John Hanning, Henry Brick: Selma, AL
Just a short drive from Montgomery Alabama, sits a company whose contribution to the American home is great. Henry Brick, founded in 1945 by J.D Henry, has been providing the southern, eastern and mid-western United States with unique and artful building materials for nearly 75 years. This third-generation, family owned business has survived well thru the years, due in part to its philosophy of providing its customers and distributors with the highest quality, most durable products available.
Their success is easily visible because on any given day, you can watch them load upwards of 500,000 bricks onto trucks and railcars, destined for family homes, businesses, as well as commercial structures. Henry Brick has manufactured and shipped as many as 116 million bricks in a single year. Now that’s a TON of bricks! All of the numbers mentioned are a direct result of a meticulously organized plan and process of turning the natural raw Alabama clay into a refined, beautiful, and durable brick product. Henry could be considered a great study in efficiency and organization.
Of course, even the best laid plans can have their issues. One issue that faced them was with their lift trucks. “With our previous lift truck provider, we had some serious issues with the steer axle ball joints breaking on our trucks”, says John Hanning, VP of Internal Operations. “As we kept facing mounting repair bills, we know we needed to address this situation quickly, so we started asking around to other brick manufacturers what types of equipment they were using.” What they found lead them to Toyota Forklifts and The Lilly Company. Hanning states that “when we sat down with Ron (of LillyCo), we designed a truck that would fit perfectly with not only our application, but with our drivers as well. We added an accumulator to all of our trucks and the drivers love the ride it provides!”
To date, Henry has a mixed fleet of pneumatic tire units that range from 5,000 lbs. to 11,000 lbs. “We are very happy with the Toyota product, and with The Lilly Company as well!” says Hanning. “Whenever we need help or assistance with our units, they are always responsive to our needs!”