Friday, May 3rd, 2013
The OPWA's 2013 National Public Works Week Seminar & Awards Luncheon is taking place on Thursday, May 16th. If you would like to attend, please register here
. We hope to see you there.
Monday, March 11th, 2013
We are pleased to be the recipients of Envirosight’s 2012 Market Leadership Award. It was presented to us while at the Pumper Show last week. Thank you to all our staff who helped us achieve this distinction.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Excerpt from the article “Custom Fit For Every Size” published in Machines Italia Magazine Volume VIII
When it comes to Italian machinery and equipment, there’s no telling where in North America a piece of Italian ingenuity and durability will turn up, from a small machine shop in Pennsylvania, to an automotive supplier in Massachusetts, to a paper plant in Canada.
In fact, it’s not just the Lockheed Martins and the TRWs of North America that have embraced Italian-made tools and machinery. Equipment designed and built in Italy is just as popular with small or midsize enterprises of all kinds.
The reasons are plenty clear. Despite many of these companies not being huge multinational firms, they nonetheless find themselves in competition on the same global stage with the big boys. Similar to their larger counterparts, they face all manners of competitors, including low-cost players from China. Thus, as a matter of sheer survival and competitiveness, it’s essential for them to search out and find the most innovative tools and equipment offering the highest quality, greatest precision, and most durability.
Clearly, the Italian machinery manufacturers have built their name in this market on both their responsiveness to customers – particularly in providing custom solutions – and the innovative nature of their tools and equipment. In solutions as far-reaching and diverse as the papermaking industry to the sports equipment business, Italian firms are leading the charge for customization and innovation. At the same time, the solutions Italian machinery manufacturers have developed save energy, pollute less, and offer superior safety features and greater reliability.
Innovation on the Ice
Italian-manufactured equipment typically gets a workout in almost every possible venue, from the air to the land to the sea. But in this case, Italian machinery is making a splash—er, clean sweep—on the ice.
Hockey ice, that is. Although the U.S. and Canada compete together with professional hockey teams and the Stanley Cup, for Canadians, ice hockey is more like America’s baseball—the national sport. In fact, Canadians get downright feverish when you talk hockey. One of the essentials for a successful competitive ice hockey match is a smooth icy surface that is divot-free and without piles of icy snow left here and there where players’ skates have carved up the surface. The divots, of course, are caused by players stopping quickly or pivoting and abruptly changing direction, digging a hole in the ice. The divots can be hazardous for the next skater whose skate could catch in one, causing him to lose his footing. At the same time, piles of ice churned up on the surface turn into snow and can impede players’ speed and agility of movement.
Enter the ice resurfacing machine. Although these machines have been around for some time, traditionally they have been fossil-fuel driven, usually by a rear-mounted propane or natural gas tank on the resurfacing machine, which is operator driven. The drawback is that the exhaust from one or two of these propane-driven machines cleaning up the ice for 10 or 15 minutes can leave an arena smelling pretty badly, not to mention the unhealthy aspects of breathing all that carbon monoxide from the exhaust. Worsening matters, the exhaust gas is heavier than air and tends to congregate near the surface of the ice, where players, often hunched over low as they speed skate, breathe in the exhaust gases.
Blade Changing a Safety Issue
Another problem with many ice machines is that the blade that scrapes the ice flat, a 78-inch-wide, razor-edged piece of steel, usually requires two people to change and can be dangerous. Numerous serious injuries have been incurred by ice resurfacing machine operators over the years while trying to swap out the blades.
At the 2012 Shawinigan Memorial Cup hockey tournament in Shawinigan, Quebec, in May, 2012, the tournament operators solved both problems at once. The solution was to use an electric Engo Ice Resurfacer from Engo Ltd., Terento, Italy (www.engo.it). Steve Dawe, Arena Ice Products & Services Manager at distributor Joe Johnson Equipment of Innisfil, Ontario, says he was asked by the company owner to find the best ice resurfacing equipment available.
