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New Zealand Rough Terrain Forklift


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Military Forklifts are an often forgotten class of military vehicle, This example is the New Zealand RT-25 Rough Terrain Forklift. The RT-25 was in use with the New Zealand Army from the late 1970s to the mid-90.  The RT-25 had a  Perkins 4 Cylinder diesel engine which provided power for the drive chain and lifting hydraulics,krikstal axles and Clark transmission. In addition to having 4WD capability, the RT-25 also had the ability to be operated with 2 or 4 wheel steering providing excellent off-road handling. Intended to handle standard NATO Pallets (1200mm x 1000mm) with a capacity of up to 2500KG the RT-25 came with fork extensions and a crane attachment enabling it to handle different sized loads. When used on operations in hot climates such as Malaysia and Somalia the cab could be removed to provide a natural air conditioner. When used in colder climates with the Cab fitted, a heater was fitted for the comfort of the Operator. As a military forklift, the RT-25 was fitted with the full range of Blackout lights and front and rear facing spotlights.


Edited by rneil
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3 minutes ago, rneil said:

Yes often confused as the Eager Beaver, had an Automatic transmission.

Thank you!

Visually it seems very much influenced by the EB if not based on it. I am sure there was a proposal to upgrade a "Mk3" EB with an auto box and other improvements but they lost out on the replacement.

Would be interesting to learn more and you are right to promote an interesting subject.



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13 hours ago, Mk3iain said:

Visually it seems very much influenced by the EB if not based on it.




Iain,  I strongly suspect that the RT-25 was strongly influenced by the EB. Although I have yet to find a photo of EB's in NZ service there is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that there were a few EBs in the NZ inventory in the 1970s. The RT-25 was manufactured by an NZ company called Lees Industries, who at the time was the largest manufacturer of heavy machinery in Australasia.  Although producing a fair number of RT-25s (one source states 26)  the heavy machinery sector in NZ lost the protection of import tariffs in the  1980's and the potential to manufacture competitively was lost and Lees moved onto other more profitable projects. The NZ Army replaced the RT-25  with 16 Matbro TS280 RTFLs from the UK and 11 SkyTrak RTFL from the USA in the mid 1990s

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