Johnston Equipment offers clients an education advantage

Lynne Wells
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Johnston Equipment has always put its customers...

Johnston Equipment is now offering clients throughout Nova Scotia a distance education program for lift truck operators.A practical component can be done right at the client's job site.

Johnston Equipment has always put its customers first and it's now offering clients throughout Nova Scotia a competitive advantage with a distance education program for lift truck operators. The Burnside company, which sells material handling equipment as well as offering parts and service programs, believes the safe operation of equipment in a warehouse is key to supply chain management.

Jason McVicar, Johnston's district manager for Atlantic Canada, says, "The key to the success of warehouse and distribution operations is to be able to efficiently and productively manage supply chains, and the key to that begins with safety in the warehouse and on the operations floor."

To that end, Johnston has put in place a full-time distance education program for lift truck operators. The theory portion of the training can be done on-line whenever operators can be freed from driving. The practical portion of the training can be arranged to take place at a company's own worksite, reducing lost time and employee travel. Johnston also offers the practical training sessions at its own location at 15 Garland Ave. in Burnside.

McVicar says Johnston's program, with its full-time instructor, is the only nationally recognized lift truck operator-training program in Canada.

"We are the first to offer this sort of training option. Our competitors just aren't in the same place," McVicar says. "We've been offering an operator training program for some time, but we've ramped it up to a full-time deal and we've added the on-line component because our customers were telling us it was awkward to mesh schedules.

"We took their concerns under advisement and this is what we've developed," he adds. "Our training program has maximum flexibility for our customers, who partner with us because they know we're dedicated to understanding every facet of their business so that every recommendation we make is precisely configured to produce the desired results in their operation."

All of Johnston's training programs are or soon will be accredited by the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council (CSCSC), an industry benchmark that's just starting to gain ground. Here in Nova Scotia, Rob Robichaud handles Johnston's training program.

"Rob has years of experience in the safe operation of lift equipment and his expertise is going to help drivers, both new and those with previous experience, really shine," McVicar says. "Time and experience will give operators speed, but safety is the key to productivity on the floor.

"So many operations have a small footprint now because reach and lift equipment allow them to go up instead of having to spread out, but narrow aisles and high stacks can contribute to accidents if a driver hasn't had proper training," McVicar says. "Not only can accidents lead to serious employee injuries, which are to be avoided at all costs, but they can reduce productivity, lead to missed delivery commitments and increase costs."

With more than 55 years of experience meeting the needs of supply chain managers across Canada, Johnston Equipment's sales, service and training staff know that customer needs come first, and changing government regulations and financial environments mean those customer needs can change.

"Today's green trends for energy-efficiency in business operations and air quality regulations have meant changes in our business," McVicar says. "As an example, customers are converting equipment from propane-fueled trucks to electric lift trucks for indoor use. Our equipment is more ergonomically designed to increase driver comfort as well."

Johnston offers locations in every province in Canada, with round the clock, 365-day a year parts and service programs, as well as training programs. As a Raymond® Authorized Sales and Service Center, Johnston offers the material handling industry's only 100 per cent integrated network of material handling solutions experts and products, including a diversified range of automated systems and storage solutions.

For more information, contact Johnston Equipment at 15 Garland Ave., Unit 3 in Burnside. Call (902) 468-1457 and toll free at (800) 668-1457. Visit Johnston's website at

Organizations: Johnston Equipment, The Burnside, Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council Authorized Sales and Service Center

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia, Burnside

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