The equipment distributor markets a variety of industrial vehicles to municipalities and commercial enterprises, including street sweepers, snow plows, sewer suckers, and other heavy equipment.
“Joe Johnson wanted an ice division, and he asked me to find him the best ice resurfacer in the world,” explains Dawe, who had patented a couple of his own ice resurfacing innovations and was the most knowledgeable individual for the assignment. “I found it in Italy. In my 25 years’ experience in this business, I had never seen a machine like this. It was easy to see it was a top quality machine with an advanced design for maximum productivity, safety, and comfort.” The machine was an Engo Electric Ice Resurfacer.
Instead of running on fossil fuel, the Engo ice resurfacer runs on electric battery power. The Engo comes in two models, a 500-ampere-hour machine, and an 875-ampere-hour unit, both with 80-volt battery units. The Engo Ice Resurfacer Joe Johnson Equipment sells comes with batteries and a zero-emission charging system.
The cell refilling is done via a wall-based unit that refills any cell with no emissions. Nor is the battery running down a problem for Engo, despite the need to resurface the ice several times during a hockey game. The reason is that each time the Engo machine comes off the ice, the operator plugs it in, and within 10 to 15 minutes it can be recharged to 80% of capacity, giving it plenty of juice to continue its appointed rounds to the end of the night, when it can be fully recharged. The distributor designs the battery charger, either a 480- or 600-volt unit, and mounts it on the arena wall. “JJE is now distributing these ice resurfacers throughout the North American market,” Dawe says.
“The Engo machines exceed fossil fuel machines in performance, reducing facilities’ overall operational expenses while producing a safe operating environment.” The blade changeover on a traditional propane machine typically takes two operators 30 minutes to carefully remove 10 bolts holding the old blade, which they then drop down and pull out. By contrast, the Engo machine is designed for safety, enabling a lone operator to change the blade in half a minute or less. The operator simply slides the old blade out, then places the new blade into a groove in the machine, which raises it hydraulically into cutting position.
With 10 branches in North America, representatives from Joe Johnson Equipment’s Quebec office met with the 2012 Mastercard Memorial Cup committee in Shawinigan, which agreed to use the Engo Ice Resurfacers for the tournament. “The president of the Memorial Cup couldn’t believe that we were bringing the ice back to such pristine condition throughout the tournament,” says Dawe.
“These powerful Electric Ice Resurfacers worked brilliantly through the duration of the event,” adds Daniel Milot, General Manager of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup. “The superior technology of these Ice Resurfacers has been instrumental in resurfacing and rebuilding the ice by the precise control of the amount of water deployed and the blade depth adjustments through a touch screen. Also the quick blade change system does not require any bolts to fasten, making it safe for all to use.”
“The superior technology of these Ice Resurfacers has been instrumental in resurfacing and rebuilding the ice by the precise control of the amount of water deployed and the blade depth adjustments through a touch screen. Also, the quick blade change system does not require any bolts to fasten, making it safe for all to use.” — Daniel Milot, General Manager, 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup
Some ice rink operators replace their resurfacing machines every five to seven years, often because of rust or due to parts wearing out. Because the electric motor and battery powered units are simpler and have fewer moving parts than a combustion engine, they tend to require less maintenance and provide longer service, Dawe says. “I’ve seen Engo Ice Resurfacers with over 10,000 hours on them, and they didn’t look a year old. The metal parts are made with hot-dipped galvanized steel and steel hydraulic lines, with fiberglass body parts that can’t rust.”
Ice rink operators and hockey teams in Quebec have purchased seven machines; two more were purchased for hockey rinks in Calgary, and another half a dozen machines are on order. “Ice hockey rink managers are looking to lower their emissions,” Dawe says.
