For more than 80 years, conquering the world's most demanding applications

    Hyster history forklift truckHyster Company started as a manufacturer of lifting machines used in the rigorous logging industry of the United States’ Pacific Northwest. The name originated from the call of the loggers who would shout “Hoist’er!” when a log was ready to be raised.

    A few years later the first fork lift trucks were invented and the Hyster® brand quickly gained its reputation for rugged quality. For over eight decades Hyster Company has continuously developed its product offering and service network to become the leading international player it is today. The time line below highlights some of the milestones along the way.

    Hyster Timeline 


    Hyster Company’s story begins with its two parent companies, Electric Steel Foundry and Willamette Iron & Steel Works, pioneers in the development of special machines and metals to meet the needs of the Northwest logging industry.


    Willamette Iron & Steel Corporation and Electric Steel Foundry join forces to form a new company named Willamette Ersted Company.


    A straddle carrier with forks is one of the earliest forklift trucks manufactured by the company which, by this time, has been renamed Willamette Hyster Company.


    The ‘BT’ with its cable hoist system is one of the first Hyster forklift trucks. It is a pioneer in the heavy duty lift truck field and boasts a lifting capacity of 6,000 pounds.


    By experimental use of tractor frames, an advanced type of mobile crane is developed, later named the “Karry Krane”.


    As the need for a variety of lift truck sizes becomes more apparent, Willamette-Hyster designs a new 4,000 pound lift truck, known as the “Handy Andy”.


    A 15,000 pound lift truck, the “Jumbo” is Willamette-Hyster Company’s first truck to use pneumatic tires and a telescoping mast.


    The organisation is renamed “Hyster Company” and an export department is created to provide better service for lift trucks being sold in other parts of the world.


    Hyster Company’s first plant devoted exclusively to the mass production of lift trucks opens in Danville, Illinois (USA).


    Hyster opens its first plant outside the USA, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The Hyster 40” and the Karry Krane are the first machines to be assembled there.


    Hyster moves into a new market with American-built container handlers, later called “Big Trucks”.


    Hyster introduces the famous Monotrol® pedal, a unique direction and travel control in one simple pedal.


    Hyster opens a new design and development center in Portland, Oregon (USA). Today, this is still the world’s best-equipped and largest lift truck testing facility.


    Mass markets are developing and Hyster meets this challenge by developing the XL design philosophy, providing quality at an affordable price.


    Hyster opens a new manufacturing plant in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, dedicated initially to manufacturing internal combustion engine (ICE) trucks.


    Hyster Company is purchased by NACCO Industries, Inc. a Fortune 1000 company based in Cleveland, Ohio (USA).


    The XL philosophy is progressively replaced by the XM generation of product, combining outstanding performance and excellent driver comfort.


    NACCO Materials Handling Group (“NMHG”) is established.


    With the acquisition of manufacturing plants in Modena and Masate (Italy) a complete warehouse equipment range is developed for Europe, the Middle East & Africa.


    A substantial program of investment begins to establish the Nijmegen plant as the Global Centre for Big Truck design, development and manufacturing.


    Warehouse product launches and improvements begin focusing on harmonization and standardization of key components such as controllers and tiller arms.


    Following a substantial program of investment, Nijmegen becomes the global center for Big Truck design, development and manufacturing.


    NACCO Materials Handling Group, Inc. facilities are awarded ISO 9001:2008 quality accreditation.


    Hyster begins to roll out a complete new generation of internal combustion engine (ICE) trucks (FORTIS® and FORTENS®), with a modular design platform and innovative features, providing unprecedented reliability and value to users.


    As warehousing and distribution hubs grow world-wide, Hyster introduces the sophisticated VNA truck, featuring its unique quad mast design.


    Investment programs focus on product-line development, quality and efficiency in the supply chain and optimisation of NMHG’s world-wide manufacturing capacity.


    Hyster introduces a new generation of Electric Counterbalance trucks, which continues the company’s strategy of modular design and innovation offering customers both outstanding performance and significant savings in operational costs.


    Hyster celebrates its 80th anniversary and transformation over 8 decades into a leading global manufacturer of materials handling equipment.


    By introducing fuel efficient upgrades, Hyster takes an engineering and environmental lead responding to Tier 4i/Stage IIIB emissions legislation affecting the sector.


    A brand new Engineering Concept Centre opens in Basingstoke, UK, illustrating the company’s appetite for innovation, design excellence and technology advances to support the development of future product offerings.


    The Nijmegen plant in the Netherlands celebrates its 60th Anniversary and surpasses all its previous production records for heavy capacity and container handling trucks.


    NMHG and its parent company, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc are spun-off from NACCO Industries, Inc.


    NACCO Materials Handling Group changes its name to Hyster-Yale Group.