Category Archives: Company Updates

Expanding Our International Presence Through the Hire of Ray Zhang

Liftomatic has been seeing a lot of growth in our international market in recent years. To meet these rising demands, we are pleased to welcome our new sales associate at Liftomatic’s Wuhan branch in China, Ray Zhang.

Sales Associate

International Sales Associate Ray Zhang

Ray brings a strong technical background, studying engineering, manufacturing,  and mechanics at Hubei University of Automotive Technology. He later shifted his studies toward marketing, studying international trade, commercial practices, and economics.

All of these skills came into play as he worked in the Beijing area for 7 years, focusing his career on exporting, client negotiations, and retention.  While his career was taking off in Beijing, he decided to bring his skills and experience back home to Wuhan.

Settling into his role at Liftomatic, Ray is now tasked with developing our international markets in South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. He works directly with customers and distribution outlets throughout the region. We look forward to seeing how he will continue to grow our position overseas.

Now that he is back home in Wuhan, Ray enjoys spending time with his family. He is also an active outdoorsman, enjoying running, rock climbing and swimming.

Liftomatic is pleased to welcome Ray on board and are confident in his abilities to improve customer development and retention in the years ahead. Welcome to the team, Ray!

Liftomatic Welcomes New Board Member Mark Mandell

When operating a business, it’s important to stay ahead of new trends and welcome new ideas. The best way of doing this is by attracting industry leaders with experience who can offer fresh perspectives.

Recently, Liftomatic Material Handling added a new member to our board of directors. Mark Mandell has already received his board binder and has hit the ground running, getting caught up on our past notes and financial information.

Mark is the President and founder of Mandell Advisory Group, Ltd., and he will continue to provide our tax and international services through the firm. His expertise spans tax research and planning and transactional consulting. His vast knowledge and skill is helping us move forward, and he’s already made some exciting contributions as a member of our board.

Previously, Mark was a Managing Director for American Express Tax and Business Services, Inc./RSM McGladrey Inc. and the director of tax services. He frequently speaks on behalf of the Illinois CPA Society and the Independent Accountants Society, sharing his knowledge with members.

Mark has also served as Chairman of the North Shore Tax Forum Group and was a board member for the Young Men’s Jewish Council. He maintains membership with the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts.

Liftomatic looks forward to working with Mark and taking advantage of his skills and expertise. Through partnerships like this, we can continue to move forward and be seen as a force to be reckoned with in material handling.

Celebrating 70 Years of Success in 2017

1947 was a big year. Gregory Peck and Rosalind Russell won Golden Globes. The movie, “The Best Years of our Lives” was selected as Best Picture. The International Monetary Fund began operations. The largest group of sunspots ever recorded happened in ’47. Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball. And explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed his famed craft the “Kon-Tiki” from Peru to Polynesia.

1940s Drum Handler

An original model 10-HT hand truck in the late 1940’s

Also in 1947, two guys armed with an idea to improve productivity, safety and efficiency in drum handling technology, started Liftomatic Material Handling, Inc. The product of necessity, marketing and engineering acumen, these two gentlemen saw a need – and filled it. One a plant manager and engineer of Norwegian descent, the other a salesmen of mechanical office equipment who hailed from Sweden. Together, they built on a concept that included a two wheel hand-truck with a  positive grip mechanism (later to be named the “Parrot-Beak®”) which would hold a 55-gallon drum during transport and placement. The first 6 hand trucks were sold to the DuPont corporation in Chicago in the spring of 1947.

From those early developments to the advent and nationwide adoption of the forklift truck during the early stages of the Korean conflict, Liftomatic products kept pace with the times. Increasing popularity for unitized handling concepts, bulk transfer, cubic storage and warehousing efficiency saw the Liftomatic product line grow from 1 to over 20 products in just 10 years.

During the last 40 years, we’ve tried to stay true to the founders’ mission: Build safe, durable products with input from customers and always remember that “The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”. Today, the Parrot-Beak® line of products includes more than 40 models in 120 configurations.  Whether your operations require handling 1 drum per week or a thousand per day, there’s a Liftomatic model suited to your requirements.

