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CLARK’s Centennial Celebration

Celebrating 100 Years of Material Handling Equipment

January 5, 2017

CLARK`s Centennial: Celebrating 100 Years of Material Handling Equipment

Lexington, KY (January 5, 2016) – In 2017, CLARK Material Handling Company will observe 100 years of innovation and industry leadership in the design and manufacture of internal combustion and electric forklifts.

As CLARK celebrates this rich heritage throughout the year, numerous initiatives are underway to ensure the company’s continued growth in 2017. CLARK is currently implementing deliberate changes to its North American business to support continued overall business growth. Production of the company’s popular TMX, ECX, PWX and HWX electric models have been re-shored to Lexington, Kentucky, joining NPX and ESX. The company has ramped up its hiring and recruiting efforts, particularly in the areas of manufacturing, engineering and dealer support to increase sales and advance product development.

One of the highlights for the company will be its participation at ProMat on April 3-6 (booth #S2433) in Chicago. During the show, CLARK will feature new trucks and demonstrate advanced technologies to kick off the companies’ second century. In May, CLARK employees and partners from around the globe will gather in Lexington, Kentucky for a week of looking back and casting future vision. New products and technologies will be introduced during this celebration.

A central value at CLARK is giving back to the communities where employees work and live. In addition to regular support of more than 30 community organizations, company employees, suppliers and dealers have raised $30,000 to fund construction of a Habitat for Humanity house for a family in Lexington, Kentucky. An additional $5,000 was raised to help at-risk youth at a Louisville, Kentucky school.

CLARK’s roots run deep in the material handling industry. Formed by the January 1917 merger of the Celfor Tool Company and the Buchanan Electric Steel Company, the CLARK Equipment Company first manufactured drill bits, axles, wheels and steel casings. In 1917, employees built a simple shop buggy to haul materials between buildings at their Buchanan, Michigan (USA) plant. The vehicle’s ability to quickly do what had previously been done manually lead to wide acceptance of what would be called the “Tructractor” beginning a revolution in the industry and the development of the first gasoline-powered lift truck, the “Truclift” in 1920.

The first production fork lift truck with hydraulic lift, the “Tructier”, was released in 1928 just prior to the Great Depression. Despite that, CLARK continued to thrive as a pioneer and innovator in the early material handling industry. During the war years of the 1940s, CLARK ramped up for massive production supplying nearly 90 percent of Allied Forces’ requirements for material handling equipment. It was said that there was not an Allied airfield that did not have a CLARK truck or tractor. By the post-war period, the company was so well known that “CLARK” and “forklift” had become synonymous. The company continued to dominate the material handling industry in the 1950s and 1960s, however, competition adversely affected CLARK during the following decades.

In 2003, CLARK was acquired by the Young An Hat Company of Korea and began a new chapter towards a renewed vision. Today, CLARK enjoys growth year-over-year and has once again taken its place among the top 10 global forklift manufacturers.

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