Hyster is an international company that builds over 300 diverse models of forklifts. However, it began as a manufacturer of lifting machines as well as winches. Most of its production was concentrated in the northwest United States and dealt mostly with the timber and logging industry. A couple years after the first forklift trucks were invented Hyster became synonymous with quality manufacturing. Over the last eighty years Hyster has continued to get bigger and increase its product line. The growth of its products coupled with its wish to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to grow into the international player it is in our day.
Through the 3 decades between the 1940's and 1960's, Hyster made significant strides on its pathway to becoming the global leader in the forklift industry it is today. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Danville, Illinois that was totally committed to bulk manufacturing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its expenses down and, simultaneously, offer a better quality product at industry competitive prices. In 1952, Hyster began its first foray in to the international production market through opening its first plant in the Netherlands. The Netherlands plant was originally designed to produce two products: Hyster 40" and the Karry Kranes.
The ever changing needs of Hyster users and Hyster's capacity to continue to innovate led to rapid growth throughout the 50's and 60's. They started constructing container handlers in the US in 1959 to meet with the ever growing demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a method for enabling a lift truck to go both forward and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was called the Monotrol pedal, which revolutionized the industry. Later on in the decade Hyster opened a R&D centre in Oregon that was concentrated on improving the design and functionality of lift trucks. The centre is still one of the world's best testing facilities in the materials handling industry.
As demand for materials handling equipment continued to expand rapidly throughout the 1960's, Hyster needed to reorient its concentration towards these new mass markets. Thus, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to supply better quality at a more affordable price. A further expansion in manufacturing capabilities was necessitated by the demand in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. To fill this gap, a plant in Craigavon, Ireland was opened in 1980. Through the 80's Hyster continued to concentrate on developing industry leading forklifts. The Hyster brand name was known throughout the world for its commitment towards excellence. This attention to quality produced a lot of suitors for the business. In 1989, a large international company based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and began an aggressive expansion strategy. NACCO promptly replaced the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented truck that concentrated on operator comfort, which is identified as the XM generation of lift trucks.
With the worldwide change towards just-in-time administration procedures, Hyster has been required to keep up with the trends through investment in new and diverse technologies. Acquisitions and investments were made in the United States, Italy, Netherlands, and countless other places throughout the globe. All of these investments have made Hyster a worldwide leader in the forklift market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its eightieth anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which consists of more than 300 different models of lift trucks.