We look forward to bringing you some additional history of Liftomatic products as we go through this 70th anniversary year.  We also look forward to serving your operations for the next 70. As always, we thank you for your trust in Liftomatic.

Best regards,

E. Darren Berg, President

How Industrial Companies Can Go Green

There’s a common misconception that the industrial sector is inherently dirty and wasteful. Many campaigns are in the works to dispel this myth among young people in the hopes they’ll be more apt to enter into manufacturing careers later in life. Here at Liftomatic, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to become more sustainable. Many of our employees are avid outdoorsmen, so it makes sense to follow green practices within the company to preserve more forest area outside. What’s good for the world, is good for us, too.

Liftomatic Goes Green

Liftomatic Goes Green

To reduce our environmental footprint, we’ve begun to convert some of our manuals into electronic files to save paper. While at first glance this might not seem like a big deal, it becomes one when you realize just how much paper is saved. Every time a power unit is updated on one of our products, the user manual must be changed accordingly. These manuals are massive, and require a lot of paper and ink to print. By creating electronic files instead, we’re saving innumerable reams of paper that would end up in the waste stream once a newer modification came on the market. Now, we are able to use QR codes that direct to editable files to simplify the process.

This is a big change for many of our customers, so we’ve begun a limited roll out on a few products, with plans to roll out the rest of our product line over the next year or so. Eventually, we expect everyone to become acclimated to the new process, and we look forward to reducing our environmental impact in this way.

Liftomatic Material Handling Unveils New, Responsive Website

Having been in business for about 7 decades now, you can imagine how many changes Liftomatic has gone through over the years. From our constantly growing product range, to various support services we now offer, to our shift into the digital space. Our first priority is always delivering the best possible experience for our customers. And now, we’ve made another change to accomplish this mission.

Recently, we updated our website to provide a more streamlined browsing experience. The new design is even more intuitive, and has a greater focus on visual elements that show how each of our products can and should be used. Most importantly – the new website is responsive.

Having a responsive website means that whether a customer or prospect is researching our company on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, they’ll be able to easily view the entire site. Rather than just shrink everything to fit onto a smaller screen, the responsive site will automatically adjust for simple scrolling. We recognize that many business decisions come after hours of thorough online research, and that with people spending more time outside of a traditional office setting, it’s necessary to have information available via mobile device. Having our website designed in this way allows anybody to search for any product efficiently- wherever they are.

We encourage you to tour the new website and let us know what you think of it. To provide feedback, feel free to follow us on Twitter and send us a tweet, or send an email to

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Liftomatic’s Ergo Product Line

20 years ago, there was no effective “portable” handling solution designed specifically for difficult-to-transport industrial drums. Forklift attachments were typically the old stand-by, but their main design had pallets, large loads and truck loading in mind, not specific, precise placement of drums or barrels.

Often stored in confined spaces with limited accessibility (especially in research facilities, laboratories and small pilot plant operations), the main way to relocate these cumbersome drums was once only by brute force. Injuries, inefficiencies and greater labor costs were all a result – until 1994 when Liftomatic Material Handling introduced the first multi-capable Ergo-Matic® Lifter.

ErgoMatic Drum Handling Device

ErgoMatic Standard Drum Handler

Incredibly safe and effective, the portable drum handler has proven its worth for many users across a broad spectrum of industries. Moving drums to and from skids, scales and spill or containment pallets are a few of the jobs this tool excels at. One of its secrets is the unique Parrot-Beak® Clamping mechanism that grabs any steel, fiber or plastic drum automatically in its lifting operation.

Some newer features of this device include a cushioned belt-cradle that protects drum sidewalls during lifting, lowering and transport functions. Its ergonomic design, with foot pedal activated lifting and lowering with adjustable speed control, has greatly benefited workers across the country.

We have also listened to our customers through the years to address other concerns and suggestions in the industry. As such, we’ve continued to add to the Ergo product line with a high-rise version, a spark resistant model for hazardous locations, and a power lift option that makes arduous tasks quite a bit easier.

