Handling Specialty Blog - lift equipment

Handling Specialty Blog - lift equipment

Want to know what it's really like to work at a custom, engineered-to-order material handling equipment company? To work with clients as interesting and unique as Cirque du Soleil or Lockheed Martin, and in industries as varied as aerospace, defence, rail, nuclear energy or automotive?  Watch this blog space regularly as we share our experiences, expertise and thoughts about what life is like at Handling Specialty. 

Learn what it means when we say: "We build big things to help our customers build big things."

Smart Arm Manipulator

27 February 2017 comments
4 axis positioner


Handling Specialty’s S.A.M is a laser and camera-assisted motion control solution utilizing a custom heavy-duty multi-axis manipulator arm.  S.A.M enables lifting and repeatable positioning of a jet engine Bellmouth within a small envelope. 

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Four-Post Lift in Assembly

17 February 2017 comments
Unit Cutout Small


Looking for a mechanical lifting device which will assist in your end of assembly line duties? These four-post lifts were developed for that purpose for our client to inspect small tractors and utility vehicles once the assembly process is complete.

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Personnel Lift Applications

7 February 2017 comments
Application 1 no BG

Handling Specialty has built Manlifts and Personnel lifts for multiple industries including Aerospace. Often in the Aerospace industry a design to assist in Painting cells or assembly facilities is requested in order to ergonomically place the workers around the products without the time-consuming set-up and tear-down required by scaffolding. Personnel lifts also aid in the safety of the workers and can be engineered to move people into place without compromising the production line movement.

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Manual to Automated Line

24 January 2017 comments

A question we hear a lot from our customers is: How do I move from a manual assembly line to one which is more automated? And then: How do I do this without major interruptions and/or major cost to my assembly line? Is downtime in my manufacturing, assembly plant, or warehouse unavoidable in making the switch from a manual system to an automated one?

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Drop Tables in Rail and Transportation Applications

12 December 2016 comments
Drop Tables 5 80 100 125 ton

Drop tables for the transit industry refer to equipment designed and built for maintenance operations to assist the technicians with easy removal of wheel sets, traction motors/combos, and full trucks/bogies of freight cars, transit vehicles and locomotives.

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Bellmouth Inlet Transfer System

2 November 2016 comments
DSC 0221 small2

The aerospace industry and Handling Specialty have been working together for many years. With clients like Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin and many others, the number of projects have increased - and with them - the level of technology used to support our clients applications.

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Lift Truck Portavator

25 October 2016 comments

Designed and built to initially service the automotive manufacturing industry’s application needs in moving stamping line dies from one end of their facility to the other, the Portavator can be custom engineered and designed for any facility.

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Manufacturing Day event

21 October 2016 comments

In support of the Manufacturing Day event at Mohawk College on October 24, Handling Specialty took part in a film produced to encourage and excite students about the different career paths they can apply for within the manufacturing umbrella.

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Nuclear Facilities Material Handling Equipment Provider

12 October 2016 comments
Massive Platform for Nuclear Retubing

Handling Specialty works with clients in the nuclear industry to engineer and manufacture massive four post lifts, unique portable tilt and rotate platforms, gimble service lifts, bridges, retubing platforms, and many more custom products to assist in the refurbishment of nuclear reactors, nuclear waste storage, and day to day operations.

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Manufacturing Day, 2016

4 October 2016 comments
MFDDay certificate


Manufacturing Day is October 7th. Manufacturing week is the 1st to the 7th. Though our Private tour and presentation falls on October 12th this year, the month of October has been granted Manufacturing Month status. Our event has been added to the MFGday website announcing all of the potential tours available in your area. 

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Leadership in Manufacturing

14 September 2016 comments


The People Who Influence you are the People Who Believe in you. This quote rings true at Handling Specialty where the management believes in their employees and employees have leaders influencing them, not just managing them.

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Robust Truck and Bogie Drop Tables

12 September 2016 comments
DSC 0206


Locomotive truck/Bogie Drop Tables are an essential part of any rail transportation maintenance facility. Handling Specialty has been designing customized versions of this equipment for multiple clients, and have experienced return business because of their robust design and manufacturing practices, friendly installation specialists, and unsurpassed support services.

