Classic Forklift Friday – 1987 Raymond 31-R30TT

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It is always fun to review a forklift that shares the same birthday.  This Raymond reach truck is a certainly a classic as it celebrated 27 years this year.  Unfortunately, this lift was a little too old and beat up to sell again after it was traded in to National Warehouse, but it is nonetheless this week’s feature Classic Forklift Friday.

Raymond has been synonymous with warehousing and material handling since the early 1900s.  They started off as a family owned business in 1922 and they have grown with the business, developing different technologies to better accommodate America’s warehouse applications.  A lot of Raymond dealerships today can be found alongside Toyota forklift dealerships as a way to give their customers access to electric warehouse forklifts, internal combustion lifts , and even high capacity diesel forklifts.

1987 Raymond 31-R30TTIMG_2686

Stand-up Electric Reach Truck

3,000 lb capacity

36 volt

107″ lowered height

237″ maximum lift height

Triple Stage Mast

No attachment

Hours: n/a


Reach trucks are used in warehouses all over the world.  They are typically found in most applications where product is kept in racking aisles.  They are used to put pallets away on tall shelves.  This reach truck can reach a rack level 237″ off the ground, but we have had reach trucks go as high as 442″.  At it’s lowered height, this reach truck can fit inside a standard trailer.  That makes it convenient to move around from warehouse to warehouse.  Typical overhead clearances in a warehouse will not hinder a machine like this particular reach truck.  However, a reach truck that can lift as high as 442″ will be almost 200″ at it’s lowered height!  To transport those monsters, the machines need to be laid down, palleted, and secured.

A couple features that make this forklift different than a typical reach truck are the large load wheels, the lack of an attachment, and the door in the back.  The large load wheels out in front near the forks could restrict the machine.  A lot of warehouse racking set ups use a lower level directly off the ground.  In those cases, this lift could not put pallets back into the racking because the outriggers/load wheels have to go completely under the racking and they would be restricted by the taller wheels.

Later models reach trucks almost always have sideshift.  The lack of a sideshift can deem a reach truck almost impossible to use.  The point of a reach truck is to be able to operate in a small aisle.  Without sideshift, if the operator needs to move the load to the right or left, they would have to put the entire truck in reverse and complete a three point turn.  This is not only extremely inefficient, but dangerous in a smaller aisle space.  Sideshift is almost a necessary option on a reach truck today.  Without one, the lift is almost impossible to sell.

The door on the rear of the operator’s compartment is a common safety feature.  When moving around a busy warehouse at high speeds, the IMG_2687operator is relatively exposed.  The metal door protects the body of the operator in the case of an accident.  Think about the threat a set of raised forks or exposed pipes can be to a driver of a forklift when they are facing forward towards their load and moving backwards.

While this forklift was impossible to resell, it is amazing to think that it has been in use at a customer’s location for over 25 years.  These machines are incredibly reliable and resilient.  If you have a facility with a forklift and that machine is starting to age and get too expensive to repair and keep running, please contact us.  We have the machines to replace your aging dinosaurs and would be happy to help you keep your warehouse up and running.



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