About 10 years ago, we further added to the Ergo material handling range with a modularized process allowing for a mix and match of components, a counter-balance version (the Ergo CB series) and a new power-drive system, (available with the Ergo PW PL), making this tool an unparalleled boon to industry.

In the 20 years Ergo has been around, we’ve come up with about 25 different updates to meet the needs of our diverse customer base. Within the next year, we plan to release the next addition, which will allow manipulation of the drum or portable device.

To learn more about our Ergomatic drum handling solutions, visit us online or feel free to call us at 800-837-6540. You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest industry updates.

Giving Thanks and Looking Forward to the New Year!

At Liftomatic, we’re already preparing for the New Year. However, it’s worth remembering that many year-end chores remain to be done.  We’re working on budgetary requirements for ordering new equipment before year end and also making sure that invoicing is done.  We’re quite familiar with our many great customers who also have these requirements and our goal is to see that your year to year transition is smooth and effective. In order to do this, we work with a variety of people, products, and businesses.

First, we work closely with our production and inventory managers to see that the right mix of products, PM kits, maintenance items, and capital equipment is available to service just about any last minute requirement that our customers may have.

We also staff accordingly during the last month of the year to ensure coverage for you- the customer, so that when you call, email, tweet, fax or contact us through Facebook messenger- we’re here and able to get you what you need. Our staff is here to answer any question or help with any issue that may arise during this hectic time of year.

Although we’re extremely focused on our customers and our work, we’re always in a giving spirit as well!  Sometimes, particular models are available in higher inventory levels and we’d like to shed a few pounds before the holiday feasts begin!  Ask us about special pricing and special offers on year-end close-outs or heavy stock items.  Our goal is to ensure customer satisfaction in every possible instance.

With the end of 2014, we’re pleased to say that our customers and everyone that we’ve worked with have allowed us to serve the drum handling market for 67 years.  As we enter our 68th, you have given us renewed energy to bring even better and more efficient customer service, even higher quality products and technology innovations that will keep your operations the most profitable and productive in your field.

Thanks for letting us be a part of your drum handling requirements.  We’ll continue to work hard to earn your trust and respect.

Happy & Safe Holidays to all.

-The Staff at Liftomatic

New Below-Hook Lifters

As a leading provider of safe, efficient, and high quality equipment for the handling of drums and barrels, we are always looking for innovative products to better serve our wide range of customers throughout the world. We are proud to be able to expand our line of drum handling equipment and offer the new model BHDL-3A-HD fully automatic and mechanical below-hook attachment. This new model offers an impressive range of features, such as the ability to lift 55 gallon drums from an overhead position while the drum remains in a complete vertical position when used with this new below-hook model. The BHDL-3A-HD is perfect for use in the energy, hazardous waste, and chemical industries; as well as those that wish to manage drums without manual contact.


BHDL-3A-HD Top View

Additional features of the BHDL-3A-HD below-hook attachment include the ability to conform to the entire (55-gallon) steel or plastic drum body and the underside of the drum chime using three radial arms, a 3-point connection assistance to secure the drum during any movement or lifting, and an industry first “intuitive lock” system that secures the radial arms until the load is placed in its final resting location. This industry first system can manage drums with a range of 21”-23” in outside chime diameter.

Incorporating the new BHDL-3A-HD into existing handling equipment is seamless because it can be attached to any overhead lifting hoist or used with our model FTB-3 forklift adapter, allowing the unit to be used from the underside of a set of forklift forks. If you’re interested in learning more about our new drum handling equipment, visit our website.

Will You be Attending ChemEdge 2014?

Portable Drum Dumpers

Portable Drum Handling Equipment

From August 19-22, Liftomatic will be among hundreds of participants at the 2014 ChemEdge event in Nashville, TN (formerly the NACD Operations Seminar & Trade Show – OPSEM). The event brings together manufacturers and distributors, purchasing executives, operations managers, and other professionals involved in the chemical distribution industry.

