Chicago Material Handling Companies Take On Equipment Depot Name

Nov. 17, 2006
Two Chicago-based material handling specialists that merged in July have taken a new name — Equipment Depot.

Two Chicago-based material handling specialists that merged in July have taken a new name — Equipment Depot.

Material Handling Services and Illinois Material Handling merged in July, forming one of the leading material handling rental, sales and service specialists in the upper Midwest. The Equipment Depot name is inspired by its sister company, Waco, Texas-based Equipment Depot. Both companies are owned by Pon North America, a division of The Netherlands-based Pon Holdings B.V., the largest privately held company in that country.

“Equipment Depot in Texas is a very successful organization and we are adapting some of its style and policies,” Frank Ricciardi, vice president of sales and marketing of the new Elgin, Ill.-based Equipment Depot told RER.

The company’s new name marks the final phase of a re-branding campaign following the merger. “Our new name solidifies our presence as one company and better communicates the vast array of services we offer our customers,” added Ricciardi. “More rental power, more service technicians, and more brand-name choices in forklifts and equipment for our customers.”

The company has one of the largest equipment rental fleets in the region, with more than 700 forklifts and 120 pieces of aerial and specialty equipment. It has 170 service technicians, 120 fully equipped service vans, and six service facilities strategically located throughout the Chicago area.

Material Handling Services has been in business serving northern Illinois and Wisconsin since 1956. Illinois Material Handling has been in business since 1962.

Equipment Depot also recently named a new president and CEO, Larry O’Neill, who previously worked for a Caterpillar dealership in the Chicago area. O’Neill replaces Ed Fritz, former CEO of Material Handling Services, who has accepted a position with Equipment Depot of Texas as executive vice president.

Equipment Depot will have exclusive distribution of additional Cat Lift Trucks, Mitsubishi, Linde and Nissan, and is a distributor for SkyTrak, JLG and Genie aerial work platforms, Princeton truck-mounted forklifts and Railking railcar movers. The company specializes in material handling and aerial equipment, as well as some construction equipment, storage solutions and warehousing design.

Equipment Depot serves 54 counties in northern and central Illinois and northern Indiana from its headquarters in Elgin and locations in north and south Rockford, Grayslake, Alsip and Morton. Ricciardi added the company plans to add two additional locations in the near future.

Pon North America’s network also includes Portman Equipment in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia; and LeveeLift in Indiana and Kentucky.