Hyster is an industry leader in the materials handling industry that has been in business for over 80 years. However, it started as a producer of lifting machines 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 production. Over the preceding 80 years Hyster has continued to expand and increase its product line. The growth of its products coupled with its want to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to mature into the global participant it is today.
The thirty years between 1940's and the 1960's saw a great evolution in the amount of products existing under the Hyster brand name. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Danville, Illinois that was fully committed to bulk manufacturing trucks. This allowed Hyster to drive 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.
Hyster, along with the entire forklift industry, continued to expand into different product lines throughout the 1950's and 60's. They began building container handlers in the US in 1959 to meet with the ever growing demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a technique for enabling a lift truck to go both forward and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was labeled 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 performance 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 swiftly through the sixties, Hyster considered it necessary to reorient its focus towards these new mass markets. Accordingly, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to afford greater quality at a more inexpensive price. A further expansion in manufacturing capabilities was necessitated by the need in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Trucks. To plug 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 world for its commitment towards superiority. This attention to excellence produced many suitors for the enterprise. In 1989, a large multinational business based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and started an aggressive expansion strategy. NACCO promptly changed the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented lift truck that concentrated on operator comfort, which is well-known as the XM generation of trucks.
The shift in supply change management to a much more just-in-time focused structure has meant that Hyster has had to constantly invest in new-found technology. 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 worldwide leader in the forklift market. In 2009, Hyster celebrated its 80th anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which consists of more than 300 assorted versions of forklift trucks.
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