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Milestone Manitou

Nick Johnson tracks down Leighton Hire Centre’s new Manitou MT625T compact telescopic handler to a prestigious street improvement scheme in central London.

One of the new machines introduced at the Bauma plant exhibition in Munich earlier this year (see EHN June for Bauma Review) was the Manitou Maniscopic MT625T. The first of these compact telescopic handlers has now been supplied by dealer Leach Lewis Plant Ltd to Leighton Hire Centre Ltd (LHC) of Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.

As well as being the first MT625T to go into service in the UK, this particular machine is also noteworthy because it is the first telescopic handler to be purchased by LHC. And the milestone machine will be seen by a lot of people as its first hire has been to Balfour Beatty

The new Manitou MT625T is on hire from Leighton Hire Centre to Balfour Beatty on Exhibition Road in London.

Regional Civil Engineering (BBRCE), which has used the unit on its prominent contract to transform Exhibition Road in central London.

According to the statistics, around 11.5 million people a year use Exhibition Road. A high proportion of this number is visiting the many well-known museums, cultural centres and seats of learning in the area – including the Natural History, Science and V&A Museums, the Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College.

To provide these visitors with easier and safer access, the £25m Exhibition Road Streetscape Project aims to turn the busy thoroughfare into ‘the most accessible cultural destination in the world’. So, working for both the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Balfour Beatty is now busy creating a more logical street layout that will have a kerb-free single surface. The new ‘shared space’ will provide larger pedestrian areas whilst allowing traffic to proceed at a maximum speed of 20mph. Visual and tactile lines in the paving will be used to distinguish the pedestrian areas from the vehicle routes.

“Ample capacity for our needs”

The new MT625T is being used to move pallets of granite sets and York slabs, as well as tubs of bedding mortar and tipping skips for


waste materials. BBRCE Superintendent Cliff Short says, “the MT625T has ample capacity for our needs and its compact dimensions and all wheel steering allow it to work safely within the confines of our site.” He also likes the ease with which the forks can be folded back over the carriage to enhance safety when travelling on the public highway without a load.

Operator Kulvinder Dhanda is also complimentary about the new Manitou. He says that the machine is easy to drive and he likes its power steering, operator comfort and good all round visibility. Having a good view from the cab is essential on this central London job where the machine often has to travel in amongst the heavy city traffic.

The new MT625T is being sold in the UK with the enhanced Comfort specification that includes an adjustable steering column, roof light, windscreen and roof sun visors, a roof window wiper, enhanced cab trim, and working lights as standard. The 1.82m wide machine is only 1.92m high and it has a tight turning circle of 3.3m.

2500kg maximum lifting capacity

This small Maniscopic slots into the Manitou range of construction telehandlers above the Buggiescopic BT420. The newcomer has a maximum lifting capacity of 2500kg and it can raise a load of 2000kg up to its maximum lift height of 5.85m. A load of 800kg can be extended out to the machine’s maximum forward reach of 3.4m.

The 4WD MT625T weighs 4710kg (with forks) and it has a 55.4kW (75hp) Kubota Euro 3A emissions compliant engine and a hydrostatic transmission. There are two speed ranges – up to 7 km/h for site operation and a maximum of 25 km/h on the highway. A JSM multi-function joystick allows the operator to select travel direction and control all the boom and carriage motions with his right

hand whilst keeping his left hand on the steering wheel. Other good safety features on the LHC

A big job for the compact telehandler is moving pallets of York stone and high quality granite sets.

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