As a international leader in forklift trucks, Hyster constantly strives for excellence in product quality and safety. However, it started as a producer of lifting machines as well as winches. Most of its production was focused 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 manufacturing. Over the preceding 80 years Hyster has continued to get bigger and increase its product line. The growth of its products coupled with its desire to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to grow into the global participant it is now.
Hyster experienced major improvements through the 1940's and 1960's. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Illinois that was exclusively 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 started building container handlers in the US in 1959 to satisfy the ever growing demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a process for allowing a lift truck to go both ahead and backwards using the same pedal. This pedal was referred to as the Monotrol pedal, which revolutionized the industry. Later on in the decade Hyster opened a R&D centre in Oregon that was focused on enhancing the design and performance of lift trucks. The centre is still one of the world's greatest testing facilities in the materials handling industry.
The sixties was characterized by rapid growth throughout the entire materials handling industry. Due to this, Hyster needed to refocus its approach towards these emergent mass markets. Thus, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to supply superior quality at a more affordable price. A further expansion in production 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 concentrate on developing industry leading forklifts. The Hyster company name was known throughout the globe for its dedication towards quality. This attention to quality brought a lot of suitors for the enterprise. In 1989, a large international business based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and started an aggressive expansion plan. NACCO rapidly changed the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented forklift that focused on operator comfort, which is 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 continually invest in new-found technology. Acquisitions and investments were made in the United States, Italy, Netherlands, and lots of other places all over the world. All of these investments have made Hyster a worldwide leader in the lift truck market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its eightieth anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which consists of more than three hundred different models of lift trucks.
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