Published April 16, 2018

Management Staff Back (left to right): Shaun Lorentz, Chris Glaubitz; Middle (left to right): Pauline Lorentz, Jerry Caines;
Front (left to right): Todd Wilson, Debbie Saunders, Karen Karn, Whitney Glaubitz
Solutions driving growth for material handling firm for 15 years.
Chris Glaubitz uses his more than 32 years in the business to find “out of the box” material handling solutions for Provincial Lift Truck Inc. clients.
One of the strongest years for economic growth in Canada, 2017 presented many opportunities for business to expand and break into new markets. The material handling industry was no exception, experiencing a steady upturn as other sectors have boomed throughout the country.

Provincial Lift Truck Inc., with a range of diverse products and services, aggressively forged relationships and buying power across North America and beyond, supplying the newest and largest equipment to Canada.
October of 2017 marked a first when PLT partnered with Xtreme Manufacturing and brought the largest capacity rough terrain telehandler to Canada.

The Xtreme XR7038 has a capacity rating of 70,000 lbs. (31,751 kg) is specifically designed for tough conditions. Slated for work at a Canadian nuclear power plant in Northern Ontario, it was also required to handle specific tasks requiring specially designed attachments.

“They needed attachments that just don’t exist,” said Chris Glaubitz, owner of Provincial Lift Truck Inc. “How could we solve this? We designed them, had them engineered to exact specifications. We got the job done.”

This was the largest deal in Provincial Lift Truck’s history making 2017 their most profitable and busy year. 2018 shows no sign of slowing down as they received an order for a 2nd 70,000 lbs. telehandler for Northern Manitoba.

Now celebrating their 15th anniversary, PLT reflects on the keys to their success and what the future holds for the industry in the community and Canada.

Provincial Lift Truck Inc. began with an idea; present more than just products, create solutions. This mantra has been the core of their business and a driving factor to their growth over the years.

“Anybody can quote you on a lift truck.” Said Chris. “We prefer to meet the customer face to face, look at what needs to be handled, ask questions, listen and make a recommendation for their specific application.”

Launched in 2003 by Chris Glaubitz and Ron Fritz, the co-owners leased half of a building on Shirley Ave. in Kitchener and hired their first mechanic. Their main focus was on new, used and reconditioned equipment sales as well as rentals and they became a Manitou dealer in 2004.

Their needs rapidly grew as did the needs of customers. By 2005 PLT leased the entire building on Shirley Ave. and bolstered their team. Business continued steady growth throughout the early 2000’s and so did the ambitions of the co-owners. They aimed to reach beyond the Kitchener Waterloo area setting their sights on larger parts of Southwestern Ontario.

PLT began offering more comprehensive services including discount rentals while units are being serviced, Preventative Maintenance programs and the growth of an internal parts department enabling quick supply of forklift parts.

When the recession hit in 2008 many Canadian businesses felt the pinch and Provincial Lift Truck Inc. was no exception. Although they saw a drop in new forklift sales, they experienced a boom in forklift service as many businesses turned to repairing equipment instead of replacing it. Service and rentals carried them through and by the end of 2009 PLT had doubled their facilities, adding a building addition to accommodate the need for more service areas and fleet housing.

Provincial Lift Truck Inc. thrived in the wake of the economic downturn. By 2013 they had more than 20 employees including 4 dedicated road service technicians and broadened their material handling expertise to include racking systems, warehouse optimization and fleet logistics consulting.

When discussing what set up 2013 as a turning point for PLT, Chris remarks, “We had the knowledge and experience to be successful in material handling but until 2013 we hadn’t had the means. We were listening to customers, listening to the industry, and building our internal support.”

Ron Fritz retired from the company in May 2015 making Chris the sole owner. Forklift service and rentals remained in high demand, the company finding almost no slowdown throughout the following two years.

Research and development became the focus of the material handling industry and PLT has remained competitive by signing on new products and equipment lines including Heli. Better price points, new technologies and solid research has enabled them to stand apart.

“I hear our customers loud and clear. They want better equipment at a better price. The new industrial and warehouse equipment from Manitou and Heli is exactly what the Canadian market needs.”

PLT has forecast a 12%-15% revenue increase in fiscal 2018 largely driven by their partnerships with Manitou and Heli. They plan to expand their product offerings as new equipment lines become available as well as increase efforts to build further relationships with businesses across Canada.

A solution-based business model will continue to help the company grow. Provincial Lift Truck Inc. offers solutions and expertise. Through more than 32 years of experience in the material handling industry they can find the perfect “out of the box” solution for any business in Southwestern Ontario.

Provincial Lift Truck Inc.
150 Shirley Ave.
Kitchener ON N2B 2E1
T: 519-894-9079
F: 519-894-6046
TollFree: 1-866-921-9850

This corporate profile was written by Exchange Magazine for Business, Economic Development, Education and Entrepreneurship
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ISSN 0824-45
Copyright, 2018.