News service and business centre for materials handlingHOME
DISCUSSION FORUMS : Forkliftaction.communicate
Forklift Manufacturer histories/acquisitions
  • bdr16
  • Pennsylvania, United States
I was wondering if anyone had any idea where I could get an idea of how long the typical/average forklift manufacturer exists? Basically, I need to get an idea of how long a manufacturer can expect to survive before being bought out/acquired/merged or going bankrupt.

This data has been very hard to come by, but I did notice that there was an industry wide trend in the late 80's and early 90's of acquisitions and mergers.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
  • Posted 5 Apr 2007 03:29 AM
Total replies: 13. Showing items 1 - 13 of 13 results.
I have taken notes of such M&A whenever I heard or found here and there. Example; Still took over Esslingen by 1968. Yale took Boge & Kasten, Solingen (known as BKS) 1927.
Your question, however, is the life span of the company. And sorry to say this, I have no record when such M&Aed companies started their forklift business.
I'm very much interested to learn as well.
  • Posted 5 Apr 2007 05:35 PM
ok dont quote me but ive looked into various companies histories just for the heck of it
the best source is on the manufaturers websites themselves as most today were formerly a company that does not exist anymore thru the mergers/aquisitions mentioned before

the first real material handling company is one that still exists today
in 1917 they built a machine called the tructractor to haul parts around their axle manufaturing facility
some customers had seen the machines and had clark build some for them
in 1918 they sold 8 of them lol
they had no forks though
the first real forklift was an electric yale in 1925
it did not have hydraulics it used a gear and ratchet system to raise the forks
hyster came out not long after
also baker (now linde) who made eletric vehicles since the turn of the century came out with a coil ram truck in 1920 (jay lenno has a 1908 baker electric car and i saw an identical one last year at lindes plant in sc pretty cool) they made the 1st sit down controls for operators in 1930
they were also formerly otis and linde/baker
then you have towmotor of course (i cant find an actual start up date for them) that was bought out by cat in 1965 and is now part of MCF (joint venture 1991)

again google is your friend on these matters lol
post more history if you find it it is pretty interesting
(those old machines look less safe than sticking your arm in a wood chipper lol)

New York, New York its a heluva know that The Bronx is up..and I'm Brooklyn down
  • Posted 12 Apr 2007 02:18 PM
  • • Modified 12 Apr 2007 02:23 PM by poster
I know there is a book on the market, called "100 years of forklift trucks". You should find anything you need in there. Normally it should be available through SMH in the US
  • Posted 12 Apr 2007 08:11 PM
Relative to Towmotor- I don't have there actual start up date but it was around WWII time period. The forklift were delveloped to support the military in the European campaign. After the end of the war the US brought back these unit and off loaded most in the New York harbors. No one knew what do do with them at that time but they begain using them in the ports. Hence, Towmotor was credited for the first mass use of forklifts and hence throught out the Northeast qute often all forklift brands referred to as a "Towmotor" in this reregion. Likewise, in the [url removed] part of the US forklifts are commonly referred to as a Hyster especially in the wood and paper products indsustry.

From the what it is worth department - Allis Chalmers start in the industry in 1952. Allis Chalmer bought the Buda company at that time. They lasted until the mid 1980's, as Allis-Chalmer. Then that had remantd name like ACMH and Kalmar AC - which are now gone. The Kalmar AC fork lift brand is now known as Tusk. But is still built by Komatsu in Georgia - same as a Komatsu but with a red cost of paint & 3 less letters (the o, m, & a) in the name.

"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 13 Apr 2007 12:28 AM
many of those old towmotors, up until a few yaers ago, were still around lol
being from long island and working in the NY metro area i serviced many of those old relics
many have been phased out
i cant see any machine built today lasting over 60 years
pre-AutoCAD = bulletproof lol (well sometimes)

New York, New York its a heluva know that The Bronx is up..and I'm Brooklyn down
  • Posted 13 Apr 2007 03:10 AM
Towmotor as a brand is still being manufactured by Mitsubishi at the same facility in Texas that churns out Mits and Cat IC trucks. TCM was the first Japanese company to produce a forklift in 1947 or 1949. They were distributed in the US by Mitsui until a couple of years ago when they cut out the distributor and went factory direct to the eastern [url removed] I don't know about the western [url removed] Most of the [url removed] trucks are completely manufactured in South Carolina.
Jungheinrich is making great strides in the [url removed] market expanding their dealer network by threefold last year. They have been around since 1953 and to the best of my knowledge have not changed hands.
  • Posted 13 Apr 2007 11:29 PM
mcfa (mitsubishi caterpillar forklift america) does not make towmotor anymore
the brand name is dead since the 70s i believe all towmotor designs became cats (422 etc)
mcfa now makes large frame ic machines for nissan and nissan make thes small frame ic machines for mcfa (ex: fgc25n)
from the history of mcfa web course i took as a mitsu dealer they never mentioned tcm
i believe you are thinking of the brand NYK (electric reaches and sitdowns) which mitsubishi imported for them until they had a falling out around the time of the joint venture(i think it involved mitsu getting narrow isle machines from raymond manufactured in greene, new york over NYK imports, but im not sure about this)
we still service NYK thru the mitsu service and parts system but if you need a part from overseas you might be in trouble (some lead times are up to 6 months)
i took the facility tour at mcfa about 2 years ago
when i get back ill be sure to ask to see the towmotor section (lol just kiddin)

