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About Life Essentials - Premium Handicap Equipment

Accessibility for the home, workplace, and more. 

Handicap Equipment & Other Mobility Products

We want to see you take control of your life. We develop our mobile liftsvehicle hand controlsresidential lifts and other mobility products and handicap equipment to fit your life, and continually create new chairlifts and adapt existing equipment to fit your needs. Your lifestyle is unique, and we’re dedicated to helping you live the way you want - regardless of circumstances.

Our mobility products are as tough as you are. Whether you use them out in the fields as agriculture lifts, or in your home for residential lifts and lift chairs, they are durable, strong and long-lasting. If you have to be out in all sorts of weather, our products will go with you, keep up with you, and perform exactly as you need them to. Life Essentials works to adapt and invent, to innovate & personalize, and to bring you exactly the mobility products you want in the places you need them.

Life Essentials builds every product to suit every need. We don't build items and store them on our shelves. Our products are built per specifications to meet your individual needs. 

handicap equipment

The History of Life Essentials - Custom Handicap Equipment

At the age of five, Hubert Von Holten contracted polio, a viral disease that affects the nervous system. He suffered a 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 mobility lifts and handicap equipment and Life Essentials was born. His assistive technology gives all farmers with limited mobility the chance to lead independent working lives.

In 2002, we built a smaller facility back up on the farm in Round Grove Township of Brookston, Indiana. In the same year, Kathleen Smith partnered the ownership, incorporating Life Essentials. 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 require with disabilities. With the help of AgrAbility organizations, Life Essentials has been declared a very successful mobility program to put people back to work. Hubert never let his disability hold him back. That mindset holds strong at Life Essentials as we help people become more independent every day.

How We're Different

Everyone faces obstacles in life – but movement shouldn’t be one of them. We specialize in mobility products for those in the agriculture or heavy equipment industries and are proud of our line of personal mobility products. Our quality products help people across the country reclaim independence at work, at home, and on vacation. We custom build and install each product to match your needs and your life.

We believe you shouldn’t be confined by anything – including a selection of products. We at Life Essentials are prepared to help you determine which mobility products you need to get the most out of life. We address your specific, individual requirements to assure easy, safe, comfortable, and economical solutions to your mobility challenges. Everyone at Life essentials is ready to meet your personal mobility needs with quality mobility products and the best in customer service.

Mobility Products & Handicap Equipment 

We have a wide selection of mobility products that can meet your individual needs. Our handicap equipment is versatile and can be installed almost anywhere in the home or in a vehicle.  We address your concerns and our trained professional team will guide you on how to work the specific parts.

Meet Our Staff

The staff at Life Essentials has the experience to ensure your needs are met. Combining personal backgrounds with professional abilities is our key to efficiency. We will work to solve any barrier problem in the home, workplace, farm, or recreational area.

Hubert Von Holten
Kathleen Smith
Spencer Geswein
Bill Begley
Jack Begley
Hubert Von Holten
tractor lift developer
Owner & Founder

In 1968, Hubert started a small machine shop in his chicken house in Round Grove, Indiana. He called it Round Grove Machine, and it became a family business. He expanded the company and renamed it Mud Hog. In 1982, He sold that factory and built a smaller one in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Four years later, Dr. Bill Field of Purdue University talked him into working with some students on a special project. They would develop a tractor lift for a farmer in Vermont, much like the platform lifts he made years before for his own farm equipment.

Not liking the original design because of its limitations, he transformed the mobility lift to have switches that allowed the user to guide the lift in multiple directions. This new, simpler-to-use and a more practical lift was called “The Simplicity Lift” and was manufactured by Round Grove Machine. This had become more than a hobby for him and Life Essentials was born and trademarked soon after.

Words from Hubert"As the owner and inventor of the equipment at Life Essentials, I also serve the company as the engineer and manage quality control. I lost the use of my legs after contracting polio at age five, so I have personal experience working with a disability. I fully understand how imperative it is that you have equipment designed for you that you can rely on, and have made it my goal to make sure that you get it."

Kathleen Smith
handicap equipment business owner
Owner

As the owner of Life Essentials, she works in all areas including but not limited to sales, purchasing, accounting, organizing, and phone operator. Due to her combination of backgrounds in both management and farming, she enjoys overseeing our operations in hardware, tools, and the mechanics of the Life Essential equipment. Kathy's background has given her the tools she needs to carry the load here at Life Essentials. She began a career at Eli Lilly in HR and progressed onto Management at ACE and then Sears Hardware. She joined the team at Life Essentials in 1999. As it was still work in progress, she quickly grew the company in a direction that was unstoppable. Kathy has a compassionate heart and enjoys helping people that are in need. She understands the value of putting someone back to work that might have had a life-changing event. Sometimes sudden change and sometimes slow progress. Either way, Kathy is there to help them through that transition.

Kathy enjoys speaking at public events about caregiving. She has been a caregiver to family members in the past and daily to her husband Hubert, the founder of Life Essentials. This family know first hand what living with a disability is like. Kathy knows first hand the trials and the rewards of caring for someone who has limitations.

In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and spending time with her 5 grandchildren and her 2 children.

Words from Kathy: "I have a passion for helping people whose lives have been turned upside down by an accident or illness. My goal is to help them get back as close to their former life as we possibly can."

Spencer Geswein
mobility equipment
Spencer joined Life essentials in May of 2016.  He brings his engineering background, his commitment to God and family, and his passion for making a difference in the lives of those who have developed mobility challenges.
Bill Begley
handicap lifts sale

Bill joined the Life Essentials team in October 2013 as director of Sales. Bill brings over 30 years of direct sales experience and sales management. His roots working with Hubert go back more than 40 years helping lay the foundation that, over time, lent to the success of Life Essentials.

Although most of Bill’s sales experience is in the insurance industry, his approach to helping folks plan for their futures fits well with Life Essentials’ mission of helping people with physical limitations enjoy the quality of life. Defining, measuring, analyzing and improving one’s plan is the core of Bill’s experience.

Bill attended Purdue University. He is Green Belt certified in Six Sigma quality program. He served as a Director on the White County Rural Electric Board, a founding board member of the White County Crossing Alternative School and White County Crime Stoppers. Bill also gave many years to the Brookston, IN Apple/Popcorn Festival as well as announcing Frontier High School basketball games for many years.

He currently resides in Monticello, IN. Bill’s two children and 3 grandchildren are a big part of his life. He enjoys his family time at Lake Cumberland, KY along with the annual pheasant hunting trips to South Dakota.

Words from Bill: "I enjoy serving others and seeing smiles on their faces."

Jack Begley
mobility products

Jack has been very instrumental in the design and manufacturing of Life Essentials product line. He has an extensive background in electrical, hydraulic and mechanical work.

Jack has worked with Hubert for many years. Together they have developed assistive technology that allows folks with limited mobility to enjoy the facets of life they might otherwise be unable to experience. Thoroughness, efficiency, and safety are at the forefront of his thought processes.

Jack attended Purdue University enrolled in Agricultural Engineering. He has completed the certification training provided by Mobility Products and Design. He is very active in his community too. He serves on the Carroll County Extension Board, Purdue Council for Agriculture Research Extension and Teaching Board for Indiana. Jack has served on the Carroll County 4-H Exhibit Board. He has also completed the Leadership Carroll County program.

Jack is married to a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA AAMA). He and Jeni have a daughter attending Purdue University in Medical Laboratory Sciences.

In his spare time, he enjoys his family, reading and numerous handyman projects.

Words from Jack: "I enjoy helping people get back to doing what they love."

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