Manitou has unveiled two new telehandlers designed for the Asian, African, Middle Eastern and Eastern European markets.
The new models, a 7.6 and a 17 metre, both with 4,000kg lift capacity, were unveiled at a major event the company held in Phuket, Thailand, last week.
The MXT 840 and MXT 1740 have been specifically designed to meet the requirements of what are essentially developing markets in terms of telehandler adoption. They are tailored to meet the local working environments and conditions, more closely than those designed for the developed western European markets.
Both models feature the same booms and many of the chassis components used in the European models, however they feature a high boom mounting and their sophisticated controls and electronics have been replaced with simpler ones, while the covers, mudguards and dashboards are all steel, rather than the composite materials fitted to European built models. The engine compartment has also been reconfigured to allow for easier maintenance in more remote areas. The usual three mode steering remains with a 3.9 metre turning circle and a generous 380mm ground clearance, the 95hp diesel is matched to a regular torque converter transmission.
The new models will be manufactured at the company’s production facility in India (see: Manitou acquires Terex Construction India See Manitou acquires Terex Construction India The company claims that the new models will also cost around 20 percent less than their western equivalents, with that gap possibly widening if production volumes in India exceed current forecasts.
Product manager Kévin Arnou said: “Our ambition is to develop the telehandler market through models that are easy to use, robust and that have a total ownership cost suitable to the local users. The six to 10 metre telehandler market in the Middle East and Asia Pacific represents a significant part of the telehandler market. It therefore provides a lot of growth leverage for the group. Telehandler demand is also set to grow significantly in the short and long term due to progressive modernisation projects in these regions.”
This was the first time that Manitou has launched a new product outside of Europe or the USA. The MXT 840, which will also be available in some markets as the Gehl TX 408 - will be available from mid June, while the MXT1740 will be ready to ship from early 2020.
The telehandler market in these regions is currently almost non existent, but looks set to change, India is likely to lead the charge in that it tends to follow UK construction equipment trends, with backhoe loaders small dumpers etc… and given that it is also JCB’s largest single market, it is almost certain that it will become a big telehandler market, with units possibly replacing some of the tractor based articulated chassis cranes, that have a dreadful reputation for overturning.
Manitou has a long way to go to catch up with JCB in terms of market presence, so it is wise to start now, before the telehandler market has got underway and market shares are set. It will be very interesting to see how it goes over the next year or two.