Van Stokes, Sr.

Is Chairman and CEO of Stokes Industries. Mr. Stokes is a former Aerospace Engineer that worked for NASA at Cape Canaveral on the Saturn/Apollo program. After consulting to NATO in Europe on the F-111 and F-16 fighter planes, Mr. Stokes was introduced to mechanical parking systems. In 1984, he returned to the U.S. and formed Stokes Industries, a small engineering firm providing engineering services to the oil and automotive industries.

In 1985, while working with the country’s largest manufacturer of above ground automotive service lifts, Grand Inc., Mr. Stokes developed and patented the first economical three-level parking lift. As a result, Car Stacker, Inc. was formed and hundreds of these lifts have been produced and are in use today. In 1989, Mr. Stokes formed Car-O-Sell, Inc., a company that designed and built tension chain rotary parking garage, which were exported to Russia and South America.

In the latter part of the 1980’s, Mr. Stokes, designed and patented the first practical multi-story, hydraulically operated, mechanical parking lift. This lift, used chains and a single hydraulic cylinder to lift platforms sequentially to the various parking levels. One of the problems with the pre-existing two cylinder systems is that it is difficult to keep the two cylinders synchronized or operating together. This causes the platform to lift unevenly. Mr. Stokes’s single cylinder design does not have this problem. In the early 1990s, Mr. Stokes designed a new version of his lift. Still using a single hydraulic cylinder, the new system used wire rope instead of chain. The new design allows faster operation of the equipment. This design has been very successful and is still being used today. In 2001 Mr. Stokes filed a patent for an anti-fall system for parking lifts and a patent for a very high density Mechanical Garage. In 2005 Mr. Stokes filed a patent for a hydraulically operated transporter for use in a number of mechanical parking systems.

n 1994, the Korean government commissioned Mr. Stokes to help the leading Korean mechanical garage manufacturers improve the designs of their mechanical and automated parking systems. Stokes Industries also designed the Vertical Shuttle, a cost-effective direct lift parking system that uses a simple hydraulic and cable lift system instead of expensive elevator drive components, resulting in an 80% reduction in drive costs, while increasing speed and reliability.

During the 1990s, Mr. Stokes designed many types of mechanical parking systems including two-high, three-high, and four-high hydraulically operated vehicle lifts. These include four post types, cantilever’ed types, and no-post types, automated garages, tower systems, as well as automated underground systems. These products are presently being sold to customers worldwide. In 1997, Mr. Stokes designed the only mechanically operated, automated garage to be approved for installation in NYC in the last 40 years.