Bobcat has teamed up with Italian manufacturer Magni Telehandlers to launch a new range of Bobcat branded 360 degree telehandlers which the company will offer through its dealers in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa. Bobcat has offered a 'Rotary' line of 360 degree telehandlers for many years, which until now have been built by Italian manufacturer Dieci.
The new Magni built Bobcat Rotary models include 10 Stage V compliant models with lifting heights from 18 to 39 metres and capacities from four to seven tonnes. In addition the company will offer a line of four Stage IIIA diesel models aimed at the Middle East, Africa, Russia and emerging markets with lifting heights from 18 to 25 metres and capacities from four to six tonnes.
The Bobcat machines benefit from Magni’s ultra high specification cabs which include: positive air pressure to prevent dust ingress, full air filtration, panoramic windows - with all controls mounted at the side to eliminate the need for a dashboard, a large touchscreen display with all functions and information, a fully adjustable steering wheel and suspension seat.
Full remote controls allow the machine to be operated from the work platform attachment or simply operate the machine from an advantageous position.
Automatic attachment recognition using RFID technology is standard and also uploads the corresponding load charts onto the display. As a result, the machine is ready to work safely within seconds and the touchscreen displays a dynamic load chart which allows the operator to keep an eye on the load's centre of gravity.
Options include a Twin Power 380 volt mains power source, driving an electric motor and pump to operate lifting and load positioning operations.
The company has adopted a nomenclature system that begins with TR for Telescopic Rotary, followed by the capacity and lift height so 6.0 tonnes/25 metres for the TR60.250. The European models comprises the TR40.180, TR50.180, TR50.210, TR50.250, TR60.210, TR60.250, TR70.260, TR60.300, TR60.350 and TR60.390. While the Stage III models are the TR40.180, TR50.210, TR60.210 and TR60.250.
The units are ready to order now.
Product manager Olivier Traccucci said: “Our new rotary telehandler range offers an expanded model selection and increased lifting heights and lifting capacities. The new range offers cutting-edge technology that continues the theme of reinvention that is at the core of our ‘Next is Now’ philosophy. As a result, they offer enhanced 360 degree performance to create the ultimate tools for even the most complex site handling jobs. A big choice of over 20 attachments and various options also ensures that working at height has never been so versatile, efficient, comfortable and safe.”
Magni chief executive Riccardo Magni added: ”Bobcat’s strength in the material handling and construction sector is renowned around the world, coupled with my 40 years’ experience in the design and production of innovative products will mean that Bobcat material handling range will be even greater force to be reckoned with. For Magni TH this is a further step to grow and consolidate the presence in the global markets and to confirm the leadership in the rotational Telehandler segment”
Magni is building a new 35,000 square metre production facility in Castelfranco Emilia near Modena, in addition to its original 6,000 square metre plant. The additional space will almost double its capacity, allowing it to build up to 3,500 telehandlers a year if demand allows.
The video below summarises the key features and benefits
Bobcat has chosen well in going with Magni in terms of product innovation and quality, Magni probably make the best 360 telehandlers on the market – although they do sell at a premium price compared to most of the other brands, and are ‘different’ - even a little radical in concept. Whether that fits well alongside the market perception of the fixed frame models that it manufacturers itself, is hard to say.
One has to wonder if the company approached any other manufacturers? Merlo would have seemed to be a more logical and better fit, being slightly more traditional in concept, but technically on point and very well regarded. Merlo might also have been a little more comparable in terms of pricing? The European market has grown by almost 25 percent over the past five years or so, and is now estimated at around 3,000 units, this would mean that Bobcat is likely to end up selling between 50 and 60 a year at best.
Bobcat has a great product range now but in spite of this does not seem to be changing the fact that it has never managed to win more than a few percentage points of market share when it comes to telehandler sales in Europe. It probably needs to look at the effectiveness of its distribution and marketing efforts - which from the outside seems a little overly focused on earthmoving equipment - if it is to give JCB, Manitou or Merlo any sleepless nights.