Monthly Archives: January 2023

Employee Spotlight: Cooper White

Meet Cooper White, Inside Rental Salesman at our Muskogee Branch!

Cooper has been in the industry for over five years. He joined Hugg & Hall in April when we acquired Southern Material Handling Company (SMHC). He’s one of the many great employees we’ve had the pleasure of bringing over! 

Oklahoma-raised Cooper grew up in Braggs, and stayed because he loves the supportive community. He joined SMHC just 11 days after graduating high school. He says that he “married into the industry. My father-in-law is a technician. I fell in love with this industry. I’m going on five years. Being only 23, it’s a big chunk of my life.” 

Hugg & Hall

Cooper White delivering coats from a Hugg & Hall Coat Drive to Braggs Public Schools.

Cooper started as a dispatcher with SMHC and was promoted to Field Service Coordinator with Hugg & Hall. His days in our Service Department were spent assisting technicians, helping our customers, and coordinating with other departments. His favorite part of the position was interacting with customers and problem-solving, and he’s already putting those skills to work as an Inside Rental Salesman.

Cooper’s opportunity to advance his career is one of his favorite things about joining Hugg & Hall. “When Mark Segress stated that he would only sell his company to Hugg & Hall, I can see why.” Cooper said. “They do take care of their employees and work hard to make sure they have the knowledge and supplies to perform their job. A big advantage to Hugg & Hall are the advancement opportunities.”


Outside of work, Cooper is a family man and a woodworker. If he’s not spending time with his wife Allison and their two children, Stella and Oliver, he’s fixing things up around the home. Once, during a kitchen remodel, he watched his son put on a Hugg & Hall hat and pick up a drill. “I was just blown away watching him trying to pick up a bit and put it in the drill so he could use it.” 

Cooper and daughter Stella.

Cooper claims that his daughter takes after his wife and will tell anyone who’ll listen how smart she is. “Stella surprises me every day. We were teaching her opposites the other day and after two or three questions that we asked her, she started asking us questions and providing the right answers.”

We love to know our employees’ favorite quotes or mantras. Cooper’s is “Start by starting.” He said, “I can’t remember where I heard this quote, but I believe there’s so much meaning in those three words. Everyone struggles with something. It could be the fear of messing up, or just not knowing how to begin, but start by starting. Just go for it. You never know where it might take you, or the lessons you will learn from failing.” 

Want to learn more about Cooper White and our awesome employees? Check out our Employee Spotlights page! 

How to Safely Use a Loading Dock: 7 Easy Tips

How to Safely Use a Loading Dock

Loading docks are so common that it’s easy to forget how dangerous they can be. There are thousands of reported falls, equipment accidents, and trailer creep every year, and many of those are fatal. Your proactivity as an employer can help keep your employees safe and prevent accidents.

Accident Prevention

  1. Clean and maintain the loading dock. Slips, trips, and falls are common, and forklifts can slide on wet or slippery docks. Always check that your loading dock is dry. Consider building a dock shelter to keep rain and snow off the loading dock.

    Mark the floor with tape or paint to identify where employees can and cannot walk. Painting the edges of the loading dock with a bright color can help forklift operators stay aware of the edge.

  2. Provide proper dock lighting.

  3. Train your employees. This goes beyond forklift training; all employees must be aware of safety hazards and how to avoid them, even if they’re not operating machinery. 
  4. Adhere to OSHA regulations and implement a daily inspection.

  5. Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Poorly ventilated warehouses can cause carbon monoxide buildup from vehicles. Maintain carbon monoxide alarms and be sure your loading dock is properly ventilated. Create a plan for if the detectors go off, and make sure your employees know what to do. 
  6. Keep product secure on pallets. You can wrap product in plastic if it doesn’t come to your warehouse pre-wrapped. Unsecured product could lead to a serious accident by falling on an employee or affecting the dock/trailer attachment.
  7. Secure trailer restraints to lock the trailer in place and avoid “trailer creep.” Fall-throughs from trailer creep are one of the most frequent accidents in the loading dock area. Trucks can separate from the loading dock and cause employees or forklifts to fall. Properly secure the vehicle to the loading dock, use a dock leveler, and always check for trailer creep while loading.

Final thoughts: 

Your team should never treat forklifts and loading docks lightly. Docks are an important part of warehouse operation, but your team needs to be prepared to handle the job safely. 

Does your loading dock need repairs? Do your forklift operators need training? Contact us