Sarasota company lifts lives with mobility and independence products

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For more than 20 years, a Sarasota-based company has been helping people stay independent.

Harmar specializes in mobility products like wheelchair lifts, stair lifts, and transport vehicle modifications.

Harmar Vice President of Product Strategy Dave Baxter says their motto is "we lift lives," making mobility and independence possible for everyone.

Harmar's workforce of about 120 employees is as diverse as the clients they serve.

"A lot of the men and women come with backgrounds in welding, fabrication, running equipment," explained Harmar's VP of Operations Joe Ayette.

Harmar has a variety of ready-to-use products, but they also take on custom requests, like a chair lift for a curved staircase, which takes the team about three weeks to complete and install.

"A lot of people that encounter a challenge to their physical mobility have extra needs, so even if they have a scooter or a wheelchair, they need to get from one place to another, and our lifts provide them the means to enjoy a little bit more freedom," Baxter said.


Auto lifts are Harmar's bread and butter.

"Auto lifts are the main product we make here," Ayette explained. "Our access business, being our stairlifts and our vertical-platform lifts, is about another 50% of our business."

Their approach is very hands-on, but they're also employing new technology to make their products even better.

"We do a lot of the old school cutting and bending and just the manual welding, but we also do have some automation here when it comes to robotics, so we have a nice blend of technology, along with our skilled trades," Ayette said.