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EXECUTIVE REPORT


The Mecalac name is being applied to the Coventry-made dumpers and rollers acquired from Terex.


Mecalac speeds in


Nick Johnson reports on Mecalac’s launch of four new high-speed excavators and its purchase from Terex of site dumpers, rollers and backhoe loaders.


The name Mecalac in this country has previously been most associated with its innovative wheeled multi-purpose MTX 360° excavator loaders with their clever fold-back booms. However, the brand will now become much more prominent following not only the French company’s purchase of the Coventry-built Terex ranges of site dumpers, small vibrating rollers and backhoe loaders, but also its introduction of four high-speed mobile excavators.


After its recently-completed acquisition of Terex Construction Equipment’s British operation, Mecalac has moved fast. A new company called Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd has been formed and what were Terex-liveried machines are now being displayed in Mecalac colours, complete with a new large ‘M’ logo. Mecalac-branded machines were first unveiled at the official launch of the company’s new mobile excavators in France. Having originally announced its MWR concept in January last year, Mecalac has developed four models with weights from 7 tonnes to 15.5 tonnes to compete here in the market created in recent months by JCB with its 11-tonne class Hydradig 110W.


The 9MWR, with its distinctive fold-back Mecalac-style boom geometry and a higher travel speed than other midi-size wheeled excavators, should appeal to contractors working on motorway and trunk road upgrading and repair projects. Safety officers will appreciate the 2,310mm-wide machine’s ability to rotate within an overall width of only 3,415mm.


The MWRs join the versatile 9.7-tonne 12MTX wheeled 360° excavator loader and the company’s interesting 5.7-tonne to 9.4-tonne trio of compact MCR crawler ‘skid-style’ excavators. With its focus on supplying equipment for urban construction sites, Mecalac also makes compact articulated wheel loaders (including swing loader versions) developed from the Ahlmann range acquired in 2002.


Mecalac’s compact wheeled excavators created a lot of interest at their official launch in France. This 7MWR is the smallest of four models.


Mecalac still uses the former Ahlmann factory in Germany and the intention is to also retain the Coventry factory


gained with the Terex acquisition. This site will remain the production home for the Benford-derived site dumpers and rollers, and the MF Industrial/Fermec-derived backhoe loaders.


Using a concept that won a Bauma Design Innovation Award last year, the MWR mobile excavators incorporate a low-level slew ring positioned between their four driving and steering wheels. The machines’ Deutz engines are positioned on the slewing superstructure whilst retaining a very short tail swing. The design allows easy access to the operator’s cab and there is convenient ground level refuelling, as the tank is carried between the wheels in the undercarriage.


Other interesting MWR characteristics include a rotatory control that allows quick selection of the parking, road travel or site operating modes. On the road, the stable wheeled excavators have maximum travel speeds of up to 40km/h (for the 8.3 to 8.7-tonne 9MWR and the 10.5 to 10.8-tonne 11MWR), 35km/h (for the top-of the-range 14.0 to 15.5-tonne 15MWR) or 30km/h (for the smallest 6.9 to 7.3-tonne 7MWR).


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Terex used to make some Genie scissor lifts at Coventry, but their production switched to China and the USA before the sale. This move has allowed Mecalac to bring back the dumper, roller and backhoe spare parts holding previously housed at a former Terex factory in Germany.


The family-owned, innovative Mecalac business has plans to upgrade and give a facelift to the former Terex roller line, which includes the MBR71 single drum roller breaker and the TV800 to TV1400 lightweight tandems. It will be interesting to see how the company might develop the site dumper range, particularly in response to more industry demand for cabs and better forward vision. The Coventry factory has been making badge-engineered site dumpers for JCB but this arrangement is set to end.


• 02476 339400 www.mecalac.com


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