The Modern Group Ltd.: Keeping Industrial Customers Rolling

Modern Group Ltd. (Modern) is one of the nation’s leading equipment distributors, providing sales, leasing, rental, service and parts through its forklifts, power systems, construction and warehouse products businesses. Modern lives its tag line of “Keeps You Rolling” through a keen focus on service. Modern traces its history back to 1946, when Modern Handling Equipment Company was established to distribute material handling equipment and in 1956 became the Hyster forklift dealer. The business has continued to grow steadily for over 60 years, expanding through dealership acquisitions and the commitment of all 300-plus employee owners.

Established as a holding company in 1979, Modern brings together several premier companies, some of which when combined equate to nearly 200 years of experience in their respective sectors. With each spurt of growth, the team has been able to offer a larger variety of equipment and services to an expanding customer base. Led by Dave Griffith, chairman and CEO, and Paul Farrell, president and COO, Modern has established itself as one of the leading industrial distributors in the country. In addition, Modern has been ranked as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania, and is considered an industry leader and partner through its membership in MHEDA, NAW, ARA and AED.

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and a service region that extends from Maryland to New York, Modern has become a one-stop shop for customers in a variety of industries. Clients include contractors, landscapers, municipalities, utilities, recycling facilities, distributors, stevedores and manufacturers among others. The team offers only the most durable and dependable equipment from name brands – such as Hyster, Bandit, New Holland and Terex – that have built a market presence over decades. These products mark continued research and design, and provide high-tech solutions that increase efficiency for the company’s clients.

Products and Services

Modern has built a niche in service. More than half of the company’s employees are technicians. Modern invests in technology by offering solutions that suit the needs of changing machinery and industrial products. In order to reduce downtime for clients, Modern maintains an extensive parts inventory, and offers 24-hour service, seven days per week for emergencies. All technicians are extensively trained and hold certifications in specific service areas. Customers can take advantage of repair and maintenance programs to help manage fleets and assure efficient daily operation. Modern’s fleet programs and road service capabilities are some of the most advanced in the industry.

Modern now offers an even broader assortment of quality products, including rough-terrain forklifts and telehandlers, industrial forklifts, cranes, earth-moving machinery (such as backhoes, skid steers, compact track loaders and mini excavators), forestry equipment (brush chippers and stump grinders), residential, commercial and industrial generators (stationary standby, paralleling systems, portable/towable), and warehouse products solutions.

Modern’s forklift rental department offers a sensible option for customers branching out into new areas, or performing contracts that extend beyond a company’s owned fleet. All equipment is inspected and serviced before it leaves the shop and when it comes back. Regular maintenance prevents costly repairs and offers customers peace of mind when renting machinery. Whether purchasing, leasing or renting, Modern offers a wide range of resources in terms of specials, attractive rates and credit. More information on all of these units and services can be viewed at

Market Management

The recent recession has made major impacts on construction and manufacturing sectors. With many of Modern’s clients struggling throughout the downturn, the business has had to restructure in order to continue to serve the market. The business was forced to downsize, but by streamlining the team Modern has been able to shift focus to efficiency with technology and providing even better quality services.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast in November 2012, many of Modern’s clients needed help fast to restore normal operations. The team was on the job, with all their facilities equipped with Generac backup power systems, and they worked around the clock to ensure customers could regain function by providing emergency forklift rentals and standby power solutions.

In January 2013 Modern opened a Hurricane Sandy Relief Branch in Brick, N.J., specifically geared toward serving customers most affected by the disaster. Outside of providing equipment and machinery, the team also spearheaded Sock It to Sandy, a relief effort providing socks, hats and gloves to the New Jersey Salvation Army. The outdoor accessories will go to displaced families and individuals, offering a little warmth during the cold season after many have lost everything.

With strong leadership and a people-first attitude, Modern will continue to climb in the market. The business is already regaining ground, and will continue to push for world-class service while providing top products to regional businesses. The Modern Group Ltd. is building a standard for equipment sales, rental and service across the Mid-Atlantic.