Skyjack issued a statement regarding COVID-19, stating face-to-face communication is limited at this time, but the company is available via phone and e-mail. President Ken McDougall also said, “Ultimately, the extent of disruption remains hard to quantify. We do not have a full view of the implications and consequences because the virus is still affecting new areas every day.
“We do recommend practicing social distancing in the short term and are advising customers to look to their medium-term needs now, so that fleet supply needs are not negatively impacted down the line.”
Skyjack faced a poetntial further setback when the Governor of Illinois announced an immediate “stay at home” order, effective March 21 - April 7, requiring all non-essential businesses to cease operations. Skyjack’s North American aftermarket parts and product support operations are based in St. Charles, IL. The company announced on March 23 that following a “thorough review,” it was determined that Skyjack’s St. Charles location falls under a business classification deemed “essential,” so the company will continue operations.
Parts orders will continue to be fulfilled through the company’s St. Charles, IL and Kitchener, ON parts distribution centers. The parts call center will also be fully operational in both the U.S. and Canada, but at reduced capacities.
“While we will endeavor to work diligently to mitigate any disruption of support, some levels of delays should be anticipated, and we hope that you will understand as we work through this challenging situation,” the company said in a statement.
Skyjack said it is taking all necessary measures to ensure that sales, service and parts supplies are minimally affected for customers and that “comprehensive service and familiarization materials [are available] online at www.skyjack.com to help you.”
McDougall continued, “Despite the difficulties we all face, Skyjack has customers and partners who are looking for product, parts and support. The need to care for our customers in a timely, professional and sympathetic manner remains essential to our ‘easy to business with’ attitude.
“Our parent company Linamar has established a taskforce to manage the COVID-19 impact and are gathering information daily from our global operations, and adjusting plans as required. The sooner we can all act to contain the spread of the virus, the sooner we will all be back to work and lessen the human and economic fallout.”
According to Guelphtoday.com, the CEO of Linamar said the shutdown of automakers will have an effect on operations, and the company hopes to shift its focus to manufacturing much-needed ventilators.
In a statement emailed to GuelphToday on March 20, Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said the company is actively investigating the feasibility of manufacturing ventilators, working with a variety of partners.
“We are hopeful that we can play a role in helping to deal with the consequences of this global pandemic,” Hasenfratz said.