ChemEdge is a must-attend event for those interested in learning about new products and services related to the chemical sector. There will be numerous educational sessions and one-on-one meetings to ensure that everyone comes away with more industry knowledge than they had going into the show. The event also includes opportunities to network in a more informal setting, including a golf outing, dinners, an ice cream social, and more (we’re looking forward to hitting the links!).

On the show floor, Liftomatic will be exhibiting at Booth 605. We have a wide range of material handling equipment for the chemical industry and are eager to show off our solutions at the show. Our products include custom drum handlers to suit just about any need. Our patented parrot beak drum handling system is a safe option for transporting barrels in a warehouse. Unlike a traditional forklift, which simply lifts objects from the bottom, our parrot beak drum handling equipment stabilizes drums from the top to minimize spills and other accidents. This can reduce product waste and protect staff members who are transporting hazardous materials.

To learn more about our drum handling systems designed for the chemical industry, visit us at ChemEdge so we can help you choose the right options for your needs. If you’re not at the show, you can also request a quote online.

So Long, But Not Goodbye, to a Champion

Bruce BergSince Liftomatic’s inception in 1947, the company has grown and prospered under the direction of just four different CEOs.  Not a bad record over 67 years of history.  This month, we say farewell to Bruce Berg. Coming to the company in 1974 with a slew of new ideas and “futurist” concepts, Bruce allowed himself the long view of the company specifically and the industry in general. In a world of hand-written accounting ledgers, secretarial re-typing of letters and the just introduced “telex” machine, Bruce made his mark with the rapid introduction of technology. Who’d have known at the time that carbon copy sales reports (hand-written) were about to come to an end? Now what we should do with all those three-ring binders?!

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Bruce built the first computers ever used in Liftomatic’s offices.  Zenith-Heath kit 64K processors with huge 5.25” floppy drives suddenly appeared in the office.  He’d built them himself in his basement on his off-time. Capable of producing a series of numbers and tallying columns- the new boxy technology allowed this small company to suddenly keep track of accounts, sales and inventory- much faster than anyone had imagined (no matter how archaic in today’s world)!  Without a doubt- there were detractors.  Auditors, secretaries and office staff who had survived in a “Pad and Paper” comfort zone for years – protested loudly. Bruce was unfazed. More computers and technology appeared out of nowhere. We may have been the very first company in the material handling industry to use head-sets to answer calls and keep records at the same time- unthinkable!   Today, we rely on VOIP phone systems, carry mobile devices galore, share a ridiculously fast server which manages and stores database, accounting, engineering and technical software among many workstations and between locations- that would have never been possible without his vision.

Overseeing the company during two tough recessions (’82 and early 90’s), Bruce had his share of worries. As any small business manager knows, you’re usually one (maybe two) terrible events from closing the doors. Hefty cash reserves are the domain of much larger firms. While struggling at times through sleepless nights on how to make payroll, satisfy creditors, keep the marketing machine churning and all the other issues a CEO of a small company faces, Bruce did it with a calm and steady approach. Good planning always- and an unfailing belief that technology and the employment of that technology- would be the ultimate answer to maintaining leadership.

“We rely on our customers understanding that the technology we offer in drum handling equipment saves them time, increases efficiency, safety and ultimately increase their ROI.  So why shouldn’t technology innovation be utilized in our own operations to do the same for us?” That was Bruce’s mantra.

Lo and behold, he was right.  Today, we enjoy the ability to trade engineering drawings, account information, sales information and technical advice with customers, vendors and contacts around the world. Our staff is more productive today than we have ever been in our 67 year history.

Our ability to distribute products in more than 40 countries, maintain engineering, production and distribution facilities while assisting customers around the globe and to control costs and productivity in our own operations- are the direct result of Bruce’s vision.

As we wish Bruce well on a journey of improving technology in the next phase of his life (his golf game), we offer our thanks.  He’s left the company in good hands and with a belief that looking to the future is often the first place to look to improve operations today.  We hope we can continue that vision to the benefit of Liftomatic customers around the world.

Thanks Bruce.  Keep your head down!

–  The Managers & Staff at Liftomatic