This is the complete list of forklift manufacturers.
We’ve compiled 28 forklift companies from around the world to create this list.
In this post, you'll learn:
- Each company's history
- The types of forklifts they produce
- Where they're located
Let's dive in!
Toyota developed its first lift truck in 1955 and has produced over 700,000 forklifts since.
Today, the Columbus, Indiana-based Toyota Material Handling is the largest forklift manufacturer in the world and the top-selling brand in the United States.
Renowned for its innovative manufacturing practices, Toyota offers a full line of material handling equipment. These include:
- Internal combustion and electric forklifts
- Reach trucks
- Order pickers
- Pallet jacks
- Tow tractors
- Automated guided vehicles (AGVs)
- Aerial work platforms
Based in East Chicago, Indiana, Hoist has a rich history in the material handling space.
The company was originally founded in 1918 as the Silent Hoist & Crane company. Back then, they specialized in building lift trucks and cranes to service Atlantic ports.
Hoist acquired famed electric forklift manufacturer Elwell-Parker in 2000. That marked their shift towards building electric high-capacity forklifts.
Hoist offers 100% American-made forklifts with capacities ranging from 7 to 57 tons.
A familiar name in the U.S., Caterpillar, is another leading forklift manufacturer under the name Cat® Lift Truck.
In 1925, after the merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Company, the Caterpillar Tractor Company was born. This became the first forklift manufacturer in California.
Now, Caterpillar’s forklift division is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company offers a wide range of materials handling equipment, including forklift trucks and warehouse equipment.
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling is a combination of Yale Material Handling and Hyster Company.
Yale was founded by Linus Yale Jr. in 1844, while Hyster was founded in 1929 in Portland, Oregon.
Today, the company’s headquarters is in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. From there, the company designs, engineers, and manufactures its line of lift trucks and aftermarket parts.
Headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio, U.S.A, Crown Equipment Corporation was started in 1945 as Crown Controls Corp.
It then became Crown Equipment Corporation in 1988. Now, it’s the world's 5th largest manufacturer of powered industrial forklifts.
According to material handling industry figures, Crown itself builds 85% of its forklift components. This includes motors, electronic modules, and drive units.
Clark Material Handling started as a manufacturer of automobile axles and transmissions in 1917.
Founded by Eugene B. Clark, the company has been a forklift manufacturer in Kentucky for over 100 years.
Clark’s greatest claim to fame is that it invented the world's first forklift truck with a hydraulic lifting mechanism. Called the “Truclift,” it was created in 1920 and is the forerunner to all modern forklift trucks.
Dallas, Texas-based Flexi has been a provider of specialty forklifts for very narrow aisle applications since its founding in 2000.
Their 6 models of lift trucks are all electric powered. And each features an articulating front axle, allowing the mast to rotate 90-degrees to retrieve stock in limited spaces.
Flexi sells its unique specialty forklifts in North America, Central America, and South America.
Headquartered in Baraga, Michigan, Pettibone came into existence in 1881.
Pettibone has established itself as the industry original among rough terrain forklift manufacturers.
Of special note, Pettibone invented the Cary-Lift. It’s the first forward-reaching rough terrain handler and is designed to provide visibility and stability when handling oversized materials.
Vallée, a Quebec, Canada-based company, started in 1956 as a general store and repair shop. It soon transitioned into manufacturing and produced its first forklift in 1959.
To add value to its lift trucks and diversify its offering, Vallée became the first to articulate the 4x4 forklift.
Now, Vallée is a leading Canadian forklift manufacturer and innovator in the world of large-capacity articulated four-wheel forklifts.
Landoll traces its company history back to 1963 when founder Don Landoll and his business partner purchased the Quick Service Welding company.
From its earliest days, the company specialized in farming and construction equipment.
Today, the company has expanded from farm/construction equipment and trailers to forklifts. Their Drexel SwingMast® and Bendi articulating mast lift trucks are popular models for narrow aisle applications.
Combilift is headquartered in County Monaghan, Ireland. Martin McVicar and Robert Moffett established the company in 1988.
The company is the largest global manufacturer of multidirectional forklifts. It is also an acknowledged leader in the manufacture of long-load handling solutions.
Combilift prides itself in the innovative, multidirectional steering technology that allows it to lead the industry.
Carl von Linde and two others founded Linde Material Handling as Güldner-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Munich in 1904 and moved to Aschaffenburg three years later.
The company is the largest electric forklift manufacturer globally and the market leader of forklifts in Europe. It ranks among the world’s top manufacturers of lift trucks and warehouse trucks.
Linde's Lift Truck Coop. in Summerville is a major forklift manufacturer in South Carolina producing forklifts designed for the U.S. market.
Kalmar specializes in building heavy-duty forklifts and material handling equipment for ports and other cargo handling applications.
They established themselves in the early 1940s by inventing the first straddle carrier. From there, they expanded into container handlers, reach stackers, and forklifts.
The company is a subsidiary of Cargotec, which is based in Helsinki, Finland. Kalmar itself is headquartered in Ottawa, Kansas.
Moffett was originally founded in County Monaghan, Ireland in 1945 by Cecil Moffett as a producer of agricultural equipment.
Then, in 1986, the company's greatest achievement to date was introduced: The very first truck-mounted forklift.
