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Member Profile
Independent Lift Truck of Alaska
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Member Profile
Independent Lift Truck of Alaska
two forklifts and two rough terrain machines parked in front of the ILT Alaska dealership

ILT is a dealership for several product lines of forklift and other rough terrain equipment.

Handling Alaska’s Forklift Needs
Independent Lift Truck ensures Alaska’s industries have the material handling equipment they need
By Jamey Bradbury

ayne Dick checks the Associated General Contractors of Alaska website every day. “Even if there’s not equipment I have availability to quote, I still look at who wins the bids for specific jobs,” he says, “because they may need additional equipment to complete that job. Whether it’s a forklift or a compactor, I tend to look at the bid wins to see if I can provide equipment to help make the job happen.”

Making the job happen is Independent Lift Truck of Alaska’s, or ILT’s, specialty. As Alaska’s leading forklift dealership for the last forty years, this family business services the entire state’s forklift and material handling needs across several industries—from energy and mining to seafood harvesting or warehousing.

“We work with all the barge companies, from Southeast to Western Alaska, to get equipment to our clients,” says Dick, who leads ILT as the president and director of sales alongside his brother, Gerry Dick, vice president and director of service.

When a remote company buys a forklift, excavator, loader, or other equipment too late in the season for it to be delivered by barge, ILT accommodates clients with “tear-down” service. The company takes apart and sends the machine in piecemeal shipments to the client, and then the buyer puts the machine together with ILT’s guidance. If requested, ILT also send technicians to reassemble the equipment.

Work Now, Pay Later

Tear-down shipments aren’t the only accommodation ILT regularly makes to ensure its remote clients have the equipment they need to complete their projects. ILT’s “skip payment program” allows companies to keep new equipment on site by leasing-to-own rather than renting.

a forklift in the middle of a bright yellow paint job
Independent Lift Truck of Alaska customizes a forklift in its paint facility.
Copper River Seafoods, for example, has twenty-five ILT forklifts on the skip payment program. They make payments during the summer, when fishing season brings in income; in the winter, they skip their payments while getting their machines refurbished and ready for the next year.

“It’s cost prohibitive to rent these machines and send them back from Bethel, for example,” Dick says. “But if you lease it and do the skip payment program, you can keep your equipment on site.”

A Diverse Equipment Line

Just last year, ILT greatly increased its ability to get a wide range of equipment to customers across Alaska in a timely manner: The company added the array of products available from LiuGong North America to its material-handing equipment line. The move was the latest in ILT’s expansion to include additional equipment and services for Alaska industries.

“With demand for equipment and parts on the rise in Alaska, the ability to better provide quality products and expedite delivery is a game changer for our customers,” says Dick.

upward view of available brand signage at Independent Lift Truck of Alaska

New products in stock at Independent Lift Truck of Alaska, including a track dumper from Wacker Neuson.

a piece of Wacker Neuson machinery and Mitsubishi machinery in inventory at Independent Lift Truck of Alaska

Independent Lift Truck of Alaska maintains a diverse line of equipment from CAT, Mitsubishi, Manitou, and Gehl, among other dealerships.

Established in 1982 by John and Marlene Dick, ILT initially focused on offering wholesale equipment; by 1985, the company had become a Mitsubishi forklift dealership. In 1995, ILT expanded into material handling and became a distributor for EDGE/CE Attachments, a line of attachments made for skid steers, compact excavators, and compact utility tractors.

When Wacker Neuson Light Duty and Compact Equipment became available to ILT in 2000, it “greatly enhanced our ability to diversify again toward making construction equipment available to our existing material handling clients,” Dick says.

“They’ve done a great job bringing in new materials and a wide range of different equipment,” says Scott Vierra, business development manager at North Star Equipment Services. “They’ve got multiple lines of equipment, which serves their customer base well.”

Although ILT has expanded, it has also maintained its focus on the little things—like getting parts to customers like Lynden.

“As a transportation and barging company that supplies Alaska where there are no roads, we have a whole lot of equipment scattered all over Alaska,” says Daniel Clifford, a mechanic with Lynden. “ILT has been great for getting parts to us in a reasonable time—they’re quick to communicate and timely in their shipping.”

Game Changer

ILT also stays abreast of the newest lift-truck technologies.

“Technology has come a long way in the past ten years,” says Dick, pointing out that while internal combustion was dominant in 60 percent of ILT’s sales at one time, today electric-powered equipment is the dominant product.

“We already had electric standard conventional-style lift trucks, but now they’re coming out with rough terrain-type machines that are electric,” he says.

Bigger equipment designed for rough, rocky, or hilly ground is ideal for many of Alaska’s remote projects, while electric power tolerates extreme cold temperatures—though Dick sees another advancement playing a significant role in how his equipment operates in Alaska.

“Ironclad [lead-acid] batteries are still the major energy source for electrics, but lithium and hydrogen is the future,” he says. “Lithium and hydrogen are going to be a game changer for their capability in super cold weather.”

Jamey Bradbury is a freelance writer who lives in Anchorage. Photos provided by Independent Lift Truck.