The first Tructractor is built in Buchanan, Michigan by employees of the CLARK Equipment Company. The Tructractor was the world’s first internal combustion-powered industrial truck. The Tructractor was originally configured with a flat bed or cargo box and was manually loaded and unloaded. It was used to haul materials between CLARK’s various axle, drill and wheel departments. However, visitors to the plant were impressed with its practicality and asked CLARK to also build Tructractors for them. In 1918, eight Tructractors were built and in 1919 over 75 were manufactured.
The Truclift, an internal combustion-powered platform lift truck, is introduced. The Truclift was the world’s first internal combustion lift truck that used hydraulics, not mechanical gears and linkage, to lift a load.
The Tructier is introduced. The Tructier was the world’s first internal combustion fork lift truck that used hydraulics, not chains and cables, to lift a load.
The Utilitruc is introduced. This heavy-duty internal combustion CLARK fork lift was used mainly in the metal fabrication and stevedoring industries and remained in production until 1964.
CLARK produces almost 90 percent of the military requirements for fork lift trucks and tow tractors. It was once said during WWII that there was not an air field under Allied control that did not have a CLARK fork lift truck or tow tractor. By the end of the war, the widespread use of CLARK lift trucks by the Allied Forces and war-related industries made “CLARK” and “fork lift” almost synonymous.
The Clipper is introduced. The Clipper became a standard for the internal combustion fork lift industry and at one time accounted for 50 percent of all sales in the 2000 pound capacity range. Like the Carloader and Utilitruc models, the Clipper was manufactured until 1964.
The Clarklift family line is introduced. The Clarklift was a complete line of internal combustion and electric powered fork lift trucks and was available in both cushion and pneumatic-tired versions. It eventually superseded the Carloader, Utilitruck and Clipper models.
CLARK is the first lift truck manufacturer to install load back rests and overhead guards as standard equipment on all of its trucks.
The TW15/20 is introduced. The TW15/20 was the first electric three-wheel lift truck in the U.S. and became an industry standard. This highly maneuverable lift truck was used across multiple industries including shipping, warehousing and bottling. The TW15/20 evolved into the 24 volt TM10/15S in 1981. The TM10/15S in turn evolved into the 36 volt TM15/20 in 1986.
CLARK offers the industry’s first dual voltage electric trucks. These trucks provided performance options based on the demands of the customer’s application.
CLARK’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant begins production of sit down, narrow aisle stand-up & Powrworker electric lift trucks.
CLARK builds its 500,000th truck, a C500-50 internal combustion four wheel fork lift truck. Donated to Western Michigan University in 1977, this truck is still in service today.
The ECA17-30 & EPA 20-30 four wheel electric trucks are introduced. They represented a major advance in CLARK electric lift truck design and ergonomics through improved reliability, productivity and operator comfort. The ECA model evolved into the ECS17-30 in 1987, which in turn evolved into the ECG20-32 in 1996.
The CLARK safety seat retrofit program is launched. CLARK’s pioneering operator restraint system was offered free of charge to existing CLARK fork lift truck customers. The patent for this safety innovation was offered to all lift truck manufacturers, royalty-free.
CLARK is the first lift truck manufacturer to provide the “Employer’s Guide to Material Handling Safety” on every truck delivered.
CLARK is the first lift truck manufacturer to offer a factory-installed compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel option. The benefits of CNG include low emissions and cost.
The one-millionth CLARK truck is produced. This model CDP25H Megastat is now on permanent display in CMHC’s showroom in Lexington, Kentucky.
The EPX20/30 Series electric lift truck is released for applications that require pneumatic tires.
CLARK Material Handling Company (CMHC) opens its new North American headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky.
The TMX12-25 and ECX20-32 sit-down electric riders with new 100% AC technology are introduced. These trucks excel in manufacturing, warehousing, bottling and shipping & receiving applications. The TMX12-25 and ECX20-32 AC feature reduced maintenance and noise.
The GEX20/30 electric lift truck is introduced. This 80 volt pneumatic-tired truck offers outstanding speed and performance. A zero turn radius steer axle provides unmatched maneuverability.
2017 – CLARK Celebrates 100 Years of Manufacturing Forklifts