Merlo eWorker will lead the charge into electric telehandlers

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The first two Merlo eWorker telehandler releases are the ultra compact 25.5-60 2WD for indoor operations and the hardier 25.5-90 4WD ultra compact for rough terrain

Merlo will be first with a generation of all-electric telescopic handlers with the ultra-compact eWorker 25.5 available in two- and four-wheel variants

Merlo will be offering the first of its all-electric telehander models by mid-year and quickly to follow will be an even more extensive range of electric telescopic handlers.

The Italian manufacturer set a task for their engineers to start from scratch with the design of these all-electric machines – in preference to converting any of their existing models to electric propulsion and power.

With the draft plan design, Merlo engineers have devised the best result possible as they have optimised the cab and engine layouts, along with weight distribution for these lighter weight models.

In addition, an emphasis of the project was to obtain a solution capable of maximising working periods before needing the battery recharged.

Merlo’s first eWorker telehandler is the ultra-compact 25.5-60 two-wheel drive that has been developed for farm shed work, while the 25.5-90 stablemate with four-wheel drive is more suited for applications that take it off concrete and onto paddock conditions.

Merlo engineers have set the maximum lift capacity at 2,500kg for each model, backed up with a lift height of 4.8m. The lift capacity at full height is 1,500kg and 1,000kg with the boom at full stretch and able to place loads 2.6m ahead of the machine.

Merlo engineers started from scratch to get the best result for the less cumbersome electric power design that is stripped of a mass of hardware no longer required with all-electric power

The short wheelbase and 85-deg steering angle of the rear wheels results in a turning circle of 2.85m.

The model number reveals the engine power these two machines can muster.

In the case of the 25.5-60, the third figure in the model identification refers to the power output of 44kW (60hp). An electric motor is positioned at each front wheel on the two-wheel drive 25.5-60.

While the total power output for the four-wheel drive 25.5-90 is 66kW (90hp). The four-wheel drive 25.5-90 has the same layout but with the addition of another motor flanged in a vertical position to the rear axle.

This unique layout allows the battery pack to be positioned in the middle of the machine as there are no transfer gearboxes or axle propeller shafts to get in the way to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible for maximum stability.

Electronic traction management regulates torque at the wheels to help maintain traction and there is regenerative braking effect when slowing from speed that feeds energy back into the battery.

Merlo engineers added a fourth electric motor to run a load-sensing pump that provides hydraulic power to the boom, attachments and steering, with a dedicated electronic control unit managing the motor’s speed and oil flow to hydraulic distributor valves.

And while hydraulic cylinders lift the boom, it is brought down by gravity to save power consumption.

While an electric motor at each front wheel is enough to drive the 25.5-60 to a power output of 44kW (60hp) the 25.5-90 has a third motor coupled to the rear axle and this takes the four-wheel drive power output up to 66kW (90hp)

In another twist to standard offerings, both versions of the eWorker 25.5 Series will be available with or without a cab, therefore with or without heating, pared down to no heated windscreen and seat, and boom suspension.

These compact models are the first step in the creation of a Merlo’s ‘Generation 0’ range of handlers, that will represent no emissions, no noise and no use of fossil fuels.

Merlo engineers have us on a path of zero emissions and pollution, especially when these models are charged with ‘green’ electricity from renewable sources.

The first round of buyers is expected to come from operators of large indoor operations used for crop grading and storage and for livestock buildings, vegetable growing in glass houses and polytunnels. Especially when operating around other workers.

However, the term ‘Zero noise’ does allow for a little leeway because electric motors, cooling equipment and mechanical drive components do not operate entirely silently.

But in the context of a farm-based telehandler, noise levels both externally and in the cab will certainly be a lot lower than with a diesel-powered equivalent.

Other key benefits of the Merlo eWorker design is in the high traction these models offer for paddock work with the ability to tow a trailer and other equipment, along with an overall reduction in ongoing running costs.

As a result of the targeted design of all components, from the boom to the chassis, the axles to the hydraulic system Merlo has reduced hourly operating costs to a minimum with these eWorker models.

For more information on availability of the Merlo eWorker, call on tel: 1300 657 325 or go to:

Merlo eWorker Electric telehanders specs