The Raymond Corporation is celebrating the company’s continued innovation by commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Raymond Reach-Fork® truck. On Aug. 14, 1951, George Raymond Sr., Raymond’s founder, and Christian Gibson, an engineer at the company, received a U.S. patent for the power-driven narrow aisle material handling truck — better known today as the Raymond® Reach-Fork truck.
The Raymond team sees industry needs and works quickly to address them, often being the first in the industry to develop innovations that change warehousing. In the 1940s, a grocery consultant brought a problem to Raymond’s attention. The consultant recognized that wide aisle warehousing was costing American companies millions of dollars, and George Raymond Sr. had the vision to develop the narrow aisle concept. This warehousing idea led to the design of Raymond’s narrow aisle vehicle that maneuvered in aisles less than 7 feet wide and retrieved and put away pallets two tiers high. The vehicle preserves its gravitational integrity by straddling a pallet with baselegs.
“Many of the basic principles of Raymond’s first power-driven narrow aisle material handling truck are used in the narrow aisle reach trucks of today,” said Susan Comfort, product manager for narrow aisle products at The Raymond Corporation. “As warehouse and distribution centers find ways to gain productivity and efficiency, our forward-thinking products and solutions evolve and advance to keep up with our customers’ demands. Today, the Raymond Reach-Fork truck series has over 200 configurations and can be customized for a variety of applications, including retail, grocery, manufacturing and distribution.”
Raymond’s history and philosophy lives on as it continues to innovate, addressing customers’ ultra-narrow aisle needs with its TRT transtacker turret truck, which can maneuver in aisles as narrow as 5 feet wide, and retrieve and put away pallets up to 60 feet high. In today’s world of interconnectivity, Raymond lift trucks are the first to have an integrated operator display and are equipped with iWAREHOUSE® — a wireless fleet management and warehouse optimization system that assists companies in managing their fleet, labor and entire operations, and in effect, lowering their overall operating costs. Raymond also uses technologies such as regenerative lowering, which allows trucks to run longer.
“The high-density warehouses that we know today are only possible because 65 years ago, our founder revolutionized warehouse operations through creating the narrow aisle concept and Reach-Fork truck — and we continue to lead the way in innovation, proven by our recent recognition of 19 engineers who have contributed to 32 patents awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 2012,” said Michael Field, chief executive officer of Raymond. “Our continuous improvement leads to revolutionary developments in products and solutions that exemplify Raymond’s core principle of innovation, from the flexible automation of the Courier automated lift truck, to our internet of things solutions that bring entire operations to the mobile device of the warehouse manager.”