IHIMER's AS34 skid steer, designed and built in Italy.

IHIMER's AS34 skid steer, designed and built in Italy.

IHIMER, the joint venture between Japan's IHI and Italian IMER Group, has launched two skid steer loaders designed and built in Italy.

The 3.0t and 3.5 t rated AS30 and AS34 models are the first of four new skid steers being developed by the company. IHIMER previously marketed Mustang made skid steers but that partnership ended after Manitou acquired Gehl/Mustang.

The launch means that IHIMER will for the first time be able to offer customers larger sized skid loaders worldwide, and the launch is considered a "global project" by the company.

The new models will join IHIMER's existing wheeled model, the much smaller AS12 launched 18 months ago, as well as two tracked loaders, the CL35 and CL45, made in Japan by IHI and sold in Italy by IHIMER for a number of years.

Paolo Venturi, vice president of IHIMER, told IRN that the aim was to sell the machines in Europe initially before offering them in North America within two or three years. He said the models were targeted at "real professionals - we do not want to fight with Chinese or others [on price]. Our focus will be on customers who appreciate the performance of the machines."

He said the machines' performance was very good; "We must convince customers that the price is competitive in the widest sense."

The AS30 uses a 48 kW Kubota diesel engine and the AS34 a 61.5 kW Yanmar power unit and both will be compatible with Bobcat-type attachments.

Next on the agenda will be 1.8 t and 2.2 t rated machines. "These units, together with the AS12, will be closer to the rental market", said Mr Venturi.

The AS30 has an operating weight of 3150 kilograms and can handle a working load of 850 kg and offers a breakout force of 2300 daN. The AS34 is a 3500 kg machine with a maximum working laod of 1020 kg and breakout force of 2780 daN.

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