Hyster is currently a global leader in forklifts as well as warehousing solutions. However, it started as a manufacturer of lifting equipment and winches. Most of its production was concentrated in the northwest United States and dealt mostly 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 eighty years Hyster has continued to get bigger and develop its product line. The expansion of its products coupled with its desire to stay service oriented has allowed Hyster to develop into the global participant it is now.
In the period between 1940 and 1960, Hyster continued its growth throughout the western world. In 1946, Hyster opened a plant in Danville, Illinois that was exclusively devoted to mass producing trucks. This allowed Hyster to force its expenses down and, at the same time, offer a better quality product at industry competitive 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.
Hyster continued to aggressively expand its manufacturing operations all the way through the 50's and 60's. They began building container handlers in the United states in 1959 to satisfy the ever expanding demand for transportation goods. In 1966, Hyster developed a system 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 in the decade Hyster opened a research and development centre in Oregon that was concentrated on enhancing the design and performance of forklifts. The centre is still one of the world's best testing facilities in the materials handling industry.
In the 1960's Hyster experienced rapid expansion. Much of the industry was shifting in the direction of bulk production. To keep up with the times Hyster was inclined to concentrate on the evolution of these mass markets. Accordingly, in 1970, the XL design philosophy was born. The XL design philosophy allowed Hyster to afford greater quality at a more reasonable cost. A further expansion in manufacturing capabilities was necessitated by the demand in Europe for Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. To plug this gap, 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 known throughout the globe for its commitment towards quality. This attention to quality brought several suitors for the business. In 1989, a large multinational business based in Ohio called NACCO Industries purchased Hyster and began an aggressive expansion plan. NACCO rapidly changed the XL philosophy with a more driver oriented lift truck that concentrated 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 arrangement has meant that Hyster has had to frequently make investments in new technologies. 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 world leader in the lift truck market. In 2009, Hyster celebrated its 80th anniversary as an industry leader of materials handling equipment, which consists of over three hundred assorted models of lift trucks.