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.

  • X = 2000
  • D = 2006
  • K = 2012
  • S = 2018
  • Y = 2001
  • E = 2007
  • L = 2013
  • T = 2019
  • Z = 2002
  • F = 2008
  • M = 2014
  • U = 2020
  • A = 2003
  • G = 2009
  • N = 2015
  • V = 2021
  • B = 2004
  • H = 2010
  • P = 2016
  • C = 2005
  • J = 2011
  • R = 2017

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

  1. I inherited an old three wheel propane Hyster. I believe the serial number is B1D 5250 K. The equipment tag is old and barely legible.

    I am in need of the model number, operating manual to start the maintenance process on this guy. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I reviewed the info provided in the article, but didn’t see one like described. Jobs happy to send the pic of the tag if that helps.



    Kelly Miller
    1. That’s a B001 series…model is H20E or H30E. Built in 1966. I’m fairly certain the manufacturer does not supply any operating manuals or anything for it anymore.

  2. I Have a really old hyster spacesaver 30. The identifaction label is pretty rough and hard to make out the numbers. It’s either a109 7478 N or a10d 7473 N. Any help with this would be great

    tony v
    1. You have a S30A, serial number A10D7473N, built in 1969
      3000 pound capacity. We can still get parts for this unit. [email protected]

      1. thank you

        tony v
  3. Even after looking at these codes I’m still having trouble figuring out any information about the forklift that I want to purchase lol. The numbers that I see on the plate on the forklift are D002D and 3940X with a model number S40E. Approximately 8,150 lb. This is a lift truck that I’m interested in purchasing but I’m just trying to figure out which engine it has in it as well as if there are any common problems. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. To be honest that’s an ancient forklift. Built in 1977. 4000 pound lifting capacity. Has a GM 4-153 4 cylinder engine.
      It’s too old of a model to know of any ‘common problems’. Parts are readily available still for this, Hyster is a common brand.

  4. I have what we think is a pre 1957 Hyster forklift. Need to redo the brakes and need to find the model so I can get parts. the only stamping we have found is B4D3486 i don’t know what this number is but it is all I can find. it is located on the right side about center moto compartment.

    Glen Davenport
    1. That’s the serial number, we can work with that. I’ve forwarded your inquiry to our tech team who will contact you.