There is an instruction sheet for this accessory, but it is extremely rare. Numbered 461-13 and dated 7/66 it used BLACK ink on WHITE paper. Almost all of the boxes that are found, including two sealed examples that were opened for research purposes, contained no instructions.
The trailer (Part No. 6430-150), which was molded in WHITE for these trucks, has only single wheels on the rear axle. In this way it differed from the normal trailers that Lionel had produced previously for the No. 6430 and No. 460 among others. The last parts list compiled by Lionel in 1968, just two years after the production of the No. 461, indicates that no parts for this platform and trailer were available. This is probably because there were no new parts that were unique to this accessory that could not be found on the No. 6431 or the No. 460.
Sometime after the production of the No. 460 Lionel modified the platform for the No. 462 Derrick Platform Set. Since this platform was designed to load radioactive waste containers instead of trailers, the identifying Lionel nomenclature was altered, and it was also changed to account for the cable guides that were needed to operate the boom and hook. There was no need for the depressions for the trailer wheels so they were removed from the mold. When Lionel created that No. 461 they used the revised mold of the No. 462. They removed the identifying data for the No. 462 so all that remained on the No. 461 was the stylized "Circle L" Lionel logo to identify this as a Lionel production. However, they did not change the mold to re-instate the trailer wheel depressions. Thus, this Lionel accessory is one of the very few that have no identifying number.
In addition, the lift truck that came with the No. 461 was changed from what was previously issued with the No. 460. The steering column is vertical and the axle on the dual wheels is BLACK instead of the shinney one that was used on those trucks that came with the No. 460.
There are three variations:
Variation A: Has "ROSS / TRAILOADER" inside of a line rectangle that is rubber stamped on the side of the lift truck.
Variation B: Came with a BLACK press-on decal with white letters "ROSS / TRAILOADER" that was to be applied to the sides of the lift truck.
Variation C: Has a RED No. 6430 Flat Car that have two YELLOW trailers with Cooper-Jarrett BLACK name plates. These trailers have a hole drilled in the bottom at the front so that they will work with the Midge Toy tractor. It is believed that this variation somehow escaped the Lionel factory before Lionel decided to reduce the cost of this platform by removing the flat car and altering the trailers. Validity of this variation is documented by the opening of a sealed box.
Dimensions: 11 inches long, 8-5/8 inches wide, and 1-3/4 inches high.