Manitou MRT 2150+ Telehandler Gets to Work at Hogwarts

Manitou MRT 2150+ Telehandler Gets to Work at Hogwarts

On a site synonymous with Harry Potter a Manitou MRT 2150+ rotary telehandler is weaving its magic at a Comer Homes development. Construction Plant News Editor, Lee Jones visits the site

Its dining hall was used as a set for the Great Hall at Hogwarts and the imposing Victorian Gothic architecture of its tower was transformed by the magic of the silver screen into Dumbledore’s office, but today Royal Connaught Park in Bushey is home to a stunning development of luxury apartments and townhouses.

Formerly the Royal Masonic School for Boys, Comer Homes has been redeveloping the site since 2009, with the latest phase of the project seeing a further 145 apartments constructed amidst 100 acres of sculpted parkland, and a Manitou MRT 2150+ rotary telehandler is proving a very valuable addition to the build.

Main PicRotary Telehandlers remain more commonplace on the continent, and it would be fair to say that the UK construction industry has yet to fully grasp their potential.

As the largest supplier to these shores Manitou is best placed to extol their virtues, and has, in fact, been manufacturing this versatile class of machinery since as far back as 1993, with the unit to be found on this prestigious Hertfordshire development supplied through Boss Plant Sales.

For the uninitiated, the MRT in the machine name stands for Manitou, Rotative, Telescopic – a moniker that rather succinctly spells out the concept. The 360° slewing means that a circular area around the machine can be serviced without the need to reposition.

Combine that with a high lifting capacity and a rotary telehandler can effectively operate as a small crane, but in a much tighter working envelope, and far closer to a building, than a crane ever could.

“One of the many jobs the Manitou’s been involved in here is to raise the cantilever decks up to one of the new apartment blocks,” explains Royal Connaught Park’s site manager, Conor O’Reilly. “Between the existing tree line and the new building there’s just not enough room for a crane so the only way we can do it cost effectively is with a rotary telehandler.”

Similarly, the largest of the new blocks being constructed on the Bushey site will feature an extensive underground car park, and it is the MRT that has been tasked with moving the formwork in place for the lift shafts.

“From a cost perspective you simply can’t have a crane on every building of a large development like this one,” continues Conor, “and because the MRT remains stable on soft or uneven ground there’s no need to install concrete pads as you would with some classes of crane – it makes it a perfect bridge between the two.”

Royal Connaught ParkThe duties of the Comer Homes Manitou at Royal Connaught Park are, in fact, a powerful demonstration of the effectiveness of the concept. This is a genuine 3-in-1 machine that can replace a conventional telehandler, a rough terrain crane and an access platform with a single unit, with a height, forward reach and load capacity that are all superior to its conventional rigid frame telehandler counterparts.

As can be seen in the aforementioned car park construction in the images opposite, the MRT 2150+’s stabilisers can be placed in any position. The machine will then provide maximum stability by automatically adjusting the load programme and the load chart accordingly.

As well as that, if you’re moving around site with a load on the forks a frame levelling system that allows the machine to level itself on uneven ground means that that load stays exactly where it’s supposed to.

The MRT pictured is an 20.60m example, but lift heights across the range extend as high as 24.60m, with impressive lifting performance even off tyres. When the stabilisers are not deployed they are also concealed neatly within the body of the telehandler, with no detriment to ground clearance.

As well as that, the Comer Homes operator was also making good use of the optional remote control in lifting the formwork, a feature that provides the kind of visibility over the entire working area that clearly wouldn’t be possible from the seat of the cab.

002The MRT’s manoeuvrability on site is enhanced with permanent four wheel drive and a hydrostatic transmission, together with three steering modes – two wheel drive, four wheel drive and crab steer for precise positioning.

For contractors the list of attachments gives the Manitou rotary telehandler a flexibility and versatility that other machines simply can’t match and, thanks to the manufacturer’s Quick Attach system, end users can quickly switch between those accessories.

In telehandler mode the tilting fork carriage is fitted as standard, but there’s also a floating fork carriage for working on uneven ground. Bulk handling applications are catered for with a skip accessory, whilst other tools include lattice jibs and side shift carriages.

Moving into crane mode choose between jibs, winch or jib with winch, whilst as a platform Manitou offers its patented Roofer’s Platform, and an Aerial Jib Platform amongst other solutions.

In the purchasing of a rotary telehandler compared to a rigid frame, end users will obviously have to pay a price for all those additional applications, but the value of enhanced on site productivity can never be underestimated, especially when faced with a demanding build schedule. As well as that, having fewer pieces of plant on any given site is clearly a cost saving, and is a calculation that could well be worth making.

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