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

•  W = Schaeff; Sioux City, IA, USA

•  X = Modena, Italy

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

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

  1. I see the codes for the model numbers and such but I do not see one for my model S-50-XL. Also, how do you know which year it was built ours is either a 1991 or a 1968? Our serial number is: C187V01746M can you help me out please?
    Thank you very much.

    John J Donnelly
    1. For S50XL that would be 1991. S50XL was not a model built in 1968

    2. Hi, I have a H50XL, ser# C177B08260M
      Does this tell me the year of manufacturer, & what the exact engine is? I am going to rebuild the engine & want to get some parts for it now.

      Terry Larson
      1. 1991. It has either GM 3.0 liter or Mazda UA engine. If it’s got balls, it’s got the GM engine. If it has a hard time going up a ramp, then it has the Mazda.
        Most of them had GM engines in them.

  2. How old is Hyster S150A s/n A024D03895Y? 1957?

    Bill tompkins
    1. 1978
      The system isn’t ideal since it rolls over after going through the letters. You just have to know that S150A trucks were built in this era. Should be a solid workhorse of a truck, they were pretty reliable and often rebuilt over and over well into the 2000s even…

  3. I am looking at a refurbished hyster s35xm. Here is the serial number: c010ho2558s. I believe it runs on LP and what year was is manufactured. Any reviews or feedback on this model? Ty

  4. I am trying to determine the year of our Hyster. serial # D12D1578J. model M300H. based on the above it would be a 1988, but the id plate shows date of mfg: 19970718 – so wouldn’t that be a year 1997? how do I know which is right?

    Cecilia Gresley
  5. in follow up to my early reply. I am told that the mfg date off the id plate is for the engine. so is this a 1988?

    Cecilia Gresley