sites should be inspected for specific safety hazards and job site characteristics, including (but not restricted to):

  • Drop-offs
  • Holes
  • Bumps
  • Cables
  • Obstructions
  • Overhead obstructions
  • Slopes
  • Debris
  • Any potential inability of the ground/flooring to sustain the pressure and weight of a/the MEWP
  • Confined areas (so that a MEWP appropriate to the job site is chosen)
  • Electrical conductors
  • Hazardous atmospheres
  • Weather conditions
  • Job site status/conditions
  • Potential traffic hazards

Another step to the updated standards require control measures be taken if safety hazards are, in fact, identified. For example, if a hazard is found when the job site is searched for safety issues, then the appropriate manuals and safety procedures are required to be reviewed and adjustments must be made to address the hazards and avoid an unsafe work environment.

As part of the updated standards a step-by-step process is required to ensure a controlled area below and around any MEWP on the job site. This process will be an effort to avoid any persons or objects coming into dangerous contact with the MEWP or objects falling from the MEWP.

According to an article recently published on Aerial Pros, the below precautions should be considered when operating in and around a MEWP.

  • When loading and unloading a MEWP from a transport vehicle on a public road, users and operators must take appropriate measures to protect everyone near the area
  • Use warning cones or hazard tape to help secure the area
  • Make sure signs and/or signal personnel wearing reflective clothing are visible to everyone working at a site or nearby
  • Use flag personnel to warn people and other vehicles about the presence of the MEWP and transport vehicle when operating near roadways

The new regulations replace prior ANSI standards A92.3, A92.5, A92.6 and A92.8 which covered manually propelled aerial, booms, scissors and under-bridge inspection machines. The standards dictate stability, testing and safety requirements to manufacturers so that consumers are provided certified and safe machines for use. The updates are focused on moving North American equipment toward current global standards to reduce variances.

Some of the major changes stemming from the update include terminology changes, platform load sensing technology requirements, new wind force requirements, new stability testing, new railing height requirements, new platform entry requirements and more

Additional information on the new safe use requirements can be found in ANSI A92.22‐2018 and CSA B354.7:17 Standards.

Light Tower Set Up– Dos & Don’ts

Light Tower Tips

Before operating portable light towers, it’s important to understand the basic rules of use. The first consideration you’ll want to think about is whether a light tower or light tower/generator combination would be more appropriate for your job site. If you need both then a combination unit may eliminate the need for two machines.

Other options to consider relate to what kind of tower is most appropriate for the function. Some towers feature larger or more efficient fuel tanks than others so for projects needing longer run times, these may be more appropriate. Obviously any other job site restrictions should be considered before making your choice, such as any glare-free requirements, etc.

The first step to effectively using a portable light tower is proper set-up. This involves ensuring that you have proper clearance both around the unit and above, since the mast will be raised many feet upward. It’s especially important that you have the proper clearance from above because power lines pose a significant safety risk.

  • To raise the mast, remove the retaining pin and travel lock pin, turn the winch handle until the lower retaining bar locks in and then insert the retaining pin into the lower bar before extending the mast.
  • To extend the mast, remove the retaining pin, pull the upper retaining bar and turn the extend/retract handle to extend.
  • To retract the mast, rotate the mast and align the arrows, turn the extend/retract handle until the upper retaining bar locks into the mast and no red line is visible.
  • To lower the mast, make sure the sections are retracted then pull the lower retaining bar, turn the winch handle and insert the travel lock pin and retaining pin, once fully lowered.
  • To rotate the mast, release the mast rotation lock, rotate, and then tighten the handle to secure the mast. Remember that the mast must be aligned with arrows before retracting.
  • Before moving a light tower, make sure that the mast has been properly lowered and retracted and stow the outriggers.

Even though portable light towers are (of course) portable, they should not be towed at high speeds and the the maximum advised speeds usually do not exceed 65 mph. For longer distances light towers can be transported via a trailer/flatbed, according to an article published in Rental Management.

An important determination for job site/project/event illumination is deciding the right amount of light that you need and how many light towers will be needed to create it. Another aspect of this decision is to make sure towers are properly positioned to avoid any unsafe glares or shadows. Think about the size of the area, whether lighting will be constant or intermittent and how bright you want the area to be lit. Especially for job sites, it’s important (for safety and efficiency) to position towers at different angles to provide sources of light from various directions.

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) is a resource that those seeking more information on lighting and associated proper guidelines can use. The IES develops resources and lighting standards for the benefit of the public, according to their website. The group works to develop and maintain a library of approximately 70 publications. The documents include recommended practices, industry standards on light sourcing and measurements and a variety of guides covering a wide range of illumination topics.

When in doubt, always check and follow the suggested procedures listed in your operator manual or give us a call with any questions you may have.

Hugg & Hall Team Participates in Skeet Shooting Event Benefiting John Herman Hickman Foundation

Team members from the Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) Jonesboro branch recently participated in a skeet shooting event to benefit the John Herman Hickman Foundation. The event was hosted by Peco Foods and took place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27 at the Paul H. “Rocky” Willmuth Shooting Sports Complex in Batesville, Ark. Hugg & Hall service, rental and parts team members came together to support the fun-filled event benefiting a great cause.

As well as participating, Hugg & Hall also sponsored a team from the Lyon College Shooting Sports Program who ultimately earned first place. The Lyon College team included Hayden Ekenes, Tyler Vanlandingham, Blake Carr, Michael Rodgers and Nick Beausoleil. The Hugg & Hall team took third place in the competition and included Derrick King, Frank Thatcher, Eric Tacker, Jason Hart and customers Jacob and Blaine Nunn of Nunn Construction.

The John Herman Hickman Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization established in 2011. The foundation is named in honor of the founder of Peco Foods who led the company for nearly 50 years. The goals of the organization are to provide aid to victims of catastrophic natural disasters in the region and to provide scholarships to the lineal descendants of Peco Foods employees and growers. The organization also grants funds to other charitable causes of interest to the communities Peco Foods serves. The mission of the John Herman Hickman Foundation is to support the employees, families and communities associated with the company.

The Hugg & Hall Jonesboro team was thrilled to be a part of such a great event and thanks Peco Foods for the invitation!