Hyster is globally recognized as an industry leader in the forklift manufacturing business. However, it began as a manufacturer of lifting machines and 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 production. Over the preceding 80 years Hyster has continued to expand and develop its product line. The expansion of its products coupled with its desire to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to mature into the intercontinental participant it is at the moment.
Some of the key inflection points in Hyster's past occurred between the 1940's and the 1960's. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Danville, Illinois that was completely dedicated to bulk manufacturing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its expenses down and, at the same time, offer a better quality product at industry aggressive 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.
Between the late fifties through the 60's, Hyster continued to expand into new markets. They began constructing container handlers in the US in 1959 to satisfy the ever expanding demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a means for enabling a lift truck to go both forward and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was known as the Monotrol pedal, which revolutionized the industry. Later in the decade Hyster opened a R&D centre in Oregon that was focused on improving the design and functionality of forklifts. The centre is still one of the world's top testing facilities in the materials handling industry.
As demand for materials handling equipment continued to expand rapidly during the sixties, Hyster considered it necessary to reorient its concentration towards these new mass markets. Hence, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to provide greater quality at a more inexpensive cost. A further expansion in manufacturing capabilities was necessitated by the need in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. To fill this hole, a plant in Craigavon, Ireland was opened in 1980. Through the 80's Hyster continued to focus on developing industry leading forklifts. The Hyster company name was known throughout the globe for its commitment towards superiority. This attention to excellence brought several suitors for the business. In 1989, a large multinational company based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and began an aggressive expansion strategy. NACCO rapidly replaced the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented 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 frequently make investments in brand new technologies. Acquisitions and investments were made in the US, Italy, Netherlands, and lots of other places throughout the world. All of these investments have made Hyster a global leader in the lift truck market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its 80th anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which consists of over 300 assorted models of lift trucks.