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Cat lift trucks contribute to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo success

Everything’s bigger in Texas—including the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a massive three-week event that wrapped up in Houston on March 18. This is a big event that has a big impact on the Houston economy and educational programs.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
March 27, 2012

Everything’s bigger in Texas—including the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a massive three-week event that wrapped up in Houston on March 18. This is a big event that has a big impact on the Houston economy and educational programs.

Set in Reliant Park, the 2012 rodeo combined livestock shows, bull riding, concerts, and more, setting a record for paid attendance with 1,279,044 attendees and more than 2.25 million in all. Aside from the entertainment and jolt to the Houston economy, the event contributed more than $18 million toward college scholarships and other educational endeavors in 2012.

While Modern typically focuses on materials handling operations inside the four walls, the show is an excellent example of materials handling equipment and expertise doing double duty out in the community for a great cause.

The setup and tear down of an event this size, including the transportation of hundreds of pounds of livestock feed, steel and lumber throughout the expansive complex, presents the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with a number of materials handling challenges. Since 2005, Cat Lift Trucks and local dealer, Adobe Equipment Houston, have served as the official lift truck provider of the show, working to meet the event’s materials handling challenges and manage the army of equipment.

The largest of the event’s challenges is matching the appropriate lift truck with more than 100 committees’ different and specific application needs.

While heavy-duty tasks would be impossible without lift trucks, smaller loads are made more manageable and save countless hours with the help of lift trucks. Lift trucks are needed to move equipment for exhibits and unload trailers of every size, moving everything from programs to wine pallets and seating to audio visual equipment.

Adobe Equipment steps up to the materials handling challenge by providing nearly 100 special edition lift trucks. The lift trucks, which are manufactured by Houston-based Cat Lift Trucks, are delivered to Reliant Park in January.

“Every year, we supply the local Cat lift truck dealer with a master list of specific requirements,” said Greg Golightly, the show’s buildings and grounds managing director. “We are extremely
impressed with their ability to meet, and often exceed, those requirements. Every aspect of their involvement has made it easier for us to do our jobs.”

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also receives on-site technical support from Adobe Equipment’s trained staff each day of the event. In addition to being on site to service the lift trucks quickly, the dealer’s technical team also helps with other logistical needs and services, such as servicing tractors and pickup trucks. Adobe Equipment also offers three mandatory training classes on site at the Show every year to reinforce proper lift truck operating techniques.

“Working and coordinating with one vendor contact versus a dozen has definitely made a tremendous impact on my department’s ability to be more efficient,” Golightly said. “Having technicians right here allows me to focus on the other details.”

In addition to the technical support and lift truck operator training, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Buildings and Grounds Department have negotiated a package that reduces its equipment rental costs by more than half.

“Our partnership with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a win-win for both parties,” said Kent Eudy, vice president of sales and marketing at Cat Lift Trucks. “The funds saved on equipment rental can be used by the show to provide more scholarships for local students. Having a part in making this happen gives us great satisfaction and we’re proud to support our community, providing durable, reliable lift trucks so families can continue to enjoy this wonderful event year after year.”

To learn more about the event, including scholarship opportunities and the economic impact on greater Houston, go to rodeohouston.com.

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