As a worldwide leader in forklift trucks, Hyster continuously strives for excellence in product quality and safety. However, it started as a producer of lifting equipment as well as winches. Most of its production was focused in the Pacific Northwest and dealt mostly with the timber and logging industry. A couple years after the 1st forklift trucks were invented Hyster became synonymous with quality manufacturing. Over the previous 80 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 develop into the global participant it is nowadays.
The 30 years between 1940's and the 1960's saw a large evolution in the amount of products offered under the Hyster brand name. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Illinois that was completely dedicated to mass manufacturing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its costs 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.
Hyster continued to aggressively expand its manufacturing operations all the way through the 50's and 60's. They started building container handlers in the US in 1959 to meet with the ever expanding demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a technique for enabling a lift truck to go both ahead and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was termed the Monotrol pedal, which revolutionized the industry. Later on in the decade Hyster opened a R&D centre in Oregon that was concentrated on enhancing the design and functionality of lift trucks. 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 swiftly throughout the sixties, Hyster needed to reorient its concentration towards these new mass markets. Consequently, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to offer greater quality at a more inexpensive cost. A further expansion in manufacturing capabilities was necessitated by the demand in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Trucks. To plug this hole, a plant in Craigavon, Ireland was opened in 1980. Through the 1980's Hyster continued to concentrate on developing industry leading lift trucks. The Hyster brand name was recognized throughout the globe for its commitment towards excellence. This attention to quality produced numerous suitors for the company. In 1989, a large international company based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and began an aggressive expansion strategy. NACCO quickly 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 universal change towards just-in-time management methods, 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 various other places throughout the globe. All of these investments have made Hyster a world leader in the forklift market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its 80th anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which includes over 300 various versions of lift trucks.