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How to decode Hyster forklift serial and model numbers

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Hyster forklift serial numbers

Q: How do I decode my Hyster forklift serial number?

A: Post-1957 Hyster forklift serial numbers come in four parts and give information about four different things: the design series of the lift, where the lift was manufactured, the sequence of the lift, and the year it was made. See below for an example of how to read a Hyster forklift serial number.

Part 1: This section should be a combination of letters and numbers. This sequence refers to the design series and model of the lift, according to the table to the right. Click the table for a larger image.

Part 2: This section should be a single letter. It identifies the manufacturing plant of the forklift, as described below.

  • A = Irvine, Scotland
  • B = Craigavon, Northern Ireland
  • D = Danville, IL, USA
  • E = Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • F = Flemington, NJ, USA
  • G = government contracts
  • L = Lenoir, NC, USA
  • N = Greenville, NC, USA
  • R = OBU, Japan (OBU-SHI, Aichi-Ken, 474 IT)
  • S = Sulligent Mfg Plant; Sulligent, AL, USA
  • T = Masate, Italy
  • V = Berea, KY, USA

Part 3: This section should be a number sequence. It indicates the sequence of manufacture at the manufacturing plant of the lift truck. The numbering of production models for each plant begins at 1501.

Part 4: This last section should be a single letter. It indicates the year that the lift was manufactured. 1957 began with letter A, 1958 being B, 1959 being C, and etc. The full alphabet is used, except for I, O, and Q. Below are some recent years for reference.

Letter = Year the Forklift Was Manufactured (For older models)
A = 1957J = 1965T = 1973B = 1981K = 1989U = 1997C = 2005L = 2013U = 2021
B = 1958K = 1966U = 1974C = 1982L = 1990V = 1998D = 2006M = 2014V = 2022
C = 1959L = 1967V = 1975D = 1983M = 1991W = 1999E = 2007N = 2015W = 2023
D = 1960M = 1968W = 1976E = 1984N = 1992X = 2000F = 2008P = 2016X = 2024
E = 1961N = 1969X = 1977F = 1985P = 1993Y = 2001G = 2009Q = 2017Y = 2025
F = 1962P = 1970Y = 1978G = 1986R = 1994Z = 2002H = 2010R = 2018Z = 2026
G = 1963R = 1971Z = 1979H = 1987S = 1995A = 2003J = 2011S = 2019
H = 1964S = 1972A = 1980J = 1988T = 1996B = 2004K = 2012T = 2020

Check out the image below for REALLY old years.  Remember, if the last digit of your serial number is one of these letters then that’s the age of the forklift.    Remember Hyster re-uses letters every 20 years.

aftermarket forklift parts Intella
Ancient Hyster serial number years

Hyster forklift model numbers

Q: How do I decode my Hyster forklift model number?

Similar to a serial number, Hyster forklift model numbers also have four parts: the type of truck, the truck’s capacity, the design series of the truck, and a further indicator of type for electric truck models.

Part 1: The first part is a single letter. This letter identifies the series of the lift, according to the following list.

  • B = electric walkie/rider
  • C = electric walkie, center control
  • E = electric lift truck: counterbalanced rider, cushion tires
  • H = pneumatic tire lift truck (IC)
  • J = electric lift truck: counterbalanced rider, pneumatic tires
  • N = electric narrow aisle truck
  • R = electric order picker truck
  • S = cushion tire lift truck (IC)
  • T = electric tractor
  • V = very narrow aisle
  • W = electric walkie

Part 2: This section is either a number or a combination of numbers and letters, and it indicates the capacity of the lift truck. If the capacity is in the inch system, multiply the number in the model code by 100. This capacity is in pounds. For example, if this section of the code is “30,” the capacity of the truck is 30 x 100 lbs, or 3,000 lbs.

If the capacity is in the metric system, look at the number within this section. This gives the capacity directly in metric tons.

Part 3: This section is a single letter, and it designates the design series of the truck. The first design used is represented by A, the second by B, the third by C, and so on through the alphabet. The letters D, G, I, and O are not used.

Part 4: Finally, the last section is either a single letter or two letters that indicate further the specific type of an electric truck model. Note that XL and XM describe design concepts and can be disregarded.

  • A = straddle
  • C = center control – standrive
  • H = pneumatic
  • L = low level pallet
  • R = reach
  • R = rear standrive
  • S = short wheelbase
  • S = stepped battery compartment
  • T = high level pallet
  • T = three-wheel
  • DR = double reach
  • MD = man down
  • MU = man up

Hyster older series codes

For Hyster forklifts built before the 1990s, see below chart

hyster forklift parts

For more information and step-by-step instructions, read our other articles on forklift model numbers, troubleshooting, repair, and maintenance.

Post by Intella Parts Company, LLC

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337 thoughts on “How to decode Hyster forklift serial and model numbers”

  1. I have what I believe to be a 1986 S60 with serial # C4D8727G, is this correct? I am needing information on the LPG in line 6 cylinder engine in order to purchase parts, is there a way to identify what engine this is? Would you be able to sell an Expansion/Freeze Plug Kit for this engine?

    1. Yes G at end of serial number is 1986
      Please email [email protected] and provide your serial number and we’ll get you a quote on that freeze plug kit
      Are you certain it’s a 6 cylinder?

      Intella Parts Company, LLC
      1. Yes, I am certian it is a 6 cylinder. I will email the SN and request the kit. Thank you.

        Roy H Mundy