Monthly Archives: July 2019

The Benefits of Proximity Alarms

The Benefits of Proximity Alarms

What are proximity alarms?

Proximity alarms are sensors that allow equipment operators to detect people and/or objects in blind spots. The sensors have been shown to benefit operators and pedestrians by reducing accidents and collisions. Operators are alerted to objects and people in their path with in-cab warnings, which can be both visual and/or audible, allowing them the time to stop or shift positioning, thus avoiding potentially serious safety hazards. Equipment owners/users and fleet managers should consider the addition, and understand the benefits, of proximity alarms which are shown to improve the overall quality of safety on job sites. Read on the benefits of proximity alarms below!

Why to consider proximity alarms for your equipment


  • Efficiency- One of the top reasons to add proximity alarms to your equipment is efficiency. Navigating blindly can be difficult and time-consuming and proximity alarms reduce the stress and necessity of superfluous mirrors and/or asking a separate person to guide the operator. The sensors alert operators of objects which have been detected in the path of the machine at close range and objects behind rear tires at expanded ranges. Proximity sensors are a great way to improve onsite productivity and your team’s overall efficiency. 


  • Safety- There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As such, an obvious advantage to adding proximity alarms to your equipment is the improved safety measure that it provides. The proximity alarms alert operators to objects and pedestrians nearby thus creating a safer work area for both the operator and the pedestrian(s). For some tips on how to ensure a safe job site for your crew, read an informational article here


  • Limited Downtime/Damage- Another definite benefit of proximity alarms is the reduction of damage to equipment, and the associated downtime any damages may create. Alerting operators to nearby objects and obstructions is a clear-cut way to reduce the hassle and associated costs of an accident or collision. This a particularly helpful benefit for time-sensitive projects that can’t spare the downtime. If you want to enact an extra precaution to protect your job site from an accident, damage and/or downtime, consider adding proximity alarms to your machine. 

A Vertical Mast Lift Can Solve Your Compact Lifting Problem

A Vertical Mast Lift Can Solve Your Compact Lifting Problem

What are vertical mast lifts?

These lifts provide a solution for high-reach access in narrow/tight spaces. Often used indoors, vertical mast lifts are safer and more efficient than ladders and give users secure access to very high access points, allowing for a productive, full-access and protected workspace. Vertical mast lifts are often available both in push around or driveable variants to accommodate user needs. 

Vertical mast versus scissor lifts

These lifts are similar to scissor lifts but incorporate a multi-stage mast system which functions with a smaller footprint than most scissor lifts. Another difference between the two machines is that vertical mast lifts are equipped with extensions elongating the platforms beyond the equipment’s base. Scissor lifts are often the ideal choice for a job site but there are many times when compact lifts like vertical mast lifts are more appropriate. If you will be working indoors and require a highly maneuverable machine with a compact size, a vertical mast lift might be the best choice. Another factor to consider is whether there will be a power source onsite so that a machine with the appropriate functionality can be selected. 

Benefits of vertical mast lifts

Vertical mast lifts offer an option that is highly compact, maneuverable and adjustable. When not in use, these machines can be retracted to a convenient, storable size. Because of it’s retractable capacity, these machines are also very versatile in nature and can be adjusted per the needs of the user. Vertical mast lifts are ideal for situations that are very confined, require a high level of mobility/rotation and/or when there’s a limited number of people available at the site (or just one person). These lifts are comparably much smaller than other types of lifts and are very portable. 

Hugg & Hall Parts Professionals Attend Gold Level Certification Training at Toyota Manufacturing Facility in Indiana

Hugg & Hall Parts Professionals Attend Gold Level Certification Training at Toyota Manufacturing Facility in Indiana

Michael Cooper (second from left), Josh Napier (second from right)

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) parts professionals, Michael Cooper and Josh Napier, recently attended training at the Toyota Manufacturing Facility in Columbus, Ind. Cooper and Napier trained for Gold Level certification in Toyota parts. There are three levels of parts certification: Bronze, Silver and Gold. 

“On the Gold Level, we took a tour of the manufacturing floor and learned how that process works in coordination with the parts process and how each use a lot of the same thought processes,” said Cooper, who is a member of the Little Rock parts team. “We toured the parts warehouse and saw everything from the customer service people to how efficient the warehouse and shipping departments are. Also, how to incorporate some of their processes into what we do on a local level every day. And, about how to work better with customers one-on-one and help them understand the value of what Toyota has to offer.”

Napier, who works at the Fort Smith branch in the parts team, expressed gratitude to Hugg & Hall for the opportunity to attend the out-of-state event. 

“I am privileged to work for a company that is willing to send its employees to this type of training,” said Napier. “The experience was amazing and seeing how Toyota does their process was great.” 

The training also consisted of studying Toyota’s definition of value which pertains to the idea that customers will be willing to pay more for a part or service if they believe the quality is worth the extra expense. They also studied Toyota’s dictum of “Kaizen,” which urges the notion of continuous improvement in small steps that eventually manifest into big, positive changes.

Quality is the hallmark of the Toyota Production System practiced at all Toyota manufacturing facilities, including the Toyota Manufacturing Facility in Columbus, which was named a 2011 North American Best Plant by IndustryWeek Magazine and is a member of the National Safety Council. Toyota’s commitment to excellence in customer service extends throughout the United States and Canada. With more than 70 authorized Toyota Industrial Equipment dealers and more than 220 dealership locations throughout North America, Toyota dealers offer comprehensive customer service and support, including one-stop shopping for both new and used lift trucks, rentals, parts and service, fleet servicing and financing.

