IRN's Patrick Hill rounds-up the latest telehandlers

22 December 2008

Patrick Hill reports on the latest telehandler launches, including a '3-in-1' model from Bobcat, new compacts from Cat and Faresin, and product news from Genie, JLG, Dieci, Gehl and Merlo.

Bobcat's 4.5 t T2250 ‘mini' telehandler has 2.2 t of lift capacity, 300 kg less than the T2556 model, previously the smallest in the range. It is also more versatile: Bobcat says the T2250 is "in effect...three machines," offering benefits of a skid-steer loader, articulated wheeled loader and telehandler.

The new machine has a lift height of 5200 mm, compared to the 5560 mm of the older, bigger machine. At 1970 mm tall, 1800 mm wide, and 4190 mm long, the T2250 reflects the "80% growth in the 3 to 4 t segment of the global market," says Giuliano Parodi, business director telescopic handlers for Europe, Asia, and the Middle East (EAME).

He tells IRN that telehandlers are increasingly substituting for cranes on job sites, because they are more agile and versatile. "Everybody wants more of them," he says, citing Bobcat's 40% rise in production in telescopic handlers in 2008.

A Kubota 56 kW 4-cylinder V3300-DI turbo-charged diesel powers the T2250, and it is available with the optional Bob-Tach coupling system for attachments. Mr Parodi says attachment sales represent about 10% of total, and that "everything [handlers and attachments] is designed together. It is one of the strengths of Bobcat."

As to the future, rental buyers can expect to see more ‘roto' type rotating boom handlers, "Everyone will offer rotating handlers," he says. Also coming, according to Mr Parodi, are more features for operator comfort and higher transport speeds. Those trends are led by the agriculture market, which now buys 40% of total production in the EAME territory. Farmers spend a lot of time on tractors, he said, and want their telehandlers to offer the same comfort and speed.

Meanwhile, Bobcat has enhanced its entire range of telehandlers. The 12 models, with lift heights up to 17.4 m, now have: Tier III engines, a new drive controller and other new components in the steering system to improve reliability. They also have new throttle cable, a new rear boom design that eliminates hose interference, and more distance between hose couplings to make attachment coupling easier.

Standard now on all machines is the AMA (aggravating movement arrestor) system, which helps prevent dangerous movements of the boom. Changes made over the past 24 months have made the entire range essentially new machines, says a Bobcat spokesman. New units are easy to spot -they now sport the white boom, orange counterweight colour scheme of other products in the Bobcat line.

Merlo expands range

Merlo has added several new models this year. In the Roto line of continuously slewing turreted machines, it introduced the The 14400 kg Roto 45.19 MCSS (Merlin Continous Slew Safety). It has the same chassis, cab, and engine as the 45.21 MCSS, but is shorter, at 6075 mm, than the 6600 mm of its sister machine, and is 1000 kg lighter. Its lift capacity at maximum lift height of 18.7 m is 3000 kg and 1000 kg at maximum reach of 15.9 m.

The 45.19 introduced a one-piece stabiliser (pictured). Merlo's marketing manager Paolo Peretti tells IRN that the new concept reduces manufacturing costs and weight of the machines.

The Italian company has also introduced the 4000 kg lift capacity Roto 40.26 MCSS, essentially the Roto 40.25 MCSS with a longer boom. It is the model with the highest lift height in the Roto line.

In the Panoramic range, meanwhile, Merlo has expanded upwards in capacity its CS (cab suspended) series, adding the 6000 kg lift capacity P 60.9 CS and the 7500 kg capacity P 75.9 CS models. Both have the 8.6 m lift height of the series' first model, the P 55.9 CS, as well as the same 103 kW engine and 40 k/hr maximum speed.

New trio from Caterpillar

Three new models - the TH406, TH407 and TH414 - from Caterpillar offer lift capacity of 3700 kg and a range of lift heights and forward reaches. The TH406 has a lift height of 6.1 m and a forward reach of 3.1 m, the TH407 a lift height of 7.3 m and a forward reach of 3.7 m, and the TH414 has a lift height of 13.7 m and forward reach of 9.2 m.

A 74.5 kW Cat C4.4 turbo charged engine is standard on all three, and Cat's ACERT technology is optional on the TH406 and TH407 to boost power to 93.1 kW.

Other features of the machines include: load-sensing, flow-sharing hydraulics; a limited slip differential in the front axle, and a hydraulically tilting chassis to ensure vertical lift from uneven surfaces. Among safety features is a Longitudinal Stability Indicator that interrupts operation in the event of excessive loads, and a built-in device requires a start code.

Increasing the site flexibility of the TH414 are two new work platform attachments. The 450 kg capacity THP18s platform is 1.8 m wide and offers ±90º angle rotation, operable from the platform. With the same feature is the 350 kg capacity THP45s, which also extends from 2.4 m to a maximum of 4.5 m in width while in the air. Both platforms have an electric emergency lowering system as well.

Genie launches 4t ‘rental' handler

Genie's latest release for the rental market, the 4000 kg lift capacity GTH-4017 SX, is "built to enable simpler service and maintenance, making it ideal for the rental industry," says Carlo Forini, general manager for the telehandler product range.

The company has improved service access to the 74 kW Perkins engine, fitted engine air intake housings that better protect the battery, and added a maintenance collar to the boom lift cylinder for safer access between the boom and chassis.

