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On-test: Compact telehandlers in four-way group test

Popular on small livestock farms and pig and poultry units, Farmers Guardian’s latest comparison group test focuses on compact telehandlers. James Rickard and Irish Farmers Journal’s Bruce Lett test four of the best.

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Whether you are in the market for a loader which can fit into small spaces such as traditional livestock buildings or low poultry and pig sheds, or even a machine which can compliment a larger loader, then FG’s latest comparison test of compact telehandlers is for you.

 

Where space is at a premium, choosing the right loader is key if material handling efficiency and driver comfort is to be maximised. To that end we wanted to look at what makes a good compact telehandler by comparing several market leaders head to head.

 

Reflecting the work and circumstances these machines will be working in, telehandler specification was quite specific for this test; lift capacity had to be about 2.5-3.0 tonnes, lift height five to six meters and a power rating of 70-80hp. Crucially they had to be under 2m high to the top of the cab and less than 2m wide.

 

This left us with quite a decent selection to choose from, of which we chose three of the most established makes on the market along with a rank outsider to give them a run for their money. This included the Merlo Panoramic 26.5, Manitou MLT625-75H, JCB 525-60 Agri Plus and Dieci Mini Agri 25.6 respectively.

 

Video: See the machines in action

To test the machines we took them to a busy beef and dairy farm which comprised a mixture of modern and traditional buildings – the latter offering a real test of the compact credentials of these telehandlers. Tasks included feeding, bedding, mucking out, moving and stacking straw as well as various other material handling duties.

 

With plenty to challenge the machines, the aim of the test was to evaluate each machine, comparing key aspects which are vital to a good telehandler such as manoeuvrability, stability, hydraulic performance, transmission, cab layout and comfort, overall usability and visibility.

 

Interestingly, on paper all four machines involved in the test appear to have very similar specifications, but how much will they differ from each other in reality? And which of the four manufacturers makes the best use of components and component layout in what is a very restricted platform?

 

Telehandler specifications

 

Dieci Mini Agri 25.6

JCB 525.60

Manitou MLT625-75 Premium

Merlo P25.6

Engine

73hp, four-cylinder, Yanmar

74hp, four-cylinder, Kohler

75hp, four-cylinder, Kubota

75hp, four-cylinder, Kubota

Maximum lift capacity

2,500kg

2,500kg

2,500kg

2,500kg

Maximum lift height (to bottom of pallet forks)

5,780mm

6,000mm

5,900mm

5,900mm

Un-laden weight

4,800kg

5,580kg

4,932kg

4,500kg

Transmission

Single stage hydrostatic with two automatically changing speed ranges

Single stage hydrostatic with two speed ranges

Single stage hydrostatic with two speed ranges

Single stage hydrostatic

Hydraulic flow

80l/min

90l/min

90l/min

80l/min

Wheelbase

2,350mm

2,390mm

2,300mm

2,450mm

Overall width (not including wing mirrors)

1,840mm

1,840mm

1,814mm

1,800mm

Height to top of cab

1,985mm

1,970mm

2,000mm

1,920mm

Turning radius

3,555mm

3,400mm

3,310mm

3,370mm

Tyre size

12.5-18

12.5-18

12.5-18

12-16.5

Retail price

£42,000

£52,923

£53,771

£49,780

 

Links

Links

To see how the telehandlers fare against each other, follow links below:

 

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