Hyster is an industry leader in the materials handling industry that has been in business for over eighty years. However, it began as a producer of lifting equipment as well as winches. Most of its production was concentrated in the northwest United States and dealt primarily with the lumber and logging industry. A couple years after the 1st forklift trucks were invented Hyster became synonymous with quality manufacturing. Over the last eighty years Hyster has continued to expand and develop its product line. The expansion of its products coupled with its wish to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to grow into the intercontinental player it is in our day.
Through the 3 decades between the 1940's and 1960's, Hyster made considerable strides on its path to becoming the international leader in the forklift industry it is at the moment. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Danville, Illinois that was fully devoted to mass producing trucks. This allowed Hyster to drive its costs down and, at the same time, offer a better quality product at industry competitive rates. 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 varying needs of Hyster users and Hyster's aptitude to continue to innovate led to rapid development throughout the 50's and sixties. They began constructing container handlers in the US in 1959 to satisfy the ever expanding demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a system for allowing a lift truck to go both forward and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was referred to as the Monotrol pedal, which revolutionized the industry. Later on in the decade Hyster opened a R and D centre in Oregon that was concentrated on improving the design and functionality of forklifts. 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 through the 1960's, Hyster considered it necessary to reorient its focus towards these new mass markets. As a result, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to offer superior quality at a more affordable price. A further expansion in production capabilities was necessitated by the demand in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. To plug this gap, a plant in Craigavon, Ireland was opened in 1980. Through the eighties Hyster continued to focus on developing industry leading lift trucks. The Hyster company name was known throughout the globe for its dedication towards quality. This attention to excellence produced many suitors for the company. In 1989, a large multinational company based in Ohio called NACCO Industries purchased Hyster and began an aggressive expansion strategy. NACCO swiftly changed the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented lift truck that concentrated on operator comfort, which is identified as the XM generation of forklifts.
The shift in supply change management to a much more just-in-time focused arrangement has meant that Hyster has had to continually make investments in new-found technologies. Acquisitions and investments were made in the US, Italy, Netherlands, and countless other places throughout the world. All of these investments have made Hyster a worldwide leader in the forklift market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its 80th anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which includes more than three hundred different models of forklift trucks.