2014 promises to be a big year for the global Manitou brand, after announcing two new telehandler models in final development stages at its Castelfranco R&D facility in Italy.
And 'big' is the right choice of word, as speculation grows about the new models’ lifting capacity, with one of the preliminary machines said to feature what would be the market segment’s largest lifting weight capacity at an impressive 40 tons.
In an announcement, Manitou Southern Africa’s MD, Lindsay Shankland, explained: “Manitou is currently in the process of building two new telescopic handlers due for introduction to the local market in the first semester of next year. At this stage, it’s important to say that the larger of the two models has been designed to safely and repeatedly handle up to 33% more than the highest-capacity production telehandler currently on the market.”
When asked about the machines’ proposed market, Shankland added that the company has placed a new emphasis on size to cater for the growing heavy-industrial market and, in South Africa specifically, for the handling of conveyor belt reels in the mining sector.
“For over 50 years, Manitou has been at the forefront of the technological trends within the material handling market, and we take pride knowing that, before a model is put into production, each aspect of the machine is tested and verified to provide the level of reliability the market expects from a Manitou.
Manitou also shed some light on a few new technologies we can expect to see in the next generation of heavy lifters:
Even more versatility
With the possibility of custom attachment design, the new telehandler models are being designed for standard operation with forks, jibs, winches, platforms, tyre handlers and belt reel handlers, among various others. New technologies will make the machine easier to use when multiple attachments come into play by automatically adapting its mode to the selected attachment without selection from the operator.
“Our R&D team has designed an automatic attachment recognition system to help the telehandlers calibrate their weight limits and envelope tolerances, which means improved safety in every application,” added Shankland.
Even greater comfort
Manitou has created some of the telehandler market’s most sophisticated cab technology – in line with the company’s viewpoint that comfort reduces fatigue, which means greater productivity. “We can expect a radical new cab design with the introduction of the two new models that will give operators more space, as well as enhanced ergonomics that’s based on user experience gathered from Manitou’s global customer base,” said Shankland.
A peak at the power train
Manitou traditionally partners its high-end telehandler models with engines from Mercedes-Benz for best-in-class efficiency and performance. Shankland explained that the new models will continue with the tradition by featuring the automaker’s 7.2-litre, 6 cylinder diesel engines, with outputs on the larger telehandler model designed for 1,400Nm of torque and 240kW (350HP) at 2,200rpm.
“This will make our flagship telehandler perfect for extreme-duty operation, without the risk of finding yourself underpowered during critical manoeuvres, even when on or near the maximum load capacity,” he explained. The engines will be matched to a fully automatic hydrostatic transmission, for driving at up to 25km/h.
Manitou’s current flagship telehandler is the MHT10225, which is able to lift 22.5 tons of dead weight, and can extend its boom by up to 10m.