Merlo reacts to MPR evaluation

By Patrick Hill17 December 2008

Merlo's MPR access platforms have 40 kph road speed.

Merlo's MPR access platforms have 40 kph road speed.

Italian telehandler specialist Merlo will modify its MPR access platform products, which combine features of truck-mounted and self-propelled MEWPs. The company introduced the range, its first dedicated access products, in 20, 25, and 25 m lifting height versions in 2007.

Merlo has had 10 units in the hands of small rental companies and small contractors in Italy, France, Germany, and Spain for evaluation. Their response signals design changes are necessary in the control unit in the basket, the basket attachment mechanism, and possibly the boom. Evaluation also shows limited attraction to the 25 m model.

The booms on the machines reflect the design approach the company has taken for its telehandlers. Consequently, they are more rigid than typically found on other access equipment, said the Cuneo-based company. It is considering a boom re-design or upgrading the 225 kg capacity rating of the MPR machines.

In the UK for vehicle tax classification purposes, the design is a mobile crane and would require a heavy goods vehicle licensed operator for travel on roads. That constraint would make its 40 kph speed - which allows easy inter-job site and urban access -- harder to exploit.

Also, front overhang and axle spacing characteristics of the design, according to the UK Construction and Use Regulations, would require escort vehicles during road travel. However, Merlo said it could easily add a bumper bar or make another, similar modification to eliminate this impediment to UK use.

"We started the design with the requirements of EN280 in mind. Now the question is how much can we build upon the standard to take advantage of this revolutionary design," said Stefano Forlani, export manager.

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