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Raymond Corp.

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Raymond Corp., now part of Toyota’s material handling group under Toyota Industries Corp., is a manufacturer of electric material handling equipment. Its range of lift trucks used in narrow aisle and very narrow aisle storage applications includes forklifts, pallet trucks, pallet stackers, sideloaders, reach trucks, swing reach trucks, and order selectors. The company’s lift trucks are used across a wide cross segment of industries with home improvement centers comprising the core of its customer base. Every year its lift trucks travel 400 million warehouse miles (644 million km) and are used by nine of out 10 FORTUNE 100 companies.[1]


[edit] History

Raymond Corp. was a family-oriented business until it was recently acquired by Toyota. The company was founded in 1922 by George Raymond, Sr., an efficiency engineer, when he purchased a foundry called the Lyon Iron Works in the village of Greene, New York. It quickly established itself as a manufacturer of cast-iron wheels, buckboards, and dollies for the agriculture and mercantile markets.

By the early 1920s it crossed over into the material handling business when it developed the first commercially used hydraulic hand lift truck for handling skid platforms. From this product evolved the company’s very first hand truck for moving double-faced pallets, called the L4P.[2]

[edit] Invention of the Pallet

One invention credited to George Raymond, Sr. in collaboration with William House that revolutionized the entire material handling industry was the invention of the wooden pallet, patented in 1939. The pallet was a supporting structure that featured wooden front-to-back stringers and top-to-bottom decks that permitted the pick and transport of loads by a forklift. The same year, they both also received a patent for the company’s first lift truck.[3]

[edit] Design of First Narrow Aisle Truck

By 1949 Raymond Corp., under the direction Christian D. Gibson, began working on a design that they would patent, which would become the industry’s first narrow aisle lift truck. Called the Lyon-Raymond Model 700 SpaceMaker, the truck was electric and able to operate in aisles less than seven feet (2.1 m) wide, setting the standard for the industry. [4]It was designed without the counterbalancing chassis characteristic of conventional forklifts. The truck maintained its balance instead by straddling both sides of a pallet with the assistance of support legs or outriggers. The basic design principles of Raymond’s narrow aisle lift truck would set the precedence for the development of all future narrow aisle trucks from that point on.[5]

[edit] Changes Come to Raymond

Raymond Corp. became a public corporation in 1956. By 1959 the leadership of the company under George Raymond, Sr. had run its course, and his son George Raymond, Sr. took over the helm from his father as president and CEO. Under his direction the company flourished in producing new products introducing a full line of new types of lift trucks including order selectors, the Deep-Reach™ truck, the very narrow aisle (VNA) Swing-Reach™ truck, the Transtacker, and the narrow aisle Pacer™ truck. The company also expanded operations when it opened a plant in Brantford, Ontario, Canada for the production of its reach trucks in 1965 and another plant in Muscatine, Iowa in 2000 for the production of its walkie pallet trucks and pallet stackers.[6]

[edit] Raymond Becomes a Household Name

If Raymond was not already a household name, it quickly became one after it introduced the first computer-controlled drive system for material handling trucks in the 1980s, followed by the first ergonomically advanced control handle in 1991. The control handle enabled the lift truck operator to execute all function of the truck with one hand.
The company’s profile on a global scale was also raised substantially when it was acquired by BT in 1997, a Sweden-based material handling company. Both BT and Raymond were then taken over by the Toyota Materials Handling Group, part of Toyota Industries Corp. in 2000. The three amalgamated companies emerged as the largest lift truck manufacturer in the world. In 2001 Raymond Corp. led the way with the development of the industry's first AC-powered reach fork truck built exclusively for the North American market.[7]

[edit] The Company Today

Despite being under the ownership of Toyota, Raymond retains full rights over its brand, products, and distribution. It has sites established in Greene and Syracuse, New York; Brantford Ontario; and Muscantine, Iowa. In North America, it relies on a network of 31 dealerships to sell its products through approximately 108 different locations. As of 2007 the company employed 2,260 people and had generated annual sales of $602 million by the end of the fiscal year.[8]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. The Raymond Corporation. Hoovers. 18-02-2009.
  2. Raymond History. Raymond Official website. 18-02-2009.
  3. Raymond Corporation Anniversary Brochure. 18-02-2009.
  4. Raymond Corporation Anniversary Brochure. 18-02-2009.
  5. Raymond Corporation Anniversary Brochure. 18-02-2009.
  6. Raymond Corporation Anniversary Brochure. 18-02-2009.
  7. Raymond History. Raymond Official website. 18-02-2009.
  8. The Raymond Corporation. Hoovers. 18-02-2009.

[edit] External Links