Construction Plant News investigates how Manitou’s rotary telehandlers are transforming UK construction sites.
The telehandler is a standard piece of equipment for any building site, and it is difficult to imagine a site operating without one. However, in recent years, a new type of telehandler has become commonplace on many construction sites. This new, rotary-telehandler offers significantly more features and modes of use, often resulting in reduced need for specialist machines, such as the mobile crane. Is the rotary telehandler machine becoming as indispensable as the standard telehandler? Manitou claim to be the UK market leader in rotary telehandlers. Construction Plant News spoke to Mark Ormond, Managing Director of Manitou UK, to find why how customers are benefiting from these machines.
“The main reason customers purchase an MRT (Manitou Rotary Telehandler) is because of its flexibility. This one machine can move pallets around a site, be fitted with a jib or winch and used as a crane or operate as an access platform. That flexibility has the potential to save users an enormous amount of time and money”. Manitou MRTs range from 14 – 32m lift height with lift capacities of up to 7,000kg. Four-wheel steer, 360-degree rotation, and the option of a remote control enable the machines to work in a wide range of situations. There are a wide range of attachments and, to ensure safe operation at all times, an attachment recognition system will automatically adjust the load capacity of the base machine to the characteristics of the attachment being used. This ensures the operator can never accidentally overload the machine due to the attachment being used.
Ardent Hire Solutions is a key customer of Manitou, running a significant number of MRTs in its hire fleet. The hirer works with housebuilders, groundworkers, and general contractors across industries including housebuilding, infrastructure, events, and construction. Customers include national and regional tier 1 contractors, subcontractors, and local businesses. The business has 300 employees working 11 locations across the UK and revenues of £60m. The fleet of 5,500 machines, which has an average age profile of less than two years, includes telehandlers, excavators, dumpers, and rollers. Rotary telehandlers have become an increasingly important part of the fleet during the last two years.
Ardent’s CEO, Jeremy Fish, explains how and why their customers use MRTs. “Rotary telehandlers are a versatile piece of equipment that are well suited to the changing needs of the construction market, particularly prefabricated and modular construction, which is becoming more popular in the UK”, explained Jeremy. “We have quadrupled the number of MRTs in our fleet over the last two years. Given that we expect these changes to accelerate over the next few years we see the rotary telehandler as a unique piece of equipment that can help customers to improve their productivity whilst, at the same time, reducing overall costs. We also saw a space in the market for the MRT backed by the professionalism and high standards that a company like Ardent can offer”.
“The MRT is essentially three machines in one – a telehandler, a mobile crane and a powered access platform, which offers a high degree of flexibility to customers, whilst reducing the amount of equipment that they have to keep on hire at any one time. In turn, this reduces project costs and production cycle times. Over the past four years we have spent over £250m in new equipment giving us one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry today.”
Why Choose Manitou? Jeremy explained that the company chooses to minimise variation in its fleet, and generally standardises equipment from just two manufacturers in each product group. The exception to this is the rotary telehandler fleet, where Ardent runs Manitou MRTs exclusively. “Manitou MRTs are reliable, robust and are well designed. Operators give them a warm reception and find them comfortable and easy to use. The equipment also has a high level of in-built technology which aligns well with Ardent’s value proposition. In addition, the manufacturer’s back-up, support, and engagement are excellent, and it gets better all the time. Consequently, we see Manitou as a point of differentiation to other equipment manufacturers in today’s market.”
How Do Customers Benefit? “If customers are frequent users of small city cranes, powered access equipment and telehandlers, they can use the MRT as an alternative to all three. This means that operators only need to be familiar with one machine instead of three.” “There are other benefits as well. For example, a city crane takes longer to set up than the MRT and has a larger footprint. This means that on space constrained sites the MRT is more capable of manoeuvring into tight areas without causing expensive damage to equipment and property.”
“Customers are increasingly demanding more data from their hired equipment. They want to understand where they can be more productive, and where they can save costs. The MRT is equipped with comprehensive telematics reporting which helps customers to monitor their equipment on a real-time basis. Manitou’s telematics system is now also integrated with Ardent’s award winning Site Manager system so that customers can receive equipment and health and safety alerts and take action to avoid accidents and other events.”
“The rotary telehandler is only as useful as the attachment which is fitted to it,” adds Manitou’s Mark Ormond. “For that reason, we work closely with our customers to develop new attachments tailored to their needs. The 3D platform is one such example and allows the man platform to safely access areas that would not otherwise be possible.” It is clear that the likes of Ardent, and their customers, see real benefits from rotary telehandlers. According to Manitou, they are not alone as the company reports an increasing quantity of sales year on year, which reinforces the company’s position as UK market leader.
For further information on the Manitou range of rotary telehandlers click here
For further information on Ardent Hire Solutions click here