Complementing the range of traditional telehandlers, manufacturers are now offering a series of telescopic wheeled loaders for greater manoeuvrability and visibility.
While the standard telehandler has more than proven its worth on farmyards, freeing up a tractor which would have previously been fitted with a loader and offering increased reach and load capacity, there are a few issues which farmers and contractors accept. The most obvious of these is the reduced visibility to the right-hand side.
Similar in design to the larger wheeled loaders, but with a telescopic boom to match the reach of a telehandler, articulated machines are finding a market on farms.
The Torion 738T from Claas combines a central pivot steer system with rear steering for a turning circle of just 4.22m and can reportedly handle 2,300kg at full reach even when articulated. To maximise the stability, the central join can pivot eight degrees to either side, at both the front and rear of the machine, meaning that the Torion can handle uneven ground conditions.
Fitted with a central boom, the machine has a bucket pivot point of 4.96m and a maximum tipping load of 3,800kg. According to the company, hydraulic power is always available thanks for the 93 litre per minute pump, with the option of an additional 28l system for powered attachments.
As an option, the Smart Loading package can be fitted, including programmable lift heights and lower limits and a nine-inch display for a clear view of operations. Also included in the package is dynamic load limit, which uses pressure and angle sensors to measure the load and balance of the machine. When load limits are reached, the machine dynamically reduces functionality before locking boom movements off completely, allowing the operator to adjust the load position and continue working.
Sitting at the entry level of the company’s wheeled loader portfolio is JCB’s TM180 and TM220 machines. While these might be the smallest on offer, they do not sacrifice functionality with lift heights of 4.53m and 4.56m respectively and capacities at full height of 1,800kg and 2,200kg.
Hydraulic power for the two machines is rated at 64 or 89l per minute, while the 40° articulation angle ensures that the machines can work effectively in tight farmyards. Efforts have been made to make these units more fuel efficient, with electronic engine management to automatically adjust engine speed and a new engine shut-down feature if the machine is idle.
Additionally, the company has updated the cabin, bringing it more in line with the Command Plus cab seen on the wheeled loader portfolio. This includes an updated instrument display, giving a full overview of the machine functions.
Moving up the range, the TM320 and TM420 offer lift capacities of 3,200kg and 4,100kg respectively and lift to 5.2m and 5.45m. These larger machines can be further upgraded to the S specification designed for silage clamp operations.
Manitou’s offering to the articulated telehandler market is the MLA-T 533-145 V+, offering a maximum lift capacity of nearly 5,000kg and a possible lift height of 5.2m. Hydraulic power is rated at 158l per minute and the articulation angle is 45°, providing a tight turning circle.
It’s available in three specifications, the Classic, the Premium and Elite, all offering different finishes. To ease operator fatigue, the MLA-T can be equipped with the company’s Intelligent Hydraulics package, which enables synchronised movement of the boom and the telescopic elements, bucket shaker to remove stubborn material and a return to dig position, as well as pre-programmable working positions to speed up operations.
According to Weidemann, 90% of its production is based around articulated machines, with more than 25 models available for the agricultural, forestry and municipal markets. Each machine is offered with a three-year or 3,000-hour warranty and can be specified with a range of in-house attachments.
Ten models were put forward by the company, starting with the 2080LPT, which has a 1,900kg capacity and a maximum lift height of 4.3m. Two other variants of this machine are available with capacities increasing to 2,000kg and 2,200kg respectively.
Increasing the lift height to 5m are the 3080 and 4080. The 3080LPT has a lift capacity of 2,200kg, while this increases on the three variants to 2,600kg. The 5080 T also has a 5m lift, but can handle up to 3,000kg.
Topping out the range is the 9580 T, available with two engine outputs and lifting 5,500kg up to a possible 5.48m.
Schäffer’s portfolio includes 10 articulated models, starting with the electric 23e T, with a maximum lift height of 3.47m and capacities of 1,600kg. Working up through the range, capacities increase to a possible 5,300kg on the 9660 T-2, lifting to a possible 5.9m with hydraulic power up to 196 litres per minute.
Standing out from the pack is the Kramer range, which forgoes articulation for a four-wheel steering system (up to 40° at the front and rear) that the company states provides a more consistent payload, improved stability and tighter turning. The KL25.5T offers a tipping load of 2,500kg and a stacking height of 4m.
Capacities increase up through the range to 3,300kg on the KL30.8T, 3,500kg on the KL35.8T and 5,500kg on the flagship KL55.8T. Options across the range include an EcoSpeed function with Smart Driving, Powerflow functions to boost hydraulic flow, while Load Stabilizer is fitted as standard. This stabilises the load and automatically activates at high speeds to reduce wear and tear.
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