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Skyjack lift helps Houston Food Bank save 40 hours of manpower

Linamar Corporation’s (TSX:LNP) Skyjack division recently donated a electric scissor lift to help Houston Food Bank (HFB), the largest food bank in the United States, complete its bi-annual inventory count at its facility in Houston, Texas.

“Skyjack loaning its lift to the Food Bank during our inventory week was helpful and came at a crucial time,” said Brian Greene, president and CEO of Houston Food Bank. “We are in a 308,000-square foot facility with racking four to six levels high and with the lift we were able to maximize manpower and be more efficient with our process.”

Skyjack, in partnership with Houston-based Reliant Equipment Rentals, donated an electric scissor lift for the inventory project as part of the company’s 30 FOR 30 PARTNERS campaign celebrating the business’ 30th business anniversary.

In the past, it took a 40-person team three days to take stock of almost 6 million lbs of food stored at the facility. Previously, the nonprofit used a forklift and man cage, which required volunteers to be lowered to the ground after every shelf.

This year, the food bank wanted a more efficient way to count the higher pallets while providing a safer and easier way to move around the warehouse. Andrea Maxwell, vice president of operations at Reliant Equipment Rental, recommended the nonprofit use a SJIII 3226 because it runs on electricity.

“The SJIII 3226 is ideal for indoor use as it leaves a much cleaner work environment than machines that run on fuel,” Maxwell said.

Maximizing manpower

The nonprofit saved 40 hours of manpower thanks to the SJIII 3226 – one team member could complete tasks that typically required two people.

“Everybody at HFB wanted to use the Skyjack, it was very popular,” said Marly Maskill, inventory manager at Houston Food Bank. “Users felt very safe in the lift and it allowed us all to work at a faster pace.”

The SJIII 3226 is ideal for numerous industries and applications, such as HVAC, mechanical contractor, building maintenance and warehouse management. With a working height of 32 ft, the HFB team could easily reach all six levels of inventory. The lift is drivable at full height and helped the team save time as they moved through the warehouse. The SJIII 3226 features two-wheel hydraulic drive, a 3 ft roll out extension deck, up to 30% gradablity, non-marking tires with pothole protection and proportional controls for drive and lift functions. As with all Skyjack machines, the scissor lift is also equipped with the trademarked Skycoded color-coded and numbered wiring system for easy maintenance.

The machine was so useful the nonprofit is planning to continue their relationship with Skyjack and Reliant Equipment Rentals in the future.

Building a community

“One of the focuses of Reliant Equipment Rental is on relationships with not only our customers, but also with the community. Houston Food Bank is a vital organization within the Houston area and succeeds because of the support it receives from community partners,” Maxwell said. “Reliant Equipment was very excited for the opportunity to take part in the 30 FOR 30 PARTNERS campaign and give back to such an important community organization.”

HFB is the largest food bank in the United States in meals distributed to partner agencies and is a member of Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief charity in the nation. Leading the fight against hunger since 1982, HFB continues to feed the hungry by distributing nutritious meals through nearly 600 hunger-relief agencies in Houston and southeast Texas. Recently named Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America, HFB provides 67 million nutritious meals annually to 800,000 individuals in the area.

Reliant Equipment Rental is a young company dedicated to providing outstanding customer service and building strong relationships with the Houston community. The company provides equipment rental, focusing on machines that are operator friendly and require minimal downtime.

“Reliant Equipment really enjoys working with Skyjack because of the quality of their machines. Skyjack’s lifts are reliable, well made and easy to use,” Maxwell said. “Even more important, the faces behind the Skyjack name truly care about their customers and work hard to develop working relationships that are beneficial to both parties, a characteristic that mirrors the values of Reliant Equipment Rental.”

Skyjack founded the 30 FOR 30 PARTNERS program in celebration of the company’s 30th year in business. Skyjack hopes to give back to the communities that allowed it to thrive for the last three decades and is donating the use of Skyjack equipment to 30 nonprofit organizations around the world.

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