In addition to its line of electric ice resurfacing machines, Engo also manufactures a zero environmental impact electric ice edger, the Minengo. Hockey teams and ice rink operators use these machines to remove the ice buildup around the boards at the perimeter of the rink. The 24-volt, battery-driven machine looks like a little lawnmower, except with a more vertical profile and a whole lot sleeker design. Powering the device is a 2.0 kilowatt, 3,000 RPM electric motor. The motor has an electromagnetic brake and a flange that immediately stops the cutters for safety.
Custom machinery. An innovative and flexible solution. A pollution-free, safety-conscious response to a market need. These examples demonstrate the willingness and the capability of Italian machinery firms to deliver the solutions that North America’s small and midsize organizations look for when purchasing new equipment.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
We are pleased to announce that Joe Johnson has taken the reins from Sal Iannello, City of Welland, as the Ontario Public Works Association’s President for 2013. As an OPWA board member for many years serving in varying capacities, including being President of the OPWA previously in 2003, Joe brings with him extensive experience within the public works industry. Joe will continue to work with the OPWA board, committees and members on a variety of initiatives targeted at promoting public awareness, advocacy, knowledge-sharing and education surrounding public works in Ontario.
For more information on the OPWA please visit www.opwa.ca.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Join us on November 28th or December 5th for a free educational seminar on the latest video inspection solutions from Envirosight! RSVP here.
Wednesday October 31st, 2012
Joe Johnson, President of JJE, presents Bonnie, a Volunteer Representative from Children’s Wish with a cheque for $10,000 to support The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Each year, a charity that is of significance to a JJE employee is selected as the year’s Charity of Choice. Together, JJE rallied to raise the funds through various events and fundraising activities throughout 2012.
Thank you to all of our employees and business partners who supported our efforts this year while raising money for great cause! Please visit The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada’s website for more information on making a donation to this exceptional charity.
Friday September 28th, 2012
Join JJE Albany on October 26th from 11-4 for our first Open House! RSVP today and get your name entered in twice for the grand prize! RSVP here
Wednesday July 18th, 2012
On the heels of the announcement of JJE’s first South American branch in Santiago, Chile, comes news that JJE has expanded further into the US market and has opened their second location in New York state. Located just outside Albany, in Feura Bush, the new branch will cover Eastern New York and will carry the same reputation for high-quality customer service, exceptional training, and proven preventative maintenance programs JJE is known for.
JJE Press Release Announcing the Company's Expansion to Albany, New York
Friday July 13th, 2012
Our Calgary location hosted our 3rd annual JJE Stampede BBQ - and it was a success! We had a great turn out of customers for the BBQ, our live Vactor, Elgin and Nozzle demos, and more!
Friday July 6th, 2012
The Calgary Stampede is celebrating its 100th year, and JJE is pleased to be part of the event! 10 of JJE’s Elgin Eagles
were on the job for the Opening Parade in downtown Calgary.
Take a look at some pictures from the parade below. And don't forget about our Stampede BBQ on Friday July 13th at our Calgary location.
Check out our Facebook
page for more information!
Friday May 18th, 2012
In response to global demands, JJE has acquired Orbitec
– a heavy equipment dealer that has been in business for over 4 years. Based in Santiago, Orbitec covers all of Chile and brings with it a reputation for exceptional customer service, training, and proven preventative maintenance programs.
JJE Press Release Announcing the Company's Expansion to Chile
Wednesday, March 15th, 2012
Through our Quebec Division, JJE is pleased to be a proud local partner for the MasterCard Memorial Cup 2012.
For more information on the event, please visit The MasterCard Memorial Cup Website.
JJE Press Release For The 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
As the leading public works equipment distributor in Canada, Joe Johnson Equipment (JJE) is honoured to be recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.
JJE is Canada’s largest, leading provider of infrastructure-maintenance equipment to Canada’s municipalities and contractors. Through its branch-network, JJE sells, rents, leases and supports Vacuum Trucks, Refuse & Recycling Collection Vehicles, Street Sweepers, Snow Removal Equipment, Mowing Equipment, Ice Resurfacing Equipment, Sewer Cleaners & Inspection Cameras.
