Hyster is well-known as a international leader in lift trucks. However, it began as a producer of lifting machines as well as winches. Most of its production was focused in the Pacific Northwest and dealt primarily with the timber and logging industry. A couple years after the first forklift trucks were invented Hyster became synonymous with quality production. Over the preceding eighty years Hyster has continued to expand and develop its product line. The growth of its products coupled with its want to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to grow into the intercontinental participant it is at present.
Through the three decades between the 1940's and 1960's, Hyster made considerable strides on its way to becoming the world leader in the forklift industry it is today. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Illinois that was totally dedicated to bulk producing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its costs down and, simultaneously, offer a better quality product at industry aggressive rates. 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.
Between the late 50's through the 60's, Hyster continued to expand into new markets. They started constructing container handlers in the United states in 1959 to satisfy 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 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 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.
In the 1960's Hyster experienced rapid growth. Much of the business was shifting towards mass production. To keep up with the times Hyster was inclined to concentrate on the evolution of these mass markets. Consequently, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to provide better quality at a more reasonable cost. A further expansion in manufacturing capabilities was necessitated by the need in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. To fill this gap, a plant in Craigavon, Ireland was opened in 1980. Through the 80's Hyster continued to concentrate on developing industry leading forklifts. The Hyster brand name was recognized throughout the globe for its commitment towards quality. This attention to quality brought numerous suitors for the business. In 1989, a large multinational business based in Ohio called NACCO Industries bought Hyster and began an aggressive growth strategy. NACCO promptly changed the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented lift truck that focused on operator comfort, which is identified as the XM generation of lift trucks.
With the worldwide shift towards just-in-time management practices, 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 international leader in the lift truck market. Recently, Hyster celebrated its eightieth anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which includes more than three hundred different versions of lift trucks.