Manitou has launched telehandlers and compact loaders aimed specifically at emerging markets, and will open an assembly plant in India to produce them.

The identical Manitou MXT 840 and Gehl TX 408 telehandler models will be aimed at Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia markets and are designed to be more rugged and easy to use than their counterparts produced in Europe. They also come at a significantly lower cost. 

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The main specifications are a 7.6m lifting height and a maximum capacity of 4 tonnes. They are particularly suited to building construction and can easily extend to two storeys. 

The equipment also has three steering modes: 2-wheel steer, 4-wheel steer or grab mode. They have 39cm high clearance and are therefore suited to difficult terrain. Transmission consists of a torque converter gear box, while power comes from a 95hp, Stage 3a engine. While the chassis and boom are very robust.

The manufacturer has stripped away standard items found on Europe-based equipment, including all electronics and plastics, meaning the whole unit is made of steel and therefore easier to maintain in the field. Both units will be available in Mid-June.

Michel Denis, president and CEO of Manitou, told AI. ”We see in these markets that the usage can be very hard, for example we have a number of customers in Russia running them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” In response, the telehandler units have undergone 2000 hours of endurance testing.  

Crucially, the units are more cost effective than the premium versions, being 20% cheaper. The price could be reduced even further once higher volumes are produced. 

Manitou also presented a third telehandler at the dealer event in Phuket, Thailand on Tuesday. The Manitou MXT 1740 has the same rugged capabilities, with 17m lifting height and 4 tonne capacity. It will be available in the first quarter of 2020 and will be attractive to markets like the Middle East where 18m telehandlers are the primary choice of customers. 

The Manitou 1340R and Gehl R134 compact loaders have a 49hp engine and are also designed to do a range of work, eliminating the need for other equipment. They have a 3.58m lifting height and a load capacity of 508kg. Dimensions are 1.3m x 1.9m 

The company believes there is room for up to 60,000 telehandler units in the Asia and Middle East markets alone, “Our choice [in these new products] is justified by the telehandler needs that are growing significantly in the short and long term due to progressive modernisation projects.”

It is thought the models are ideal for replacing cranes, wheeled loaders and other material handling techniques used extensively for the type of work a telehandler does. The pick and carry crane commonly seen in India being just one example.

The company will use its existing plant in India to create extra assembly facilities for the products.

The products were launched at the manufacturer’s Stronger Together dealer event in Phuket, Thailand. The plan is for the dealers to now spread the word of the new machines across the relevant markets.

See more information in the next issue of AI - July/August.

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