Features to make the 17.19 m maximum lift height, 11900 kg machine more attractive to renters include: a multi-function joystick for boom control; an optional rear tyre (steering) alignment system; and an ‘inching' function to provide precise movement control at low speed.

Those wanting to reduce fuel costs will appreciate the GTH-4017's road transfer mode feature. It allows matching output of the hydraulic pump of the hydrostatic transmission to "... the right engine power for low-performance work," said Genie.

A steering radius of 2.42 m (inside) and 4.65 m (outside) contribute to site accessibility, as does the machine's 2.32 m width and 2.44 m height. A new four-section boom also makes the telehandler more compact, as well as making boom movements faster, said the company.

Meanwhile, in March this year Genie also redesigned the GTH-2506 model, giving it a new cab with new controls, a 50 kW Deutz engine, upgraded hydraulics, a re-engineered boom, and 900 kg of lift at maximum reach - 100 kg more than the earlier model. The GTH-3007 also received these changes, as well as a 65 kW Deutz engine and extensions of lift height to 6.9 m and forward reach to 3.9 m.

Faresin redesigns compacts

Greater visibility and rigidity are the main improvements in Faresin's redesign of its 2800 kg lift capacity 6.28 and 3000 kg capacity 7.30 Compact models. Most apparent is alignment of the engine covers with the boom, a change made possible by repositioning the 75 kW Deutz engine. Pumps, filters (in an external layout), piping, controls, and a new, in-line radiator are also in new positions.

Less visible is a new chassis design that provides greater torsion strength and weighs less than that in the replaced versions. Its wheelbase is 200 mm longer, which, with a re-designed boom geometry, provides greater stability and increased safety, said Faresin in Vicenza, Italy.

Both have a 120 l/min hydraulic pump that delivers 30% more power than the earlier models'. It is coupled with a new proportional, load sensing distributor for faster, easier, more precise, according to Faresin, joystick control.

Both machines are 2030 mm wide and 2400 m in height. The 5300 kg 6.28 is 4400 mm long, and length of the 5500 kg 7.30 is 4800. A 94kW Iveco engine and 24-inch (61 cm) tyres are optional in both.

Doing a crane's job

Site Serv Const Ltd in Preston, Lancashire, UK, used Merlo telehandlers, instead of cranes, to lift steel structural members into place at a construction site in Basildon. "For our job," said owner Fred Wareing, who started his business 32 years ago, "it's quite amazing what it will lift close-in, considering what a compact and manoeuvrable tool it is."

His company, had on site up to six Rotos and a 10 t capacity Panoramic P101.10 HM from rental company GT Lifting Solutions in Lancing, West Sussex. It use the telehandlers to erect a new building within what was originally a spec-built distribution centre. The work required placing, without any headroom, large amounts of steel framing, so a conventional crane lift was impossible.

Graham Trundell, owner of GT and very familiar with Roto capabilities, suggested the idea of lifting the highest-placed steel members into place from below. The idea worked.

One impression of the activity on site, said Mr Wareing, is the "seamless" way the two types of telehandlers and access equipment worked together to unload, transport, lift, and fasten together the steel sections. Mr Wareing has since bought his own Roto 45.21 MCSS.

Handler Highlights

JLG is to launch a new family of attachments that will operate across all three of its telehandler brands, JLG, SkyTrack, and Lull. The range will includes a grapple bucket, an 8 ft (2.4 m) tower, a fork-mounted work platform and a variety of material buckets, truss booms and carriages of various sizes and fork options. JLG's compact telehandlers are not affected. Meanwhile, JLG says its Gradall rear pivot steer design handlers will be rebranded JLG by the end of 2008.

A 235 mm reduction in boom pin height has improved all-round visibility by 10% in updated versions of its 535-125 and 535-140 HiViz models, said JCB. It has reduced the overall boom section by 13% and the rear overhang by 90 mm. Smaller too, by 250 mm, are the models' turning radius, because of new axles with larger lock angles. The 3.5 t lift capacity machines, with 12.3 m and 13.8 m maximum lift heights, also have a new dashboard and control layout. It groups instrument displays into a single display that also includes a stabiliser deployment indicator.

Telehandlers began flowing out of Wacker Neuson's new 35000 m2, €35 million Kramer-Werke factory in Pfullendorf, Germany in September 2008. The facility, which houses a 5000 m2 paint shop and doubled Kramer's annual capacity to 10000 machines, also builds wheeled loaders. Kramer had been building its three-model, 7 to 9 m lift height telehandlers at a factory in Überlingen since 2005.

Strong, at 12000 and 16000 kg lift capacities, respectively, are the Hercules 120.10 and 160.10 from Dieci. Shown as prototypes at SAIE in Bologna in October, both have lift heights just below 10 m and boom extensions of approximately 5.1 m. A 106 kW Perkins engine powers the smaller, 18000 kg machine, while the 24000 kg machine draws power from a 146 kW Perkins engine. They will be available early next year, said the company.

Gehl in the US - now owned by Manitou - has renamed and upgraded its line: The 3180 kg lift capacity DL6 is now the DL7-44; the DL8 is the 4010 capacity DL9-44; the DL10 is the DL11-44 or DL11-55, rated at 5000 kg; and the DL12 is the 5450 kg DL12-40.

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