22/11/2006 - 06:00 am

Merged Material Handling Companies Select New Name, New President

Following July's merger of Chicago, Ill.-based material-handling companies, Material Handling Services, Inc. and Illinois Material Handling, the two companies announced they are jointly going by the name Equipment Depot. With the final phase of its rebranding campaign completed, Equipment Depot now has one of the largest rental fleets in the region, offering more than 700 forklifts and 120 pieces of aerial and specialty equipment, including brands like SkyTrak, JLG, Genie, and Princeton. The company also has more than 170 technicians, 120 fully equipped service vans, and six service facilities located throughout the Chicago area.

According to Frank Ricciardi, vice president of sales and marketing for Equipment Depot, the new company will provide material handling services for the Chicago area, northern and central Illinois, and northern Indiana. “Our new name, Equipment Depot, solidifies our presence as one company and better communicates the vast array of services we offer our customers: more rental power, more service technicians, and more name-brand choices in forklifts and equipment for our customers,” he said.

Equipment Depot is part of Pon North America (PNA), one of the largest material-handling networks in the country. PNA has three other operating companies in the United States, including Equipment Depot in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma; Portman Equipment in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia; and LeveeLift in Indiana and Kentucky. PNA is a division of Pon Holdings of The Netherlands.

In addition to the name change, the company also appointed a new president and chief executive officer, Larry O'Neill, who previously worked for a major Caterpillar dealership in the Chicago area and has more than 30 years of experience in the heavy equipment industry. O'Neill has replaced Ed Fritz, former chief executive officer of Material Handling Services, who has accepted a position with Equipment Depot of Texas as executive vice president.

To help establish the Equipment Depot name in the marketplace, the company will be using a new marketing slogan: “Experience the Equipment Depot Difference.” In addition, its tagline, “More Power, More Muscle, More Choices,” will attempt to convey the company's offerings in rental equipment and material-handling services.

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