Hyster is an industry leader in the materials handling industry that has been in business for more than eighty years. However, it started as a producer of lifting machinery and winches. Most of its production was concentrated in the northwest United States and dealt primarily with the timber and logging industry. A couple years after the 1st forklift trucks were invented Hyster became synonymous with quality manufacturing. Over the preceding eighty years Hyster has continued to expand and develop its product line. The growth of its products coupled with its desire to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to develop into the global participant it is in our day.
In the period between 1940 and 1960, Hyster sustained its progress throughout the western world. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Danville, Illinois that was fully dedicated to mass producing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its expenses down and, at the same time, 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.
Hyster, along with the entire forklift industry, continued to expand into different product lines throughout the 1950's and 60's. They started building container handlers in the United states in 1959 to meet with the ever growing demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a process for enabling a lift truck to go both ahead and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was called 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 performance of lift trucks. The centre is still one of the world's greatest testing facilities in the materials handling industry.
As demand for materials handling equipment continued to expand swiftly during the 60's, Hyster considered it necessary to reorient its focus towards these new mass markets. Consequently, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to afford superior quality at a more reasonable cost. A further expansion in production capabilities was necessitated by the need 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 brand name was recognized throughout the world for its dedication towards quality. This attention to excellence brought numerous suitors for the company. In 1989, a large multinational business based in Ohio called NACCO Industries purchased Hyster and began an aggressive expansion plan. NACCO swiftly changed the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented truck that focused on operator comfort, which is recognized as the XM generation of trucks.
With the comprehensive shift 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 US, Italy, Netherlands, and many other places throughout the globe. All of these investments have made Hyster a world leader in the forklift market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its eightieth anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which comprises over three hundred different versions of lift trucks.