A 50-year tradition of continuity and connection is being celebrated by Delta Materials Handling, a Memphis forklift and warehouse equipment company with strong roots in the South and its family.
“We are a locally owned family business, so we are able to get a question answered or problem resolved by talking face-to-face with Greg Costa, our president,” said Jim Colloredo, senior vice president with Delta Materials Handling. “Prior to Greg taking over as president, we were able to do the same with his father, the late Joe Costa, Sr.”
The company’s family connection continues.
“We currently have three family members working here: Greg Costa, president and chief executive officer; myself (brother-in-law), and Greg’s brother, Joe Costa, Jr.; vice president of sales,” Colloredo said. “Our customers are able to contact and deal directly with the owners when they have an issue. Being in the South, many of our customers want to personally meet the business owners, and know they can trust them to keep their word.”
The company’s name reflects its location in the Mississippi Delta. “Our region has been one of the hardest hit with the recession. We don’t think we will see the order rate that we saw in 2005 anytime soon, but we think we will see a steady and healthy growth as we have in the past eight to 10 months,” Colloredo said.
The Greek letter Delta, and its triangle symbol, also pay tribute to its original three owners. In 1970, Joseph Costa, the former national rental and leading manager for Clark Equipment Company, joined Delta as vice president of sales. By 1974, Costa had bought out the remaining two owners.
Delta Materials Handling’s roots reach back to 1947, when Fred J. Vandemark, a former automotive executive who relocated to Memphis in the late 1930s, started his own company. He was a friend of Ezra and Eugene Clark, founders of Clark Equipment Company. At the end of World War II, Vandemark’s company became the official Clark sales agent in Memphis and the mid-South.
The early connection to Clark continues, with Delta being the exclusive mid-South dealer for Clark forklifts. Delta also carries Linde, Mitsubishi, Drexel and Bendi. The company has more than 500 rental forklifts available and sells used forklifts.
“We are more than just a forklift dealer. We sell anything to outfit a warehouse and also have a full-time operator safety trainer on staff,” Colloredo said. “Our warehouse products business is also a significant part of our business, where we sell storage systems and other non-forklift related items.”
The company has 70 employees, and is hiring. “We are actively looking for technicians and sales reps for Memphis and some of our branches,” Colloredo said.
The company is headquartered in Memphis, where it was founded in 1960, with branches in Jackson, Tennessee; Jonesboro, Arkansas and Tupelo, Mississippi.
Mary Glindinning is a freelance writer who has worked at daily and weekly newspapers for more than 20 years. She lives in rural Shullsburg, Wis. You may contact her by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.