The sun is just above the horizon as the workday begins at McCoy's Building Supply in Pharr, Texas, a border town located in the southernmost tip of the Lone Star state. McCoy's operates 86 stores across five Southern states and two millwork facilities in Texas. The stores have attached lumberyards that serve both contractors and do-it-yourselfers. With its own rail spur, two lumber warehouses, and a large yard, the Pharr facility also acts as a distribution center to supply other stores in the area.
On this Texas morning, two Toyota forklifts are unloading products from a pair of flatbed rail cars that were dropped off onto the rail spur. These and other Toyota forklifts are the workhorses that move lumber, blocks, and other building materials throughout the yard. They are among more than 250 Toyota vehicles that McCoy's has added to its network in recent years.
"This year we bought over 100, probably 120, Toyota forklifts," explains Art Johnson, vice president of store development and asset management at McCoy's. "Toyota did a great job of stepping up to the plate. We are now going to be about 95 percent Toyota forklifts in our facilities."
Johnson adds that working with one dealer (Toyota Lift of South Texas) makes his job a lot easier. "If I can have one point of contact for 88 locations (both retail and millworks), that's awesome. Any kind of training we put out there is replicable in all locations, so that works very well. Plus, we get to know the Toyota machines very well," he says.
Back in the yard, a 10,000-pound-capacity pneumatic-tire forklift unloads products from one side of the rail car, while an 8,000-pound-capacity unit works off the other side. In addition to these larger units, the facility employs a handful of 6,000-pound-capacity trucks. Depending on the model, these forklifts feature two- or three-stage see-through masts designed to assure full operator visibility when loading and transporting heavy products throughout the yard. The trucks' ergonomic seats allow workers to sit comfortably throughout their shifts, and the LP gas-powered engines provide continuous muscle to keep work moving.
"The trucks also have Toyota's System of Active Stability on all the units," says Ken Townsend, vice president of Toyota Lift of South Texas. The stability system assists in preventing the trucks from tipping under load. "Drivers also love the tilt leveling, which has the ability to level the forks when they are unloading. So, the Toyotas adapt very well to the McCoy's applications," Townsend says.
Throughout the day, suppliers deliver their products using flatbeds and side-loaded trailers. The Toyota forklifts quickly remove heavy pallets of products for putaway. Trucks from contractors needing these products also arrive. A drive-in warehouse allows these trucks to pull directly inside, out of the weather, for easy loading with the forklifts, without drivers having to leave their vehicles.
In addition, the Toyota forklifts also load products for McCoy's own delivery vehicles. Flatbed and side-load trucks take supplies to customers as well as make deliveries from the distribution center to other nearby McCoy's stores.
The Toyota vehicles are well suited for the heavy, continuous lifting and loading required at the McCoy's yard. Their dependability is something that Manny Gonzalez, the Pharr facility manager, appreciates: "Well, I tell you, being here 25 years, we've seen a lot of equipment come and go. But you know as our company has grown and we've learned our business more and more throughout the years, Toyota has been a good fit for us."