The story of Atlas Polar dates back to the 1920’s, when Joseph Ander acted as Swedish Trade Consul representing products such as Polar diesel marine engines in Canada. Atlas Polar Company Ltd. was incorporated in 1938 as a privately owned firm of Joseph Ander. This new firm with Joseph Ander as the managing director sold and serviced Polar and Atlas marine engines, and manufactured emergency generators using Waukesha engines purchased in the U.S.
During the Second World War, no spare parts could be brought in from overseas for the Polar engines and so Atlas Polar established an extensive machine shop to manufacture required parts. As a result, not one Polar engine installation was idled during the war for any length of time because of a lack of parts.
In 1948, Joseph Ander was joined in the business by his son Ralph Ander and they jointly ran the firm and purchased control of the company from Atlas Diesel. At that time Atlas Polar became a closely held family Canadian company, with Ralph Ander taking over as President later in 1963.
In 1953, Atlas Polar created a separate Material Handling Division to serve the expanding construction industry. In that same year the company acquired the rights to distribute HIAB articulated cranes and introduced the concept of the hydraulic truck crane into Canada. Over time a strong network of sales and service dealers was established from coast to coast securing HIAB's position as the best selling articulated crane in Canada, a position it holds today.
During the 1970’s Atlas Polar developed several new and inventive products. In response to specific customer requirements Atlas Polar often becomes involved in product development projects. In 1972 the company designed and built a fully hydraulic machine for removing and replacing the stop logs from the control dams on the Trent and Rideau Canal Systems in Ontario. The Stop Log Lifter system permits the opening and closing of the control dams in less time, and with considerably less risk than previously used hand winches.
In early 1974 Atlas Polar developed a fully proportional remote control system for the operation of hydraulic cranes. These units are manufactured at facilities in Toronto, and sold throughout North America. Polar Remote Controls are found on many HIAB cranes in Canada and work as engine speed controls, cable pull controls, laser cutting controls, and in many other applications where rugged remote control equipment is required for mobile applications.
Atlas Polar introduced the concept of automatic trashraking into the North American hydropower industry in 1978 with the Hydrorake Trashraking System. Developed as a fully automatic raking device the Hydrorake system is used to clean hydro dams, water intakes and fish facilities which are generally equipped with trash racks or screens. This unusual product is an economical and reliable piece of equipment for automatically clearing logs, tree branches and other trash away.
Atlas Polar has always been a privately held company and this tradition continued with Robert Parr, P.Eng. taking on the responsibilities as president in 1988.
Following a boom period in the 1980’s, the worldwide recession of 1989 forced Atlas Polar to look at changes to lessen the impact of the economic downturn. The co-generation and diesel engine divisions were sold, and Atlas Polar focused its full attention on the ever growing material handling equipment business.
Much of Atlas Polar’s recent growth can be attributed to its strong product offerings. In 1985 Atlas Polar introduced Canadian businesses to a flexible and economical truck body handling system called the Multilift Hooklift. Atlas Polar recognized the potential for mobile forklifts in the Canadian construction industry and in 1989 acquired the rights to distribute Moffett Mounty truck mounted forklifts. The Mounty forklift is now the premier truck mounted forklift in Canada and around the world.
In 1992, Atlas Polar opened HIAB Quebec in Baie D–Urfe, Quebec as a distinct division of truck mounted material handling equipment.
Mixveyor Conveyors have been helping Canadian ready mix companies deliver concrete for over 20 years. Atlas Polar now provides the sales and service support for this popular truck mounted conveyor. In Ontario and Quebec Atlas Polar now distributes the popular Cleasby Roofing Conveyors.
Atlas Polar’s long standing partnership with A.R. Williams Truck Equipment Ltd. in Western Canada provides customers with the highest levels of service available in the truck mounted material handling industry in Alberta.
With over 75 years serving Canadian industry it is important to recognize the contribution of all Atlas Polar employees. Many of our employees have spent much of their working lives at Atlas Polar. Their combined knowledge and expertise, and the care taken to satisfy customers says more about Atlas Polar than anything else.