Our History—A Tradition of Quality

During the past 70 years, the field of materials handling has developed into a highly sophisticated and important part of industry. Cascade has played a significant part in this growth and development. From our beginnings as a small machine shop in the early 1940's to the leading worldwide manufacturer that we are today, Cascade continues to grow as the premier supplier of lift truck attachments and related products. As we look to the future and the challenges of an increasingly competitive global marketplace, we remain confident in our ability to understand customer needs and enhance our industry leadership position.

Cascade Manufacturing Company was founded in
1943 with a total capital investment of $7500 in Portland, Oregon as a small machine shop employing just four people. The first recorded sales revenues involved the machining and assembly of stainless steel valves, pipe fittings and other components. Sales for the first year of operation totaled $60,000.

1948 At the end of five years of operation, annual sales volume had increased to $330,000 and the company had grown to approximately 40 employees. Design and production of the company's first hydraulic cylinder led the way in Cascade's aggressive pursuit of new business opportunities.

During the 1950's, Cascade began to design, manufacture, and sell hydraulic attachments. In
1956, construction was completed on a new facility to house all plant and office operations in Portland, Oregon -- this building is now Cascade's world headquarters. After 15 years in business, sales had reached nearly $2.3 million and total employment stood at 180.

1959, Cascade broadened its base of operations with a second manufacturing plant in Springfield, Ohio. The following year marked Cascade's initial move into the global arena, with interests established in companies in The Netherlands, England and Australia.

1964, the company name was changed to Cascade Corporation. Cascade went public with an initial offering of 200,000 shares of common stock in 1965.

1967 Cascade opens a subsidiary operation in the Republic of South Africa and acquires C.M. Scott Fluid Power, Ltd., a Canadian manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders located near Toronto, Ontario.

1968 Our 25th year in business was an exciting period. Approval was received from the Japanese government to form a wholly-owned Cascade subsidiary operation in Japan. Ramey Hydraulic Loaders, Inc of Roseburg, Oregon was acquired. Construction of a new Cramlington, UK manufacturing plant was completed.

1973/74 Ramey Hydraulic Loader operations were discontinued. Diamond, NV, a 20,000 square foot plant located in Hoorn, The Netherlands is acquired by Cascade to help meet growing European market demands.

1978 In our 35th year of business total employment stands at 1,330.

1980 A new manufacturing plant opened in Warner Robins, Georgia to expand US production of sideshifters. Subsidiary operations now manufacture Cascade products worldwide.

1982 Severe economic recession in both the United States and Europe results in a 25% decline in consolidated net sales, employment levels were reduced from 1175 to 760.

1986 Cascade enters into a joint venture agreement with the Xiamen Forklift Company located in Xiamen, (Xiamen-Cascade Corporation, Ltd) for the production and sale of attachments in the Peoples Republic of China.

1988 A new 110, 000 square foot facility in Westminster, South Carolina dedicated to production of the new Cascade World Mast is completed. Sales reach nearly $140.2 million, earnings hit a record level, and total employment rises to 1005.

Cascade expanded its product offering dramatically in 1996 and 1997 with the acquisition of five companies including Kenhar Corporation, the global leader in forks.

1999 marked the sale of the world mast product line and Industrial Tires Limited-two of the five companies acquired in 1996 and 1997. In 2002 the cylinder division was sold to Precision Hydraulics, a newly formed company headed by Chris Barclay. The sale included manufacturing facilities in Beulaville, North Carolina and Cramlington, Northumberland, United Kingdom.

The year 2003 was notable as the company’s 60th anniversary as well as a number of key acquisitions in the European market. Cascade acquired fork manufacturer FEMA of Germany; ITAB, a Swedish manufacturer of paper roll handling products; and Roncari, the leading supplier of attachments to the Italian lift truck market.

2004 marked the acquisition of yet another fork company, Falkenroth. In addition to forks, the Schalksmühle, Germany based Falkenroth group also manufactured lines of drop forgings and excavator teeth. The purchase provides Cascade OEM customers with assurances that the capacity will be available to meet their production requirements, even in the most rapidly-expanding markets.

China in 2005 becomes the third largest national lift truck market behind the United States and Japan. To sustain our current market position in the Chinese market, Cascade expands the capacity of Chinese fork facilities and makes significant investments in Xiamen and Hebei operations. In Mid 2005 Cascade entered into a distributor agreement with a facility in Santos, SP, Brazil, South America.

2006 In August, the Warner Robbins plant produced its millionth Sideshifter. December marked the acquisition of PSM, a manufacturer of attachments for the construction industry-a new market for Cascade.

2007 Cascade Asia marked a number of significant anniversaries: a 40th anniversary for Cascade Japan, a 20th anniversary for Cascade Xiamen (China) and the opening of a new fork facility for Cascade Heibei who celebrated a 10th anniversary in 2007. The acquisition of American Compaction Equipment, Inc. becomes the next step into the Construction Attachment market. Shipments from the new Xiamen (China) and Hebei (China) fork factories begin. The year also marked the Introduction of Chinese produced forks into the European market and the expansion of the attachment production capacity in Xiamen.

2008 marked the launch of the Cascade “ WorldForkTM”, a high volume commodity fork featuring standardized engineering specification. In response to the unprecedented economic environment Cascade made significant personnel reductions in all regions. All Cascade manufacturing operations moved to some form of flexible reduced work schedules. Total personnel costs reduced by 30% to 35% in North America and Europe compared to last year.

2009 was one of the most difficult and challenging in the company’s 67 year history. By mid–year, markets had stabilized but remained at levels that were 40% to 50% below those of two years ago. Due to the precipitous drop in our markets, and in particular the European market, Cascade experienced the second annual loss in our history. Net Sales dropped to $314 million. As a result of the downturn, Cascade closed fork plants in France and Germany, and the attachment plant and European headquarters in Almere, The Netherlands. All European attachment manufacturing operations are consolidated in our Verona, Italy attachment plant. North American and Asia Pacific operations remain profitable at the operating level despite market declines of 40% and 35%, respectively. Chinese operations remained very profitable throughout the year in very volatile market conditions. In June, Cascade opened a sales office in India, starting up with one employee (rather than an agent as previously done).

The most pleasant surprise of 2010 was the accelerated recovery of the global lift truck industry. The Chinese market begins to experience a very robust and rapid recovery, reaching historic highs in terms of lift truck shipments. The Asia-Pacific, European and North American markets also see significant improvements. The North American lift truck market increased 3% in fiscal 2011 compared with fiscal 2010, Cascade revenues up 32%. Lift truck shipments were up 24% in the second half of fiscal 2011 compared to the first half. In February, a Cascade designed Hydraulic Force Control (HFC) is recognized as a major environmental breakthrough- winning the prestigious Archie Award at the Fork Lift Truck Association’s Annual Awards Ceremony. Late in the year Cascade opened another small office, this time in Russia – again starting out with one employee (German exports sales to Russia increased by 52.4 percent in the previous year)..

The most significant unanticipated event in 2011 was a massive flood that struck the Queensland area of Australia this past January. Even though the entire first floor of the Cascade Australia facility was flooded, team members from around the globe were sent to the facility to aid in recovery efforts and ensure that customer orders were not impacted by the disaster.