Compact Equipment

JUN 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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www.compactequip.com 37 The Company Unfortunately, it rained nearly the entire day I was at JLG, so we spent most of our time indoors at the Customer Training Center and Proving Grounds in McConnellsburg. This is where the company brings togeth- er students and machines for classroom instruction, hands-on training and operation. It has big bay service areas for maintenance training with 30-ft-high ceilings and a four-acre outdoor testing area that is set up to reflect a construction jobsite with mixed terrain, simulated power lines and aerial work platform targets. The center sits in the middle of JLG's corporate headquarters which remains in the small, Pennsylva- nia town of McConnellsburg where JLG was founded by John Landis Grove in 1969; it was bought by Oshkosh Corp. for approximately $3.2 billion in 2006. McConnellsburg is located in the Ridge and Valley section of the Appalachian Mountains. I basically crossed over a cloud-covered mountain to reach the town of about 1,200 residents, noting that 1,400 people actually work at JLG's McConnellsburg facility. The company's headquarters sit in a big beautiful valley surrounded by tree-covered bluffs. Over nearly five decades, JLG has kept expanding in this valley, so its facilities today are uniquely spread across 28 build- ings, which combined to total 520,000 sq ft of space. Mike Lendacki, principal engineer — manufacturing, gave me a tour. "Off to the far left of this particular building is all your SkyTrak products [a JLG telehandler brand] — anything from a 6,000-lb ma- chine to a 10,000-lb machine," explained Lendacki. "Next to it is 80-ft straight boom aerial work platforms, the 80-ft articulating units are assembled at our Shippensburg, Pa., facility. This line right here is JLG and Caterpillar telehandlers [JLG OEMs Cat telehandlers]. And over on the far side of the building is what we refer to as our ultra series booms. Anything from 120-ft machines up to 185-ft straight booms. We also have a 150-ft articulating boom machine, but it's not assembled in this building because it's pretty unique. Currently, we are running three shifts, six days a week and some Sundays. We're busy without a doubt. Right now, we're probably making about 70 machines a day out of this facility." Of course, the crown jewel for a visitor like myself is the aforemen- tioned Customer Training Center and Proving Grounds. A good ex- ample: After operation of the X430AJ, I got the opportunity to play with JLGs lift and access virtual equipment simulator, which was defi- nitely a highlight. These VR systems employ advanced gamification learning to familiarize students with the controls and operation of lift equipment. "It's been a really cool project — in that it's pushing the envelope," said Rick Smith, senior director, product training at JLG. "We moved the industry in this direction, but there's applications beyond train- ing. I'm working with our engineering group, and we're asking how do we use VR and AR to help our customers in bigger ways? I think you're going to see some amazing stuff. Applications that we're on the verge of it's really exciting stuff." That's the overall sentiment with all the JLG employees I encoun- ter on my expedition. A general excitement for the product and the company. Some workers drive an hour or more from Maryland, West Virginia, even Northern Virginia just to work at JLG. That committed workforce manufactures, assembles, markets and sells top tier products for the global marketplace — machines like the compact crawler boom line — another progressive product I suggest you explore from the aerial lift experts at JLG. Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment . COMPANY CULTURE By Jennifer Stiansen, Director of Marketing at JLG JLG's Customer Training Center and Proving Grounds. Though today we are a large, interna- tional manufacturer, JLG continues to cultivate a people-first culture where ev- ery employee, every customer and every supplier matters. At JLG people enjoy coming to work each day. It's not uncom- mon to speak with someone who's been with the company 40 plus years. Employ- ees constantly share ideas and are encour- aged to challenge one another to identify unmet customer needs for which we can develop products and services that make a real difference on jobsites. This healthy dialogue within and across departments, even around the globe, results in continu- ous improvement across the business that drives tangible benefits to both employ- ees and customers. JLG is a partner in its customers' — and their customers' — success with more than 4,000 employees across five continents working daily to enable performance, boost productivity, ensure uptime and support progress.

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