Access Type

University of Portland Campus Only



Download Full Text (1.1 MB)

Faculty Advisor

C.J. Hainley


Hyster-Yale Group is a forklift company with a development center just outside the Portland metro area. Currently, the company utilizes hydraulics to shift the forks in and out, and side to side (see Figure 1 below). The system in place has proven to be effective for years now, but leads to additional costs for Hyster-Yale’s customers, as the hydraulic cables in the system are prone to leakage and require frequent maintenance. Hyster-Yale Group is looking to develop an electric fork positioning system that will fulfill the same functionality as their tried-and-true hydraulic systems, while providing additional value to their customers by increasing the reliability and longevity of the system and therefore decreasing costs related to maintenance. Hyster-Yale Group believes that such a system will also make them a stronger contender in the forklift industry, given that the system meets a set of requirements, including cost, safety and ease-of-use, and minimizing the design of the current system (i.e. slimming down the truck, rather than adding more components to it). The goal of the project is to build a full-scale mock-up of a fork positioning device, that is entirely electrically-powered, and that shifts the forks side-to-side, both independently and together. The goal for the fall semester is to brainstorm ideas and build small-scale prototypes from individual design ideas, and then decide which idea is the best to move forward on for a full-scale project in the spring.

Project Information

Senior Capstone Design Project

Hyster-Yale Group Electric Aux Functions