Hugg & Hall would like to thank Cooper and Napier for their hard work and their dedication to continuous improvement!

Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper Award

Properly Maintained Batteries Reduce Downtime, Keep Your MEWP Running Smoothly

Properly Maintained Batteries Reduce Downtime, Keep Your MEWP Running Smoothly

Batteries are essential to keeping machines running smoothly and running (period). To keep your mobile elevating work platform functioning at peak performance, it is vital to maintain the battery (batteries) associated with your machine. Maintaining equipment can be complex and far-reaching with many steps involved in the inspecting, maintenance, repairing and operating cycle, so here are some tips on how to better maintain your equipment’s batteries. Whether it be equipment that you own or are renting, following these steps will keep you equipped for success and will reduce avoidable downtime.

  • Replace when needed

It’s standard practice, and important, to regularly test batteries to ensure they are charging and functioning properly. Testing regularly, and especially before use on a new project, is an effective way of avoiding unfortunate job site situations stemming from ineffective batteries. Always remember to test the charge on your batteries and replace bad batteries when needed and especially prior to important work dates. 

A poorly maintained battery may need to be replaced within one year, whereas the well maintained battery can last as long as three years, according to an article published by Genie’s Aerial Pros. When a lead acid battery needs to be replaced, they can be locally sourced from a variety of retail outlets for fast and simple replacement, provided the replacement battery is on the same amperage rating and weight, as the batteries are part of the counterweighting of the unit.

  • Top-off battery fluid 

Battery fluid (a mix of acid and water) levels will naturally drop with each use and charge and low fluid levels can negatively affect battery performance and persistence. Batteries which are not consistently maintained with battery fluid top-offs, perform worse and with shorter lengths of operation. Always check your battery’s water levels after charging and add any additional water as needed. Remember to only use distilled water and never to substitute with tap water. It’s also a conscientious idea to check acid levels after each charge, as well. This can be accomplished with a hydrometer. 

  • Performance test

It’s important to conduct testing on your batteries using a digital or carbon pile battery tester to make sure that batteries are operating at their optimal performance. The quality of the tester is important because average testers will not be able to pull the correct number of amps for even the smaller MEWP types. 

  • Check for corrosion, cleanliness and security

Remember to check your batteries for any corrosion and make sure that it’s clean and there are no barriers to a firm, safe connection. Any obscurities to the connection can reduce a battery’s performance and your machine’s functionality.

  • Keep it tidy 

It’s very important that batteries remain dry and clean. Dirty and moist surfaces can create discharge resulting in less efficient batteries. Batteries which are not properly cleaned and stored in adequate/dry storage areas, will result in batteries that struggle to maintain adequate charge thus reducing potential operating times. This can be devastating for productivity, particularly projects which must be completed on a time-sensitive schedule. 

Read more tips on how best to charge your batteries in one of our previous blog posts

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

Safety should be the most important priority on any job site and equipment should be inspected before each use to ensure the safety of both operators and pedestrians. A pre-operation inspection is a visual examination performed by the operator before each use/shift. The purpose of pre-operation inspections is to provide a safety net which may serve as a method of avoiding preventable accidents. Here’s a helpful checklist of items that should be inspected before operating your mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), telehandler or other machine. 

  • Make sure that the machine has been checked for oil leaks before each use. It’s also important to make sure that the engine has the correct level of oil because operating with low-levels of engine oil has the potential to result in costly damage to the engine. 
  • Check the entire machine for obvious damages or signs of collision/impact. 
  • Ensure that there are no hydraulic leaks and top-off if necessary. 
  • Also, check for engine coolant and battery fluid leaks before each use and add more if needed. 
  • Check entry points for efficacy and damage. 
  • Check wear pads for damage.
  • Check electrical system for damage. 
  • Check fasteners for damage. 
  • Check hydraulic system for damage.
  • Check alarms for damage. 
  • Check switches and horn for damage. 
  • Check engine for damage. 
  • Check tires and wheels for damage. 
  • Check fuel and hydraulic tanks for damage. 
  • Check motors and drive hubs for damage. 
  • Ensure that each manual (operator’s, safety, etc.) are not damaged and located in the appropriate storage container.
  • Check to ensure that all decals and messaging is present and legible. This is an important step to ensure that safety messaging and non-verbal communication can support safe operation. 
  • Check tires to ensure that they have the appropriate pressure. It’s especially important to check for tire pressure when the seasons change as colder weather can cause pressure to drop and warmer weather can cause pressure to increase. This is important because overinflation can cause an uneven tread and underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency and cause the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. 
  • Check the machine for any cracks or structural damage. 
  • Check all components for any inordinate rusting.

Remember to conduct any necessary performance testing, check the workplace for obstacles/safety concerns and to operate per the owner’s manual. Once the full inspection has been completed and the machine is ready for operation, double-check that components have been re-fastened and covered. A secondary purpose of pre-operation inspections can be to identify any needed routine maintenance on a machine and determining whether maintenance is necessary before operation. It’s important to stay up-to-date with routine maintenance to avoid costly (and preventable) repairs that can intrude on project timetables and create avoidable downtime.