Today, Moffett is owned by Swedish company Hiab, but still specializes in truck-mounted forklifts. These lift trucks feature all-wheel drive and steering for punishing off-road tasks.
Fun fact: Cecil Moffet’s son Robert is one of the founders of Combilift. Obviously, forklifts are in that family’s blood!
Founded in 1953 and based in Hamburg, Germany, Jungheinrich Group offers a comprehensive range of forklifts and very narrow aisle lift trucks.
Their forklift product line includes over 600 forklifts, among them order pickers, pallet trucks, and reach trucks.
The company has an extensive dealer network in North America through its partnership with Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA).
Founded in 1981, Hubtex Maschinenbau & Co. K.G. started as a conveyor technology and logistics manufacturer.
Headquartered in Fulda, Germany, Hubtex is a leading manufacturer of customized and special equipment for handling long, difficult, and bulky goods.
Today, Hubtex specializes in manufacturing industrial trucks, forklift reach trucks, heavy-duty compact front lifts, and electric multidirectional sideloaders.
Located in Ancenis Cedex, France, Manitou started in 1957 by Marcel Braud when he designed the first forklift truck for rough terrain.
Operating all over the world, Manitou has become synonymous with rough terrain forklifts.
Manitou has a "Special Solutions" department that creates customized forklifts and other lifting solutions for their customers.
Konecranes is a Finnish forklift manufacturing company headquartered in Hyvinkää. It began operating in 1994.
The company specializes in the manufacture and service of cranes and heavy-duty forklifts.
Konecranes' claim to fame is that they produce lifting equipment made for industries that handle the heaviest loads, like ports, shipyards, and bulk material terminals.
Svetruck started operating out of Ljungby, Sweden. It was founded in 1977 and is today one of the world's largest forklift producers of heavy-lift (10 to 55 ton) forklifts.
The company is best known for its Svetruck brand and produces several different models of forklifts under this name.
It is also the largest producer of log handling forklift machines (Svetruck T.M.F.) sold to paper, pulp, and lumber industries worldwide.
Located in Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, Japan, founded in 1937, and officially named the “Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd,” the company operates under Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks.
Mitsubishi is best known in the U.S. for its UniCarriers line of forklifts.
Their products are available under several different brands, including Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, C.A.T. Lift Trucks, T.C.M., Nichiyu Electric Forklift, and Rocla.
A familiar name in the automobile industry under its Hyundai and Kia brand names, Hyundai is also a manufacturer of forklifts and construction equipment.
Hyundai was founded in South Korea in 1947 but didn’t begin selling forklifts in North America until 2000.
Today, the company’s industrial equipment headquarters is in Norcross, Georgia. From there they offer an extensive line of diesel, electric, and LP-powered lift trucks.
Hangcha Group offers a complete range of material handling equipment.
Founded in 1956, Hangcha started out as a state-owned company then transformed into a private share-holding company in 2000.
Located in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, Hangcha bills itself as a leading Chinese forklift manufacturer.
The company's product line includes forklift trucks, side-loading forklifts, electric forklifts, and explosion-proof forklift trucks.
Anhui Heli Forklift Co. was founded in 1958 under the name Hefei Mine Machinery plant.
Located in Hefei, Anhui Province, Anhui Heli is the largest forklift truck manufacturer in China. It’s also the 7th biggest worldwide and operates under the HELI brand of forklifts.
Other than forklifts, the company's product line includes wheel loaders, mining and engineering machinery, foundry parts, and heat treatment manufacturing.
Established in 1963 by Ardeshir Godrej, Godrej Handling is the largest forklift manufacturer in India.
Based in Maharashtra, India, the company’s forklift line includes electric, diesel and LPG counterbalanced forklifts with up to 25-tonne capacity.
Other than forklifts, the company manufactures its own forklift attachments to handle a wide range of handling applications.
Park Seung-jik started the Doosan Industrial Vehicle company in 1896. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.
It is the parent company of Škoda Power and Bobcat Company in North America.
Doosan is one of South Korea's leading machinery manufacturers. They produce global logistics equipment along with engine- and electric-powered forklifts.
Komatsu Ltd., based in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, manufactures forklifts under its construction, mining, and utility equipment division.
Founded in 1921, Komatsu also produces diesel engines and industrial equipment like lasers and thermoelectric generators.
The company operates in North America as Komatsu America Corp, founded in 1917 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
SANY Heavy Industry Co. is a Chinese heavy equipment manufacturing company headquartered in Changsha, Hunan Province.
Founded in 1989, it is the world's 3rd-largest heavy equipment manufacturer and the first in its industry in China.
Besides heavy equipment, SANY also offers heavy-duty forklifts.
In 1993, Li-San Yim established Lonking Forklifts in Longyan, Fujian.
Lonking is a subsidiary of Lonking Holdings. It is one of the largest construction manufacturers in China.
The company's products include excavators, wheel loaders, rollers, motor graders, and forklifts. Its main product – the wheel loader - is a "China Top Brand."
Its forklift division includes electric forklifts, diesel forklifts, and LPG forklifts, including small and large tonnage internal combustion forklifts.
That’s it! You now know the top forklift manufacturers in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Now, it’s your turn.
We’d like to know what you learned from the post.
Will the information in this post help you make a decision about your next forklift manufacturer?
Or did we miss a top forklift manufacturer?
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