By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Making sure the customer is taken care of is PennWest Toyota Lift’s main goal.
About four months ago, the company established a location in Fairmont off Exit 139 (East Fairmont/Pricketts Creek Road) of I-79. It is stationed above the One Stop store, on the top of the hill in the same building as the North Central West Virginia Veterinary Emergency Clinic.
Business and community leaders and members of the public celebrated the grand opening of this new facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house with the Marion County Chamber of Commerce on Friday, June 21.
Bryan Hooton, West Virginia branch manager, said PennWest has always had a sales representative/service technician who focused on this area, but never had a physical branch locally until now.
After experiencing growth in this area over the past year, the company decided that merited putting an actual location here, he said. The Fairmont site basically services the northern half of West Virginia as well as a couple counties in Ohio.
“It’s more convenient for our customers in this area,” Hooton said.
He said this is the only PennWest Toyota Lift facility in West Virginia. The company has several sites in Pennsylvania as well.
PennWest is a material handling business that sells new and used forklifts and also does rentals. The forklifts available for rent range from being able to lift 3,000 pounds to up to 55,000 pounds, Hooton said.
“We’ve got a wide variety of lifts that we can rent and sell,” he said.
The company is an authorized dealer for Toyota forklifts. It also sells forklifts from the brands Kalmar, Manitou and Hyundai, with each specializing in different terrains and environments, Hooton said.
With this facility in the area, customers in need of a forklift can get one right away, either the same day or within a couple days, he said. During its time in operation, the location has gained a lot of new customers for the Toyota forklifts.
Hooton said the business also offers anything dealing with warehousing, such as racking, hoppers, bins and hand trucks, and deals with parts and service. It can take care of any breakdowns or service work, including changing the oil, doing safety inspections, and making sure equipment meets the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The West Virginia branch currently has three employees — Hooton plus two service technicians who are on the road — and hopes to grow that number to about 20 workers in the future, he said.
Hooton commented that PennWest Toyota Lift’s service sets it apart, and also the fact that customers are able to contact him directly. He can quickly dispatch the technicians to handle problems as soon as possible.
“I think our service is excellent,” he said.
Hooton recommended that customers first call him at 304-627-4811 so he can figure out their needs, and then they can visit the location to look at the inventory and parts. For more information, visit www.pennwestlift.com.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.