Harris-Stolper International Inc.Friday, August 1, 2008
By: Tim O’Neill
Harris-Stolper International Inc. has built a reputation over the past several decades for its expertise in designing and manufacturing protective cabs for material handling equipment.
“We’re a niche player in the market,” said company President Terry Stansbury. “We’re the ones you go to when you don’t know where else to go.”
The types of vehicles fitted with protective cabs manufactured by Harris-Stolper include transport containers in Australia, railroad vehicles in Africa, mining equipment in Russia and many different variations of specialty transport vehicles in North America. In fact, Harris-Stolper protective cabs are in use on every continent except Antarctica. The custom-built cabs are intended to provide safety, but can also be equipped with many different accessories including defrosters, heaters, air conditioning, wipers, back-up alarms, mirrors and sound insulation.
Harris-Stolper has also applied the skills learned over the years to designing and building enclosures for factories and warehouses, such as control rooms, to protect against various hazards involved in the material handling industry. The company also produces custom-fitted RaingardsTM for lift trucks providing a little extra protection from the elements. As Stansbury explained, the company designs solutions to “protect the operators from weather or environmental issues.” In fact, not only does the Brampton, Ontario, Canada company design the product, they manufacture it as well.
With a 34,000 square-foot factory located in Brampton, just north of the Toronto International Airport, the company is equipped with a design engineering facility supported by 3D CAD-CAM and a metal-fabrication department equipped with state-of-the-art machinery.
The technological advances since the company’s inception in 1965 have made the work much easier and more efficient. Stansbury said, “where in the past metal cutting was done with ‘scissors’, advancements in cutting technology moved to where lasers are now used in their place.”
The company incorporates robotic welders in the manufacturing process, something their competitors aren’t necessarily equipped with and is able to stay on top, in part because they have become diversified inside the industries they typically work in. “We play a part where we know one particular industry and we manage risks.” He explained that the risks are spread out among different markets in case one specific area takes an economic hit.
According to the company web site, the name Harris was first used on mobile equipment in 1963, when Harris Engineering founder Thomas Harris realized that protective cabs would be needed for equipment used in many industrial fields. The first product line from Harris Engineering featured protective cabs for front end loaders, road graders and farm tractors. Since then the line has expanded and now includes cabs for nearly all fork lift truck models. If a consumer has a piece of equipment not already covered, Harris-Stolper will custom-engineer one to fit the customer’s need.
In 1982, Harris Engineering and Stolper Industries, a US corporation, came together in a joint venture to produce protective cabs and Roll Over Protective Structures for a major equipment manufacturer and the company has been around ever since.View all Business Profiles