New York, New York its a heluva know that The Bronx is up..and I'm Brooklyn down
  • Posted 14 Apr 2007 03:07 AM
  • • Modified 14 Apr 2007 03:12 AM by poster
I guess you should define Dead, they labeled some lifts a short time ago as Towmotor and marketed them as an light duty Caterpillar Lift Truck. It was painted gray and only offered in a standard configuration, standard mast and no attachment hydrauilics. The funny part was the way they intended for salespeople to promote the lift. Light duty applications only and it had a six months warranty. I have never met a salesman, that didn't think everything was a light duty application and they never mentioned the warranty.
Towmotor did have a cool slogan.
"Towmotor, The one man gang"
Be carefull of what you ask to see down there, you know its like a whole another country.

Keep it Simple, Common Sense
  • Posted 15 Apr 2007 01:31 AM
  • dan_p
  • Indiana, United States
Elwell Parker equipment dates back to the later 1800s and Silent Hoist & Crane to the early 1900s. Hoist Liftruck in Chicago, Illinois was created from the acquisition of Silent Hoist and purchased Elwell Parker in 2000. Hoist's website has some good black and white photos, as well as brief history of their company. In fact, Hoist just announced that they are going to begin building countainer handlers for ports in addition to their pneumatic line over 80 years since Silent Hoist equipment was prominent in New York ports in the 1920s.
  • Posted 4 Jul 2007 07:23 AM
Hi everybody,
All the treads are quite interesting and let me join as well.
Linde bought Still in '73, Baker in '77, Fenwick in '84, Wagner in '86, Lansing in '89 and OM in '92.
Still bought Esslingen in '68 and Stocklin by '04.
Lansing bought Henley in '76, Saxby in '85 and others.
OM bought Pimespo in '81.
These are for Kion group and likewise, most of big names are standing over many names and brands in their histries. Very unfortunately, the already gone names and brands do not have their HP in www.

Do visit "www dot warehousenews dot co dot uk/history dot html. It is quite an interesting and informative column written by James Brindley, my guru.

  • Posted 4 Jul 2007 11:33 AM
  • • Modified 4 Jul 2007 11:34 AM by poster
I recommend the book "100 Year" - it's a pretty comprehensive history of the forklift as well as the material handling industry. It is available (in English) for purchase from Systems Material Handling ([url removed]) under part number 800125640. It's also been translated into several other languages.
  • Posted 18 Aug 2007 12:11 AM
Hi Etharp

This date(year) was referred to Linde US HP for Linde/Baker deal, www dot lmh-na dot com/history dot htm. Very interesting chronicle, do visit if not yet.

The first lift truck, I believe, was from Yale in 1926. This truck, surprisingly still self mobilized, is exhibited in the National Fork Truck Heritage Centre in England, curator Mr. James Brindley.

A half century later, German dhf magazine issued the first world ranking for the year 1980;
Balkancar, Clark, Hyster, Linde, Toyota, Lansing Bagnall, Yale, Komatsu, Jungheinrich, Caterpillar, BT, TCM, Fiat OM, Raymond, Valmet, Lancer Boss, Nissan, Manitou, Crown, Kalmar, Mitsubishi, O&K, Cesab, Atlet
(if somebody have original figures, let me know "tm11tigers at gmail dot com")

And there have been further moves and changes since then, in 28 years.
  • Posted 22 Aug 2007 03:32 PM
  • Badboy
  • Kansas, United States
Contact SMH for a 100 year history of the forklift book. 18002554109
  • Posted 14 Dec 2007 04:04 AM
  • • Modified 14 Dec 2007 11:22 AM by administrator
Total replies: 13. Showing items 1 - 13 of 13 results.

Having trouble using the Discussion Forums? Contact us for help! accepts no responsibility for forum content and requires forum participants to adhere to the rules. Click here for more information.


Forkliftaction Media Pty Ltd
PO Box 1439
Milton QLD 4064
About Forkliftaction
The Forkliftaction Team
Privacy Policy
Site Map
Business Directory
Discussion Forums
Industry News
Events Calendar
Jobs & Resumes
Photo Galleries
Blog articles
Our Bloggers

Industry Brands
Company Index
Regions & Countries

Advertise on Forkliftaction
Editorial Features / Calendar
Featured Businesses
Past News Editions
Industry Associations
Storing your login information automatically.

When you select the 'Remember me' option, your login information will be stored on your computer in the form of a cookie. When you visit again, the stored login information will be retrieved automatically and you will not have to submit your login parameters (email address and password) each time you want to visit our members-only pages.

A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Cookies do not damage your system.