Manitou returned to the pivot steer market at LAMMA with the unveiling of a new 3t prototype model.


Finished the Friday before the event, the new MLA630 replaces the old 628 model, which ceased production 18 months ago. Users familiar with the previous machine will notice some key differences between the one on show and the previous model. Instead of starting from scratch with a design to meet new engine rules, the French company has instead bought the design rights for an existing pivot steer machine from defunct Irish firm Redrock.

Built at the factory of sister company Lucas GLucas G in Nantes, France, the new model shares many characteristics with the Redrock 280. However items such as cab and controls are Manitou-derived, according to Manitou’s Ivor Binns. “Powered by a 125hp Iveco engine the 630 will share the same six-speed transmission as the side-mounted machines in the Manitou line-up.”

The decision to produce another pivot steer loader was largely due to the popularity of the sector in the UK market, says Mr Binns, but this isn’t the same on the Continent. “The UK market for this size of machine is between 200 and 300 units.”

The MLA630 is undergoing field trials and is due to go on sale later this year. There are suggestions that the 3t, 5.2m lift model will be joined by a larger 5t machine in the near future, again based largely on the Redrock TM500, giving the firm a competitive machine to the JCB Farm Master. However, there is no definitive date for its reintroduction.

LAMMA

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