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Cirque du Soleil Talks up Handling Specialty

14 July 2016 comments
ClubWest Mag july aug 1

“I cannot think of when we had a relationship that was so supportive and attentive.” Tony Ricotta, Cirque du Soleil Company Manager - Ka show, says of his time with Cirque’s “O” show and Handling Specialty’s involvement in designing, building, installing and supporting the underwater stage system.

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Pratt and Whitney Vendors Fair 2016

3 June 2016 comments
Pratt and Whitney Booth 2016

Today our Sales manager, Michael Roper is in Middleton, Connecticut as one of Pratt & Whitney's preferred vendors attending the Environmental, Health & Safety Vendor Fair. This aerospace focused event allows Pratt & Whitney executives to stay current on what their vendors offer. The Handling Specialty booth displays several case studies (many of which were designed and manufactured for Pratt & Whitney specifically)to keep us Top of Mind.

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Discover AGV and MGV's for Your Facility

15 April 2016 comments


Automatic and manually guided vehicles are used for multiple applications in manufacturing and assembly facilities to assist in the transportation of product through the line or from the manufacturing floor to the warehouse. Handling Specialty’s vehicles are custom engineered, programmed and manufactured to our clients tooling, safety and specific operational needs to enhance their facility’s efficiencies and support employee morale by creating an ergonomically friendly work environment. Handling Specialty produces AGV and MGV’s to carry 4,000 - 20,000 lbs (1,814 - 9,072 kgs) and can be integrated into virtually any industry.

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The Benefits of a Below-Ground Level Scissor Lift

1 March 2016 comments
in ground turbine lift

The Benefits of a Below-Ground Level Scissor Lift  - Safety is always an important consideration when designing a product to help others do their jobs more efficiently. Ergonomics should also be considered when making a decision on a piece of equipment being designed to assist employees in the manufacturing industry.

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The Validation for Diversification in Material Handling

2 February 2016 comments

The Validation for Diversification in Material Handling - The phrase materials handling is a broad term with many meanings and involving many industries. Each industry has its own challenges when manufacturing, shipping, or storing product. Whether they are the manufacturer’s themselves, or are shipping and/or storing products for other manufacturer’s, their requirements for equipment to assist in building, storing or moving those items vary widely depending on the size, weight and nature of the product.

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Manufacturing and Supply chain industry career choice

28 January 2016 comments
iWSC logo3

In an effort to support the industry organization MHI, and encourage others to join the Manufacturing and Supply chain industry as a career choice, Handling Specialty's own Sales Manager, Mike Roper, has stepped up to tell us a little something about his experiences in the Manufacturing/Supply Chain industry.

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Consulting Services for your Industrial Applications

7 January 2016 comments

Consulting Services for your Industrial Applications
Engineering studies and analysis for equipment upgrades or refurbishments are commonplace. But do you know who it is you've hired to offer you expert advice? Are they experts? Do they have a diverse portfolio of work to support their claims?
Where heavy lifting applications, positioning or moving product is concerned, there is arguably no business as well suited to offer consultation services than Handling Specialty. 

Custom material handling applications can benefit enormously from a Handling Specialty engineering consult in order to assess the application and offer alternative solutions. We can suggest measures which the client had not considered, or had previously believed impossible. Given the breadth of Handling Specialty's engineered solutions, a client (or soon-to-be client) can benefit substantially from this exchange.

And what's more, we can manufacture, install and support the equipment we've offered consultation on with our parts and services group.
From aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing processes, the energy industry - both sustainable and other, rail and transportation, automotive, process industries, entertainment and more, Handling Specialty engineers offer the most diverse experience in imagining, designing and developing the perfect solution to your application. 
Let our technical sales team assess your facility and, with our engineers, discover the perfect solution for your application needs.
We welcome all serious inquiries. Call 905.945.9661 and ask to speak to a member of our sales team, or email info@handling.com.

