Heftee Lift Inventor and Company Founder Dies

It is with sadness that Heftee Industries reports the passing of J. Edson McCanse, the company’s founder and inventor of the Heftee service lift.

Ed McCanse founded McCanse Engineering Inc. (the predecessor company of Heftee Industries LLC) in 1988 together with his wife, Lillian, and one of his sons, Rick. The company initially provided contract design services, safety training and other engineering consulting services. By 1991, the company was manufacturing and selling the Heftee service lift as well as agricultural products for the Christmas tree industry.

McCanse designed the Heftee 2000, single-post lift for lawn mower and utility vehicle service, as well as the Heftee 250 and the Heftee 4000 lifts. McCanse obtained various patents on these and other products. He successfully led the company through its early growth and was responsible for establishing the Heftee lift as the premier outdoor power equipment service lift across North America. In 1999 McCanse retired and sold McCanse Engineering; the Company subsequently took the name of its core product brand—Heftee.

McCanse was well known throughout the outdoor power equipment industry, working first for John Deere and Company in Moline, IL, and then Woods Manufacturing in Oregon, IL. He served as chief engineer as well as quality assurance and safety manager for Woods. In his role at Woods he was responsible for the design of their Bat Wing mower.

McCanse, 83, passed away on Friday, March 1. He and Lillian had been Oregon residents for more than 50 years, and active in various community organizations and events. Ed and Lillian were married 65 years. Lillian, his son Rick, four other children, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren survive him.