JJE thanks the partners who have contributed to our success - our valued employees, vendors and, most importantly, Our Customers.
Joe Johnson's Announcement Letter
National Post Article
December, 2011 - Article from the Barrie Examiner
"Businesses leading from the heart: COMMUNITY CHAMPION column"
By Alan Atkins, Special to the Examiner
Joe Johnson believes in leading by example and for the 42-year-old president of Joe Johnson Equipment Ltd., that means leading from the heart.
Although Joe has always felt it was important to give back, like many people with families, careers and businesses to juggle, it seemed difficult to find time to volunteer.
While attending a speech by Craig Kielberger, founder of Free the Children, he heard Craig say, "Life is busy. If you wait until the right time to get involved, it will never come. Start now."
This inspired Joe to start from where he was and over the years he has become involved with many community organizations. While living in his hometown of Cambridge, he became a Big Brother and eventually president of the board of directors. He also chaired the philanthropy committee of his university fraternity and helped encourage other students to become Big Brothers, too.
Today, he still volunteers as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie, visiting a local school once a week to spend time with a student in need of an adult mentor. He has also been a Barrie YMCA board member and worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in addition to other philanthropic activities that he quietly pursues.
Joe Johnson Equipment Ltd., a business that provides maintenance for municipal and contractor equipment, was
founded by his father, Joe Johnson Sr., in Barrie in 1988. Joe Jr. was pursuing a career as a lawyer in Cambridge when his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 54. His father called him in, threw the keys to him and said, "You're president now."
His father died two years later, but Joe Jr. responded by taking charge of the family business immediately in 1996 and eventually moved with his wife, Dr. Erin Ray, an anaesthesiologist at Royal Victoria Hospital, and family to Barrie.
It then had seven employees and one location in Barrie. Under Joe Jr.'s leadership, it now boasts 190 employees across Canada in addition to branches in Rochester and Albany, N.Y. The company has recently expanded globally, buying a business in Chile. In 2008, Joe was featured as one of the Globe and Mail's top 40 Canadian leaders under 40. As prestigious as this was, he would have liked to see success based less on the business bottom line to include aspects of corporate social responsibility.
"Philanthropy is not inconsistent with business success," he said. "In fact, I think it should be included in corporate financial statements. Being a good corporate citizen is simply an extension of the values of the people who work in the business. When I was a law student, my grandmother thought I was too nice to be a good lawyer. I didn't know what to say at the time. I guess my answer has been in how I've lived my life. I have tried to remain a nice guy and proved that business doesn't have to suffer for it.
"I have been very fortunate to be successful in my business life. But I believe that this is just a byproduct of living from a strong sense of personal values," he says. "You can't be a different person or operate from a different set of rules at the office than you do at home. I am a strong believer that you must lead by example."
As a father of three young children under 10, Joe believes that the real legacy you leave behind is the positive impact you have on others, while remaining true to yourself.
"Children, especially, learn from what you do, not what you say," Joe says.
That's why he believes in participatory democracy. At home, his family meets for a scheduled meeting every Sunday evening to discuss the positives and negatives of the past week. This has allowed Joe to share his experiences and joy in giving back to others, a lesson he hopes will be impressed on his children for life.
His employees share his philosophy. For the last decade, they have raised money through various activities, including an annual golf tournament for the community, which the company matches. Employees are asked each year to suggest a charity of choice. This year, the David Busby Street Centre was put forward and Joe liked the idea.
Like many people in our community, Joe wasn't aware of exactly what the centre did, but certainly had seen some of its participants in downtown Barrie. Nor was he aware of the extent of poverty and homelessness in our area. However, it was important to him to donate locally, knowing that all donations are used locally and have an immediate impact on our community.
As a result, Joe and his employees donated $10,000 this summer to the centre.
