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Yale Materials Handling

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Yale is the brand name for a full line of lift trucks including forklifts sold as part of the NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG). Yale lift trucks are sold worldwide through 223 authorized dealerships. Yale has an 80-year history connected to the development of hoists and lift trucks. It is also credited for inventing one of the first electric trucks to encompass both raised forks and an elevating mast.


[edit] History

Yale started as a lock company, a far cry from the global manufacturer of lift trucks into which it has evolved today. The first product the company ever produced was a pin-tumbler cylinder lock invented by its founder Linus Yale Jr. in 1844. In 1868 Linus Yale met Henry Towne and together they established a factory in Stamford, Connecticut called the Yale Lock Manufacturing Co. Linus Yale passed away during the company’s first year in business and Towne assumed leadership. In 1875 Towne introduced the first Yale hand-powered chain hoist after acquiring patents for Weston differential pulley blocks. By 1883 Yale was the country’s top lock producer but was also leading the way as a hoist manufacturer with the addition of gears and electric powered hoists to its original hand-powered model.[1]

[edit] The Leap to Lift Trucks

In 1920 Yale & Towne expanded its involvement into material handling with the purchase of C.W. Hunt Co. of Staten Island. One year prior, the Hunt Co. had introduced a new battery-powered low-lift platform truck. The acquisition of Hunt Co. therefore afforded Yale & Towne the opportunity to invent its very first forklift truck in 1923. It is also credited for producing the very first electric truck with raised forks and an elevating mast in 1925.[2]

By the early 1920s Yale had produced a complete line of lift trucks. These included the:

• Model K 20 narrow high platform truck
• Model K 21 wide high platform truck
• Model K 22 general utility elevating platform truck
• Model K 23 low platform truck
• Model K 24 three wheel tractor truck

By 1929 the company had incorporated Hunt-designed trucks under the Yale name and introduced an entire new family of battery-operated trucks that featured both low and high platform models, a low-slung, non-tipping tow tractor, and one of the first forklifts to come with a clamp attachment. In 1931 the company relocated its headquarters to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, rounding up production of all its electric trucks, hand trucks, and hoists under the same roof.

[edit] Acquisitions and Expansion

The same year, Yale's acquisition of Steubing Cowan Co. helped it branch off further into the manufacturing of hand trucks. By 1933 Yale was well positioned to acquire two of its additional competitors located in the Chicago area, the Walker Vehicle Co. and the Automatic Transportation Co., a pioneer itself in the production of electric-powered material handling trucks.[3]

[edit] World War II Influence

The onset of World War II placed a great impetus on material handling as new means of transporting goods to the front lines became of paramount importance. The concept to mount forks on the front of a lift truck transformed the entire notion of how goods and materials could be moved about. This opened up opportunities in foreign markets and in 1934 Yale & Towne established a manufacturing facility in England for the sale and distribution of forklifts to Japan through the Kiichi Haradi Co. After the war ended Yale moved once again to a larger plant. Combining about 17 years of experience in total, Yale became one of the largest manufacturers of lift trucks and hoisting equipment in the world. By 1950 gas, LP gas, and diesel-powered lift trucks were added to its product line.[4]

[edit] Merger with Eaton

In 1963 Yale & Towne merged with the multinational company Eaton Manufacturing Co., operating as its Industrial Truck Division. Under the Eaton umbrella, Yale continued to grow. It was later renamed Eaton Corp.[5]

[edit] Partnership with Sumitomo

By 1971 Yale was selling its Japanese-made trucks in Europe and North America. As a result, it formed a 50-50 joint venture manufacturing company with Sumitomo called Sumitomo-Yale Co. Ltd.[6]

[edit] Yale Materials Handling

In 1984 Yale Materials Handling Corp. was formed and the company was completely restructured. In 1992 Yale Europe Materials Handling was formed to market the Yale brand of forklifts to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.[7]

[edit] NACCO Buys Yale Brand 

In 1985 NACCO acquired Yale Materials Handling Corp. Yale’s new parent company became the largest manufacturer of lift trucks in the world, selling 70,000 forklifts worldwide in 1994.[8]

[edit] The Company Today

Today, the Yale brand is sold and marketed worldwide as part of NACCO Materials Handling Group. NACCO is currently the largest producer of lift trucks inside the U.S. and the third largest in the world. It generates about $1.5 billion in revenue annually.[9]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Yale History. Yale North America Official website. 02-11-2009.
  2. A potted history of the Fork Lift Truck. Thomas Truck Training Ltd. 02-11-2009.
  3. Yale History. Yale North America Official website. 02-11-2009.
  4. Yale History. Yale North America Official website. 02-11-2009.
  5. Yale History. Yale North America Official website. 02-11-2009.
  6. Yale History. Yale North America Official website. 02-11-2009.
  7. Yale History. Yale Europe Official website. 02-11-2009.
  8. Yale History. Yale Europe Official website. 02-11-2009.
  9. Yale History. Yale North America Official website. 02-11-2009.

[edit] External Links