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."

MGV-AGV for Assembly of Engines

9 October 2018 comments
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Where ergonomics and efficient factory design meet heavy-duty lift and transfer equipment. That’s Handling Specialty’s wheelhouse. Robust, custom material handling equipment built for specific applications for multiple industries. The Energy industry is one of our biggest customers, literally, building powerful engines to run generators for multiple applications.

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Custom Designed Stage Lifts

21 August 2018 comments
RCCL Stage Lift


It’s timely to be talking about custom stage lifts today as we solidify another aqua-theatre stage project  with our friends at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Though we’ve specialized in aqua-theatres for companies like Royal Caribbean, Cirque du Soleil and Franco Dragone Entertainment, we’ve built many other robust, custom stage designs which operate without the added engineering of being submerged in a body of water.

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MGV lifts and traverses 40,000 lbs

30 July 2018 comments
40 ton cut out 5

Handling Specialty continues to excel in designing custom manually guided vehicles for our diverse customer’s specific applications. Through working with these individual industries, Handling has built a considerable knowledge base around what works in an MGV and what doesn’t. This knowledge has proven to be equally beneficial as we continue to engineer custom automated guided vehicles as well.

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Custom Whiting Electric Jacks

19 July 2018 comments

Found in Locomotive maintenance shops and rail yards the world over, the Whiting Portable Electric Jack is the industry standard that continues to outlast the competition. 

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Our Professional Services Specialist

3 July 2018 comments


Meet Marek Cybula, Handling Specialty’s Professional Services Specialist. Mareks employment with Handling Specialty commenced in May of 2002, entering the company from the steel industry. Marek began his career at HSML in Quality Control, moved on to Health & Safety and then as Service Coordinator before accepting his current title.

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Rail Car Leveling Spreader

25 June 2018 comments
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The motorized load-leveling spreader was designed to assist rail companies in removing various lengths and weights of roofs from their rail cars. There can be up to 10 lifting points on the roof. The 10,000 lb lifting capacity spreader beam is made of three assemblies: the long beams and the center assembly, making the unit easy to disassemble for storage purposes. It also includes casters so it can be maneuvered along the floor once it has completed its work.

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Our Shop Coordinator

19 June 2018 comments


A great way to get to know a company is through their people. Handling Specialty has been introducing their employees to one another through  newsletters for years. Now they want to bring them to you, beyond their walls.

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Automated Guided Vehicles Aid Assembly

20 April 2018 comments

Handling Specialty has developed a solid reputation for delivering safe, intelligent and robust material handling equipment utilized in the assembly, testing, inspection and maintenance of power generation products for multiple customers.

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Spilt Rail System in Application

28 February 2018 comments
Split rail vid pic 2


Rail car maintenance should run as smoothly as your trip from point A to B on the rail car you're travelling on. With Handling Specialty's split rail system for the removal and installation of wheelsets to the train car, it can.

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Winter is here are you ready?

18 December 2017 comments
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Winter is here; and for many locations it signals an important opportunity to focus on the maintenance of your material handling equipment. Fortunately, as a customer of Handling Specialty, you have access 24/7 to experienced professionals who know your equipment intimately. Whether you already subscribe to one of our Planned Maintenance programs, or you’re looking to sign up to keep your equipment running smoothly through the harsh winter months, Handling Specialty can help.

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Power-Gen Thank you

11 December 2017 comments


We hope those of you who traveled to the Power-Gen show in Las Vegas last week enjoyed your trip. We appreciated the opportunity to speak with you there, and address your questions concerning custom material handling equipment for your specific applications. If you have any further questions on how our products can benefit your Power-Gen operation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Turbine Rotating Mast Lifts

27 September 2017 comments
FitWyIxMjAwIiwiODAwIl0 Image 2

Whether for equipment inspection, maintenance or assembly, handling Specialty can design, build and support your next Turbine rotator or tilter. Skilled in the engineering and manufacturing of turbine handling equipment, our technical sales group will offer expert consultations, our engineering department will design brilliant renderings, and Handling’s experienced manufacturing team will build your rotator or tilter to order.

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Aero Engine Assembly Lifts

29 August 2017 comments
Personnel lift2

Handling Specialty has developed a solid reputation for delivering safe, intelligent and robust material handling equipment to the Aerospace Industry utilized in the assembly, testing and MRO of aero engines.  Our expertise align very well with the requirements of the aerospace industry and in particular, with aero-engine manufacturers, overhaul & test facilities. Examples of recent applications include engine lifting systems for assembly & dress/strip, test cell lift platforms, manually/automatically guided engine transporters and custom personnel lifts. 

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Automotive Chassis Marriage System Lifts

17 August 2017 comments
Handling Specialty Marriage 2


Automotive marriage systems are an integral part of the automotive assembly process - joining an automotive chassis with its body.  Handling Specialty is globally recognized as being the premier supplier of custom engineered lifting systems for chassis marriage applications.  These lifting systems are specifically designed to handle the unique requirements regarding high duty cycles, weight capacities, mounting configurations and the stringent process, quality and safety demands of the automotive industry. 

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Aerospace test cell man lifts

31 July 2017 comments
FitWyIxMjAwIiwiODAwIl0 Jet Engine Test Cell Lift 6


To assist our many aerospace customers in conducting performance testing on aero engines, Handling Specialty manufactures custom material handling equipment designed to operate within the client’s test cells to their specific application requirements.

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Aero-engine transporters

18 July 2017 comments

Handling Specialty has developed a solid reputation for delivering safe, intelligent and robust material handling equipment to the aerospace Industry utilized in the assembly, testing and MRO of aero engines. 

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Just Add Water-Underwater stage lift

12 June 2017 comments
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Steeped in decades of experience with multiple entertainment customers, one of Handling Specialty’s ground-breaking achievements has been our ability to provide underwater stage lifts. Many past clients continue to use our custom design company for ongoing projects, such as the Royal Caribbean Cruise line where the aqua-theater on their Oasis class ships is a major draw. We also designed and manufactured the massive circular lifts which offer the Franco Dragone City of Dreams theater show, Dancing Waters, their seamless scene shifts. Add Cirque Du Soleil’s “O” show in Las Vegas, and you have a trifecta of world renown companies who have chosen Handling Specialty for our experience and shared vision.

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MGV for Aerospace

29 May 2017 comments
Up cutout web2


Manually Guided Vehicles are making their way into every industry, as the need for more customized options to move parts, or assist in the assembly process are realized. Automation is a buzz word lately for manufacturing facilities, but not every company can afford an Automated Guided Vehicle.  MGV’s are economic, and do the same work as an AGV, can be customized to your needs, and have begun replacing forklifts as a more affordable means of moving products and parts of various weight capacities.

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MGVs for the Automotive Industry

15 May 2017 comments
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If you operate an automotive manufacturing facility, then you’re probably aware of the need for manually guided vehicles. Whether you’ve employed MGV’s in your facility is another story. Sure, you may have push carts which do the same work, but to avoid accidents and costly employee injuries – pushing heavy loads around the assembly area – consider n MGV.

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What is an Aerospace Wind Baffle or TCS

8 May 2017 comments
Wind Baffle


What’s more, how do you get a thirty-two-foot diameter spherical wind baffle from point A to B, and then raise and lower the unit so it can link up to the test engine? That’s where Handling Specialty comes in. The pictured Test Operation wind baffle in Southern Ohio has one of their honeycomb designed wind baffles secured to our TCS Dome cart, imagined and manufactured by Handling Specialty.

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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
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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
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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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