"I was disappointed when I realized how little help is provided to help deal with poverty and homelessness in Barrie and Simcoe County. I also have confidence in the leadership of the Busby Centre and feel strongly that when you have competent people in place you should let them do their jobs with minimal interference. Of course, they need the resources to work with and I hoped our modest contribution could help," Joe says.
But he believes that it takes more than money to help. Chequebook philanthropy doesn't challenge, or inspire anyone, according to Joe. He thinks people need to be personally invested by involving themselves and rolling up their sleeves. He believes in servant leadership: those who serve most lead best.
When I asked how he thought his company might support the Busby Centre in future, Joe replied, "Being charitable doesn't mean being soft. Any team I'm on will be a winning team. We believe in what the David Busby Street Centre is doing and will continue to stay involved."
It isn't hard to see why this quietly confident executive is so successful. It appears that he has a way of encouraging others to develop their best qualities on and off the job and care about the people around them. He believes it is important to show gratitude. He also has a way of making people feel special. Even though Joe and his company are new supporters, his parting words to me were, "Thank you for taking the time to be here and volunteering with the Busby Centre."
Alan Atkins is the chairman of the communications committee of the David Busby Street Centre. For more information, call 705-739-6916 or visit www.busbycentre.ca.
Monday July 11th, 2011
Joe Johnson Equipment is pleased to have raised $10,000 for The David Busby Street Centre. To donate to this worthy cause please visit their website http://www.busbycentre.ca/
Sunday February 20th, 2011
The Elgin Crosswind
was the chosen sweeper at this years’ Daytona 500 Race. The sweeper went out a total of 8 times during the 500 race and a total of 48 times over the week during all the race events with a total of 133 miles of sweeping. There was a total 9200 gallons of water vacuumed off the track during wet conditions over the week.
After spending over $22 million to resurface the historic track, Daytona International Speedway chose the Elgin Crosswind because of its dust control and performance features. The regenerative air sweeper includes unique features developed for racetrack sweeping and maintenance applications, including a 20,000 CFM-rated blower, a hydraulically-driven, plastic bristle side broom on one side of the sweeper and a high-performance air-blast nozzle on the other side. For remote cleaning, the unit also features a soft wall cleaning attachment and a large jib boom-mounted 8-inch rear vacuum hose for the big jobs.
For more information please visit Elgin’s website.
Thursday August 12th, 2010
Joe Johnson, President of Joe Johnson Equipment (JJE), laced up for Hockey Night in Barrie III, a fundraiser organized to raise money for Royal Victoria Hospital’s Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. Prime Minister Stephen Harper coached the blue team alongside Don Cherry. "Canada is the only country on earth where a group of volunteers could fill a hockey rink on a summer night with over 4,000 fans to watch a pick-up game and raise money for a good cause," said Prime Minister Harper to the crowd. "That is what makes our country so great, combining the greatest game on earth with volunteer community spirit to support a cause that benefits us all."
The use of JJE’s De-OX Ice Making System ensured the players enjoyed the charity game on harder, faster, clearer ice. Joe was pleased to share the ice with hockey greats including Wendel Clark, Darcy Tucker, Shayne Corson, Mike Gartner and Steve Thomas. Also in attendance was event organizer and Barrie MP Patrick Brown, Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay, TSN's James Duthie, Olympian Kurt Browning, singer Michael Burgess and rock star Duncan Coutts of Our Lady Peace.
Setting a new record, Hockey Night in Barrie III raised over $200,000 for the Cancer Centre with the support of JJE. To donate directly to the Royal Victoria Hospital please go to www.rvh.on.ca.
Joe Johnson with Prime Minister Harper Wendel Clark, Patrick Brown and Steve Thomas
Prime Minister Harper on ice with the players
Wednesday June 30th, 2010
The Ontario Waste Management Association’s publication, Waste Edge, ran the article below on Joe Johnson Equipment in their Spring/Summer 2010 issue.
Look for your copy today!