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Our history

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After more than 50 years of stable growth Lisman Forklifts actively serves material handling professionals in over 80 countries. We’re proud to share our story with you.


1967

Anton Lisman senior (1914 – 2005†) founded Lisman Vorkheftrucks BV at Voordorpsedijk in Fort Blauwkapel (Utrecht). The first employee also started working for the company this year. The aim for Lisman is to run a retail and service business in new and used forklift trucks.

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1968

Anton Lisman junior joins

Anton Lisman junior (current Managing Director and co-shareholder at Lisman Forklift Trucks) joins the company after completing IVA Automobile School in Driebergen.

1972

Jos Lisman joins

Jos Lisman, the older brother of Anton, initially works in the automobile industry following his Car Engineering studies. He has supported Lisman Forklift Trucks with the development of international trading activities since the company was founded. In 1972 Jos officially joined the company as a director together with his younger brother and father. In the same year Lisman moved to Jekerstraat, in the centre of Utrecht.

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1977

Lisman invest in gigantic IBM computer

Lisman makes, as it appears later, a strategic investment in a gigantic IBM computer. This makes Lisman the first European trading company to build an up-to-date database of the global lift truck market by brand interest. Partly thanks to this information, purchasing opportunities are created from early insights into importers’ and dealers’ surplus equipment. Based on this marketing information, Lisman can also observe where and when there is demand for which type of machines.

1985

Lisman buys from Sweden

Lisman buys a sizeable number of heavy machines from Sweden, which there appears to be great demand for in other parts of the world. This deal lays the financial basis for the company expansion which is to follow. More and more investments are made in supplying machines from Japan which are primarily sold on in Europe.

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1986

Lift truck News is developed

After small-scale editions by direct mail, ‘Lift truck News’ is developed. Lisman periodically starts to send full colour mailings around the world, targeting the purchasing profile of international dealers.

1987

Lisman grows

Lisman grows too big for Utrecht and moves to Techniekweg in IJsselstein, where the company has premises with a surface area of 15,000 m2. Gert Versteeg, who joined Lisman shortly before as general manager, joins the board of directors.

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1992

Lisman expands its range

Lisman expands its range with warehouse trucks and rough terrain forklift trucks and telescopic platforms. Also the strategic decision is taken to only trade with dealers, not end-users.

1995

Lisman expands its purchasing strategy

Lisman expands its purchasing strategy and, as well as the purchasing of used machines in Asia, actively focuses on purchasing surplus machine fleets from OEMs within the European Union

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1999

Koen Lisman (son of Jos) joins the company

Koen Lisman (son of Jos) joins the company and sets up a separate purchasing department. Prior to this, three years following on from his studies in Business Administration, Koen provided commercial management to Rentpower in Utrecht, importer of GS and Fiamm traction batteries, which was formerly part of the family company.

2004

Jos passes the directorship and his shares on to his son Koen

Jos passes the directorship and his shares on to his son Koen, who then manages the company together with Managing Director and co-shareholder Anton and director Gert Versteeg. Lisman adds access equipment to its range.

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2005

Lisman has a second showroom

Because of expansion Lisman built a second company premises with a surface area of 4,500 m2 for extra storage capacity within the existing industrial park. Lisman has a second showroom (the C-hall),a stone's throw away from the headquarters, at these premises in IJsselstein.

2008

Gert Versteeg leaves the board

Gert Versteeg leaves the board of directors and Bob Backers joins Lisman as Operations Manager. Prior to this Bob worked in various logistics and financial functions at Shell and Ahold.

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2009

Lisman builds its third business property (the B-hall)

Jos Lisman and Gert Versteeg leave the company to enjoy retirement. Lisman builds its third business property (the B-hall) close to the two other premises in IJsselstein. The new building contains 7.000 m2 floor space with a covered storage capacity of 6.000 m2, including loft space and an industrial lift to access, a novelty in the industry. This provides Lisman with its third showroom.

2012

Lisman opens its Asian branch

Lisman opens its Asian branch, Lisman Forklifts Asia Sdn Bhd, near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. As with Lisman Vorkheftrucks in the Netherlands, professionals within the industry can find an excellent variety of high quality stock of more than 400 units of material handling equipment and aerial platforms within the Lisman Asia premises. All sales-ready to be shipped anywhere in South East Asia.

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2014

The Lisman Forklifts Group NV is incorporated as holding

Lisman nowadays exports more than 5,000 machines to more than 80 countries worldwide each year. The Lisman Forklifts Group NV is incorporated as holding for the companies in the Netherlands and Malaysia to highlight the international aspect of our business. The old domains lisman.nl and lismanasia.com merge in the new domain lismanforklifts.com and Lisman introduces a new pay-off: 'Leader in used forklifts'. This underlines our mission as an international, renowned and leading company in used material handling machinery.

2016

Bob joins the board of directors

As a natural consequence of many years of great work and cooperation with Koen and Anton, Bob joins the board of directors.

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2017

Milestone: the 50th anniversary

Lisman reached an important milestone: the 50th anniversary since the company was founded in 1967! This special year is marked by some memorable achievements. We released a special anniversary book with a brief history of Lisman, surprised our most valued partners with a Helly Hansen® jacket as a present and organised two ‘anniversary days’ in April for our customers.

In June there was a fantastic party in Rotterdam for all the present and former employees of Lisman. The company grows further: Lisman in the meanwhile sells more than 6.000 machines on a yearly basis. The international team of more than 60 co-workers speaks 15 languages. We started several projects to improve our internal processes and IT, all to increase the customer satisfaction.

2020

The Corona pandemic hits hard the whole world.

Considering the big impact on the Asian market and on the maritime transport sector, Lisman makes the rightful decision to close his branch in Malaysia. All the sales activities are relocated to the headquarters in the Netherlands where the business development team can again take great care of the customers.

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What we stand for

At Lisman Forklifts we’re dedicated to transparency and consolidating new and existing business relationships. That’s why we keep improving. Discover our continuous desire to improve.

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How we work

Over the years Lisman Forklifts has created advanced methods regarding servicing, cleaning and repairing used forklifts and redundant machinery. All activities and processes are carefully coordinated and integrated within our Lisman Quality Guarantee.