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Still a Going Concern - Forklevators and Excaliburs

10 December 2015 comments

One of the great milestones in our history was the period in time that we launched our Forklevator product line; lifts used to service the underside of Fork Lift Trucks and off-road vehicles.  We nicknamed this four post screw actuated lifting platform by melding the words Fork Truck and Elevator together; nothing fancy but it does tell the story. 

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The city of dreams theatre build - Revisited

8 December 2015 comments

On December 4th, many millions watched The Amazing Race contestants enter the largest water extravaganzastage show in the world today. Though there were many groups involved in the building of the City of Dreams Theatre in China, Handling Specialty played a huge roll in the realization of its spectacular show; The House of Dancing Water.

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From Tom Beach, President

2 December 2015 comments

So it looks as though my persistent and highly motivated Marketing Manager has won our battle and convinced me that writing a BLOG is a good thing.  Truth be known, I have been investigating the "BLOG’ing" exercise and I am starting to see its value.  It is with this feeling that I pound the keys and produce my first BLOG. 

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Handling Specialty in the news!

20 August 2015 comments

Handling Specialty's expertise in underwater lifts and other custom material handling solutions was featured in a recent story in the Toronto Star by reporter Dana Flavelle. To read it, please click here

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New Blog Entry

30 June 2015 comments

It's the summer season and you may be feeling the need to travel. Did you know that Handling Specialty designed and manufactured the underwater stage lifts for Royal Caribbean's Aquatheater that provides aquatic stage shows on both the Allure and the Oasis of the Seas?

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Hidden Cost of Material Handling

8 October 2014 comments

It wasn’t very long ago that I participated in a business forum where a number of executives spoke about the importance of developing “value added” offerings to their customers.  I think it is vitally important that we as a custom manufacturer are prepared to present exactly what our clients are paying for.  Equally, there exists a need to be able to explain how a cost comes to be, especially when the buyer views your price as being “high”.  The key to this communication is in helping our clients understand where the hidden costs are……those are the ones that consume the cost of sales but do not stand out as value added features when simply looking at the final product. 

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Water in the Desert - the story of "O"

18 September 2014 comments

If I had to vote on the single most influential project in the history of the company it would be the time we went to Las Vegas and put a stage lift system underwater.  It truly moved us from “Lift Guys” to “Project People” as we were forced to grow up overnight. 

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The Evolution of Our Professional Services Group

4 June 2014 comments

There was a day when our sales department was also the parts department and the service department and the installation department….you get the idea.  With some healthy growth we found ourselves in need of a separate Parts and Service  (P & S) department.  The 90s was the decade of the automotive industry and oddly enough, that industry taught us how to be “response ready”.  The P & S grew not only in its revenues but in its scope of work.  We began to speak with new phrases such as “technical supervision”, “critical spares”, “first level spares” and “preventative maintenance”.  We actually got to the point where the title Parts and Service really didn’t represent the department so we proudly renamed it The Professional Services Group (PSG).  

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Thank Goodness We Diversified

1 May 2014 comments

Over the past 30 years that I have been with Handling Specialty, the company has certainly weathered several economic “storms.” I think it was about 2002 when the third recession began to appear.  It was once again most notable via the decline in the auto industry.  We had just powered ourselves through the 90s when the auto industry was in full flight….and yes we kind of put all our “eggs in one basket.”

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Inside the world of custom design and manufacturing

24 March 2014 comments

Over the years we have attended many trade shows; some we just walked and some we exhibited at.  The one statement that always seems to give me amusement is “Yeah, we are looking at getting into custom design lifts just like you.”  My “inside” voice says, “Great, let me hold the door open for you!”  

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The Importance of Good Relationships

24 February 2014 comments

For years now, we have enjoyed stating in our covering letters that “Handling Specialty doesn’t just build great equipment….we build great relationships too”.  Our team recognizes and respects the important role that the relationship plays when delivering customized and complex engineering solutions.  We learned long ago that a project’s success will be heavily weighted on the shoulders of “trust”……I mean is there anything more significant, more impactful or more rewarding than the trust employed in a relationship?

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