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Yale Forklift Serial Number Guide

  • March 18, 2013

Hyster and Yale Forklift Serial number Guide

Often times forklift owners may purchase a used forklift, or have acquired the truck without knowing specifics about the equipment.  This article will show you how to distinguish what year the truck is for two of the top forklift brands in the material handling industry.  Having the correct serial number on a data plate will help your operators and mechanic understand the capabilities of the truck and can save complications when ordering parts and service.  Overall, this article will be a Hyster and Yale forklift serial number guide.

Yale forklift serial number guideYale Forklift data plate

Before 1995 Yale Materials Handling Corporation did not indicate truck year within the serial number.  Post 1995 Yale began a lettering system that identifies the year of the truck.  Following this system, the last letter in every serial number after 1995 should result in the manufacturing year of your forklift. The lettering system is as follows:  S (1995), T (1996), U (1997) V (1998), W (1999), X (2000), Y (2001), Z (2002), A (2003), B (2004), C (2005), D (2006), E (2007), F (2008), G (2009), H (2010), J (2011), K (2012). If you notice the letter I is missing, this is done to prevent confusion with the number one (1).  If you have a truck that has a serial number before the letter S the best idea is to contact the manufacturer or a local Yale forklift dealership locally.  The first letter and three numbers after are the Series number that is key in helping the manufacturer identify your truck.

Hyster forklift serial number guide

Since Hyster and Yale are both manufactured by NACCO, many tools used to identify trucks are similar with both brands.  Hyster Company began their truck lettering system much earlier than Yale Materials-Handling.  In 1957 is when the first manufacturing year letters appeared in the serial numbers of Hyster trucks.  The Hyster lettering system also uses the last letter to calculate the year and is as follows: A (1957), B(1958), C(1959)…X (1977), Y(1978) Z (1980) *skipping the letters “I, O, and Q”. This process repeats beginning with A (1980) until Z (2002), currently in 2013 Hyster is manufacturing trucks with “L” as the last digit in the serial number. Again, if your Hyster forklift was manufactured before 1957 it would be best to contact your local Hyster dealer.


If you’re still having trouble identifying the year of your forklift or you have another brand of forklift, the link below is a Clark, Hyster, Toyota, Raymond and Yale forklift serial number decoder.  On this website after you register, you will be able to select the manufacturer of your truck and input the serial number of the truck. Their database will output the year of your forklift which will give you some insight on the equipment. This service provided by out of Ohio, gives customers a free 1 month trial with full access.  There are also 6 Month ($59) and 1 Year ($99) subscriptions available for purchase.




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