Paylor promises &listening' JLG

20 March 2008

Craig Paylor, the newly appointed president of JLG Industries, promised the company would do more to listen to its customers and work to shed its sometime reputation for arrogance.

Asked to give his priorities, Paylor highlighted the need to listen to its customers and counter any perception that the company was arrogant. “I think we've had that reputation in the past – that's some of the feedback we've had”, he told ALH, “whether it's true or not is irrelevant, that perception has to change. We've been working on that in the last six or seven months.”

He said that having led the US sales team for several years he had to take some of the responsibility for that, and said he had already begun a program of customer visits.

Paylor, who was appointed to the top post 29 years after his successful JLG interview with company co–founder John L Grove, told ALH that he was “very proud to be in this spot – 29 years to the day that I got the job. That's a long trek.” It's the first time since John Grove that a JLG insider has taken the top job.

Other priorities, said Paylor, Include an expansion of JLG's aftermarket business, exploiting the resources of its parent company Oshkosh Truck. He said JLG may also have opportunities to sell some Oshkosh products – such as the IMT truck loader cranes and service vehicles – through JLG channels. Paylor said the company would possibly use an Oshkosh facility in Romania to build components such as scissor stacks and booms, as well as complete units.

Oshkosh's expertise in commercial trucks is also something that JLG will look to exploit, said Paylor, with the possibility of JLG producing truck mounted aerial platforms; “It's just so closely related to the self–propelled AWP business, we just didn't want to get into the truck part [in the past]. Now we are owned by a truck company…” He said JLG truck mounted platforms “could be in our future…it sure makes sense to me.”

Although the demand for telehandlers in North America had declined, JLG had been able to re–adjust its production levels and although current inventories were “more than I want”, they were “less than they were 90 days ago and will be less again in 60 days”, said Paylor. He added that the Cat telehandler alliance had been “everything we thought it would be” and that JLG was still “comfortable” with the $300 million sales target during the first 12 months.

On safety issues, meanwhile, Paylor made a strong defense of JLG's position in favor of wearing harnesses with scissor lifts, a position that is at odds with IPAF's advice in Europe and the rest of the world. “Why wouldn't you wear one in a scissor? You wouldn't see me 50 ft or 75 ft up in a scissor without a harness. I'd want as much protection as I could get.”

He said he was far more concerned about the stability of scissors and called for more independent testing of machines and, in particular, more rigorous tilt–testing; “I'd like to see some of these machines really tested”, said Paylor, “No–one has come in here and asked to test our machines – I wish they would.” He said under his presidency JLG would be “even more diligent about safety, inside our factories and outside [with platform users].”

Paylor's appointment comes as Oshkosh made other senior executive changes at JLG. Interim president JLG Charlie Szews returns to his post as Oshkosh executive vice president and chief financial officer and has also been appointed to the Oshkosh board.

Latest News
ITER announces new construction timetable
ITER says “technically robust operations” including deuterium-deuterium fusion production will take place 2035
US judge blocks rule seeking higher wages for construction workers
A Biden administration rule for construction labour has been blocked by the courts
Sinoboom 60m reaches Australia
Tallest Sinoboom lift to be available in Australia