At the age of five, Hubert Von Holten contracted polio, a viral disease that affects the nervous system. He suffered major loss of function in his leg muscles. The oldest of four brothers, Hubert still felt it was important to start helping his father with his farming business when he turned 14. He began seeking a solution that would eliminate his physical limitations and help out the business. His first success was the addition of an elevated throttle to a Model A car that would allow him to move around the farm comfortably and effectively. From that point forward, Hubert began adapting farm equipment for his own use. His innovations served him well as he went on to start his own farm and work for a manufacturing company.
Hubert developed his first commercially available lift in 1986, when a professor at Purdue University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department approached him about a special project: A farmer with a disability in Vermont needed a way to access his tractor. The solution became a stepping stone for what is now the Pilot Lift. This moment inspired Hubert to continue commercially manufacturing his assistive technology to give all farmers with limited mobility the chance to lead independent working lives. Today’s designs are quite different from the first, but the results are the same: an efficient, reliable, quality-built product that delivers the accessibility active individuals with disabilities require.