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Manitou re-enters articulated telescopic loader market

French materials handling OEM Manitou has used this week's (November 12-18) Agritechnica biennial farm machinery show in Hannover, Germany, to re-enter the pivot-steer telescopic handler market, with a machine which was first shown in prototype form at the UK's LAMMA agricultural equipment exhibition back in January.

While the core market in farm handlers is for rigid machines with four-wheel steering, there remains a significant demand in the UK and certain other markets for machines with articulated steering, says Manitou, which has traditionally had a strong presence in the sector alongside the UK's JCB. This is why, after some time away from the sector, it has used Agritechnica to announce a full re-entry to the market.

Manitou's Franck Lethorey says the company has been working for some time on re-entering the articulated loader sector. Demand is particularly strong in the UK, and in certain other European markets, and while it has been absent from this bracket for a while as it focused on rigid, four-wheel steer telehandlers, Manitou has recently set aside R&D investment budget to develop a machine range particularly suited to a sector where agricultural users represent the main demand. "Users want a machine with compact dimensions, good visibility and a comfortable, full-width cab, and that's what we can give them with the new MLA-T 533-145 V +," Lethorey says.

The new MLA-T 533-145 V Plus lifts a maximum of 3,300kg (7275 lb) to 5.2m (17ft) and has a maximum forward reach of 3.3m, all fed by a hydraulic system that had a maximum oil flow rate of 158 liters/min. Manitou sticks with Deutz power for the new machine, with a Stage IV 4.1-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 105kW (143hp), driving through a 40km/h-rated M-Vario Plus CVT transmission developed with Dana-Spicer. This allows operators to set the machine to focus its power infinitely on the transmission/wheels or the hydraulic system, or at any level in between.

The hand throttle can be used to set machine speed. Standard specification includes Manitou's Joy Stick and Move (JSM), which combines the shuttle and transmission functions with the main joystick boom controls. Joystick functions include a quick lift feature, return to load or dig, and a bucket shaker that helps the operator to fully empty bucket loads of wet or sticky material without the need for manual back and forward shaking of the bucket dump/crowd function.

The machine is well under the critical farm-building doorway height of 3m (9.8ft), at 2.7m (8.8ft), and is 2.29m (7.5ft) wide, meaning it fits the most common farm building passageway types. The 5.64m-long (18.5ft) machine weighs 8,430kg (18,584 lb) unladen.

By Martin Rickatson


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