About Yale

You might not know it, but Yale is one of the oldest, original manufacturers of lift trucks and warehouse equipment in the world, having been in the business of lifting for over 137 years! We’ve learned a lot in so many years of helping customers solve materials handling challenges, and it’s our goal – every day – to continue improving, providing you with the solutions you need, how and when you need them.

Our tagline, “People, Products, Productivity.™” sums up the elements of business we think make us most successful. We believe it’s truly a team effort that’s responsible for impressive Yale history and longevity in this very demanding industry.


  • Yale employees and our suppliers around the world are dedicated to solving problems and helping each customer’s business run more smoothly.

  • Our dealers are all carefully selected to ensure highly responsive, consistent service in every region of the globe.

  • Our customers – you – are our most important partners, working with Yale and our dealers to deliver the best lift trucks and services possible.


  • Yale has an unrivalled heritage in the design and manufacture of a wide range of materials handling equipment, from speciality warehouse equipment to traditional counterbalanced forklift truck models, powered by electric, diesel, LPG, CNG or even hydrogen fuel cells.

  • We have an unwavering commitment to quality, with important ISO registrations and use of highly advanced design, manufacturing and testing methods.

  • And we never rest on our laurels… we invest over $40 million annually in research and development to make sure we continue to solve new customer challenges and remain leaders in the industry.


  • At Yale, we understand that forklift trucks are not your business, but a means to an end…a way to help you run your business more efficiently and profitably.

  • All of our materials handling equipment is designed to improve productivity, by allowing tasks to be handled in the most efficient manner and helping operators remain both comfortable and safe.

  • We believe services around the truck are just as important as the truck itself, so we offer parts, maintenance, financing and fleet management programmes designed to maximise uptime and minimise ownership concerns.

Yale History

The name Yale Forklifts is just as famous around the world for locks as lift trucks thanks to the man who started it all.  Linus Yale Junior of Connecticut.  In 1844, he founded our company with an invention inspired amazingly by the ancient Egyptians: the first pin-tumbler cylinder lock.  Soon these beautifully engineered devices would bring security to the masses.  But the skills and machinery employed in their manufacture would also open the door to another great invention.

In 1868, Linus met Henry R Towne, a promising engineer from Philadephia, and the two struck up a partnership.  Linus Yale, sadly, would never live to see out the first year of this bold new venture but, fortuitously his young partner was as gifted a businessman as he was an engineer.  In 1875 he seized the chance to acquire the patents to a pulley block and created the first Yale Forklifts hand-powered chain hoist. And with that, the company diversified into materials handling.

The first of many firsts…

Within just a few years, not only was the company America’s foremost lock producer but also its leading hoist manufacturer.  But then in 1923, Yale Forklifts invented the first forklift truck, creating the fundamental handling solution still used to this day. Yale Forklifts has gone from strength to strength, developing further innovations in lift trucks over the years such as power steering, centre-control trucks, caster steering, fluid coupling transmissions and hypoid drive axles.

Today, Yale Forklifts is a global organisation.  It is consistently the largest producer of lift trucks in the United States and the third largest worldwide.  Our lift trucks are manufactured in the United States, Netherlands, Italy and Japan with over 350 dealers in over 62 countries. Doubtless, Linus Yale would be astonished at what has become of the little company he started over 150 years ago.  But it was his foresight and innovation that unlocked the legacy we draw on to this day.

Having trouble choosing a product or need more information?