News story

Herc-U-Lift, agencies help ProWorks obtain forklifts

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 ( #532 ) - Litchfield, MN, United States
Herc-U-Lift delivered two similar-style Hyundais
Herc-U-Lift delivered two similar-style Hyundais
Herc-U-Lift Inc and public funds helped non-profit ProWorks Inc gain possession of two new Hyundai forklifts for use at Minnesota sites.

Materials handling equipment dealer Herc-U-Lift of Maple Plain, Minnesota sold the forklifts at a discounted price. Agencies provided a USD14,000 federal grant and a USD23,250 county loan.

In late August, ProWorks took possession of the two Hyundai model 15 LC-7A forklifts, each with 3,000 lb. (1,350 kg) lifting capacity and a liquid propane power four-cylinder engine. The forklifts operate in ProWorks' Danielson-Nelson site in Litchfield and, 10 mi. (16 km) away, its Red Rooster site in Dassel.

ProWorks provides day training and habilitation services to adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illness. ProWorks started as a pilot project in 1962 in the basement of an old school building.

"We provide both centre- and community-based work opportunities to persons with disabilities," says Dale Miller, executive director.

"These forklifts replace our 1970 Hyster," he notes. "We literally had to carry a jug of brake fluid when we operated this lift. It was a good machine in its day, but its day had come and gone."

Miller says the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) staff "really went beyond to find us all the funding necessary for this project. In order to provide work opportunities to persons who live with limitation, we need the proper tools. These forklifts ensure that ProWorks personnel will be able to safely move work product".

The federal community facilities grant from the USDA's rural development program covered 38% of the cost.

Colleen Landkamer, a state program director for the USDA in Willmar, Minnesota, visited ProWorks to award the grant. "Organisations like ProWorks are essential in building strong rural communities," she says.

Adam Czech, a USDA public information co-ordinator, adds: "This is the only time that I can recall where our funds were specifically designated to purchase a forklift. However, it wouldn't surprise me if our funding has been used in other cases to purchase forklifts, even if the funds weren't specifically designated for a forklift purchase." The agency's business and industry loan guarantee program finances rural business start-ups and expansions.

The USDA began assisting ProWorks about 30 years ago and, in 1991, financed construction of ProWorks' Litchfield facility.

The Litchfield-based Meeker County Economic Development Corporation provided the loan to cover the remainder of the cost. The county funding was obtained through the USDA's intermediary relending program.

Herc-U-Lift has a major presence in the Minnesota market and also serves customers in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. In addition to its Maple Plain facility near Minneapolis, the Herc-U-Lift dealership has full-service branch locations in St Cloud, Grand Rapids and Willmar, Minnesota; Fargo and Williston, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Des Moines, Iowa.

Herc-U-Lift began representing the Hyundai forklift brand on 1 January, says Scott Barnard, a territory manager who completed the transaction with ProWorks and the public agencies.

In addition, Herc-U-Lift represents the Genie, Haulotte, JLG, Komatsu, Load Lifter, Mitsubishi, Skyjack, Track Mobile and Tusk lines of material handling equipment.

Meanwhile in mid-September, multi-brand dealer Towlift Inc donated a 2003 Caterpillar GP25K forklift with 5,000 lb. (2,250 kg) lifting capacity and pneumatic tyres to the Logan Elm Local School District in Circleville, Ohio. Website checks of comparable equipment indicate the forklift has a value of at least USD13,000.

"No words can express my gratitude for the generosity" of Towlift owner David Cannon, says Ed Evans, a district mechanic. "Towlift cleaned this thing up, did some painting and put on new decals."

The district offloaded a problematic 1980-era Cat T50D with comparable lifting capacity. "The transmission gave out, and it was cost prohibitive to fix," Evans notes. "(Routinely,) we would go in early in case we had to fix something to get the job done."

Towlift has Ohio facilities in Cleveland, Columbus, Mentor and Toledo.
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