Andrew Smales is in a good position to make a direct comparison between his new Merlo P75.9 CS – the first in the UK – and wheeled loaders; “Many storage companies use wheeled loaders,” he says.
“Whereas we use Merlo telehandlers for all our operations, as they are more compact and we find the visibility far better. In fact, we have four on this site, including the very first one that we bought (a 9m P35.9) which has 16,500 hours on it and still going strong!”
J&A Smales Ltd farms some 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) near Hull, and much of Manor Farm is
used for storing grain (up to 25,000 tonnes), oilseed rape and potatoes. As well as a P40.7 Turbofarmer for general farm duties, they also bought one of the first P55.9 CS machines in the country, so the new P75.9 CS is a logical extension of their previous experience.
“The reason that we’ve stuck with the Merlo CS range is simple,” says Andrew “There is nothing better for the drivers. When this yard is busy, there’s a constant stream of lorries unloading and that often means a long day of hard stockpiling. With the standard cab suspension, I’m confident that the drivers remain alert and focussed and the optional boom suspension means there is little payload loss and decreased stress on the machine.”
Although a convinced Merlo user, Andrew has tried other makes but comments that there’s nothing to compare with the visibility of a Merlo when working, and that the P75.9 CS is much easier to get in and out of than the others.
Andrew is waiting for a new 4t capacity bucket for the P75.9 CS to fully assess its capabilities. So far, the increase of capacity to 7.5t looks good and the stockpiling performance is certainly a further increase in productivity. Merlo’s EcoPowerDrive (EPD) transmission provides an excellent match between performance and fuel economy, and an auto-throttle facility has recently been added to increase loading efficiency.
The CS series – the first telehandlers in the world to feature cab suspension – are designed for exactly this sort of high intensity loading operation and dealer, Phil Robinson of Yorkshire Handlers, is expecting to see more sales in the near future.