News Story
2 minute read

Getting to know Lewis Byers

Thursday, 9 September 2021 ( #1042 ) - Norcross, GA, United States
Lewis Byers
Lewis Byers
Lewis Byers was appointed vice president and COO of Hyundai Material Handling Forklift Division, following the untimely passing of Chuck Leone. Forkliftaction News asked Byers about himself and his new role. FLA: Prior to this appointment, what has been your biggest achievement? LB: Family has always come first, so being the best son, husband and father I could be has always brought a great sense of accomplishment. However, for the past five years, I served in a volunteer capacity on a non-profit board of directors for the organisation Pine Castle. Pine Castle serves over 300 adults with mental and physical differences in the Jacksonville, Florida community. In 2020, I was voted by the board to serve as chairman of the board for 2021. Leading such a worthy cause and helping others that do not have the ability to ask for help themselves has to rank up there as one of my biggest achievements. FLA: What excites you most about the materials handling industry? LB: With the changes in the landscape of our industry, including sea freight, trucking expenses, shortages of components and cost of raw materials, managing and leading during these times challenges my skill sets and I find that extremely exciting. We are all going through this together and there isn't a roadmap to refer to as to how to manage or lead through these uncharted waters. Exciting times for sure and one I embrace. FLA: What is the most significant change you have seen in the industry in your time? LB: The changes referenced above are pretty significant. However, when entering this industry in 1987, I was told by my general manager that electric forklifts would be the future. Thirty-four years later, we are beginning to see the shift from class IV to class I. To build off that, I believe it will be more significant over the next five years with the recent CARB ( California Air Resources Board) Zero-Emission Forklift webinar where they outlined IC replacement policy and timeframes. Automation has also come a long way in the past five years. FLA: What are the biggest challenge and opportunity that you see in your new role? LB: Enhancement of the dealer network. Today, our dealer network consists of 60 dealers with over 160 locations in the United States and Canada. Our dealer network is very strong and loyal and we have to continue to leverage and grow our network, competing with the 2B-1C and 4B-1C models that are gaining momentum. FLA: Can you share one piece of information about yourself which would surprise our readers? LB: I have always found a great sense of accomplishment and pride in maintaining my home's lawn and landscape. I still do all of the yardwork. After 55+ years in Florida, learning about the different turf and how to maintain it in Georgia has been an exciting change over the past five months.
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