yale-oldest-truckAs the search for the oldest Yale forklift truck to mark Yale’s 90th anniversary year in 2010 continues, Yale shines the spotlight on a 1955 Yale Dye Handler that has recently been entered into the competition.


A 27 tonne Yale dye handler built in 1955 and used continually in the automotive industry has been given a new lease of life after being reconditioned by a team of service technicians at Yale Materials Handling UK, a Yale Authorised Dealer for the United Kingdom.

This impressive piece of equipment has now been entered into Yale’s  competition to find the oldest piece of Yale lifting equipment that is still in use today in Europe.

ThyssenKrupp Tallent is a major supplier to the automotive industry and uses the dye handler forklift truck to lift dyes into its 1,000 ton presses.

As a purpose built machine ThyssenKrupp identified that it needed to refurbish this unique forklift truck, which is vital to the company’s production process, as the dye handler is a machine that is no longer manufactured.

Expert knowledge, extensive experience

Yale Materials Handling UK in Aldridge, West Midlands, was the only suitable company with the expert knowledge and extensive experience of reconditioning such a wide range of Yale equipment that was able to refurbish the dye handler and return it to ‘as new’ working condition.

90-years-new-a-w-1Simon Hall, special products engineering department foreman at Yale Materials Handling UK, managed the project in the workshops. He said: “We have seen a considerable number of forklift trucks in our time but none of us had ever worked on a piece of equipment anywhere near as unique and old as the ThyssenKrupp dye handler.

“In refurbishing such a unique forklift truck we were reliant on our own engineering expertise. There were no manuals available to see how to strip down the dye handler, it is was down to the years of experience our technicians have that enabled us to carry out the refurbishment, and we have plenty of that in Aldridge, and of course we really do like a challenge”.


Even for a seasoned team of experienced and expert engineers, working on a forklift truck as old as the dye handler was not without its challenges.

As this particular model had not been manufactured for so long, replacement parts were unavailable and so Yale Materials Handling UK had to find a company that could help engineer the special parts needed.

Simon continues: “It is only because we are based in the country’s manufacturing heartland here in the Midlands that we were able to find a company who could re-engineer the parts from scratch. The dye handler needed new gears, splines, shafts, bearings and motors and because we have such a wide network of suppliers we managed to identify one that could provide us with the engineering capability we needed.

dsc_1792“In total it took us three months to totally recondition the dye handler including special parts manufacturing, an overhaul of the steer axel, electrical and hydraulic systems and traction battery. We even gave it a full re-spray,” added Simon.

As a result of the level of refurbishment ThyssenKrupp Talent has subsequently placed an order with Yale Materials Handling UK for their other Yale dye handler to be reconditioned to the same level and to further extend its 55 year working life.

Win a trip to New York – help to find the oldest operating Yale forklift truck

Do you have a piece of Yale equipment that is older than the ThyssenKrupp dye handler? If so, you could be in with a chance of winning a trip to New York.

Widely recognised as introducing the very first electric powered low lift platform truck to the European market, Yale is searching for the oldest Yale forklift truck or pallet truck, still in operation today, to mark its 90th  anniversary year in 2010.

In 1919, the very first battery powered low lift platform truck was manufactured in Staten Island, New York by C.W. Hunt Co which was purchased by Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co in 1920.

dsc_1786Yale is offering a trip to the Big Apple in return for information on the oldest Yale forklift truck or pallet truck still in operation*.

Richard Czepukojc, Yale Europe’s marketing communications executive, explains: “We regularly receive feedback from our customers saying they are still using a Yale forklift truck or pallet truck purchased in the 1960s and we know of one operator that up until a few years ago was using a platform truck that was well over 40 years old, but we are certain that there must be more examples out there.

“As well as being at the forefront of forklift innovation and technology our products are recognised as being robust, durable and hard wearing so we’re looking forward to discovering where these forklift and pallet trucks are still in operation today.”

The competition is open to operators of Yale forklift trucks or pallet trucks in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa who currently operate Yale materials handling equipment that is at least 20 years old. The competition is being organised by Yale to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary year in 2010.

yale-logo-full-colourOperators can enter the competition by visiting the website: www.forkliftaction.com/yaleoldesttruck or by emailing a picture of it in use, together with your name, company and age of the truck, to yaleeurope@yale.com. A selection of images will be uploaded on the gallery on the new Yale blog site: http://forkliftsrus.blogspot.com/ and entries will be updated on Twitter at www.twitter.com/yale_forklifts.

* Terms and conditions can be found at http://forkliftsrus.blogspot.com/

1 Comment

  1. Jerry Stanley

    I have purchased A Yale forcktruck model L83P-080-SBS-093 Serial P244137. Can you tell me what year and can I get A repair manual for it.

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