Manitou has shaken up its fleet of mid-sized telehandlers with a fresh cab and new single-range stepless gearbox.

It means there are now four transmission choices on the New Ag menu – two based on a traditional torque convertor set-up and another couple of hydrostatic options.

See also: Video: On test – JCB 541-70 v Dieci 40.7 telehandlers

The cheapest and simplest is the well-established four-speed Powershuttle torque convertor arrangement.

Manitou telehandler

Above that comes the 6×3 Powershift Plus ‘box that gives the operator the option of shunting through the gears manually using buttons on the JSM joystick, or via an automatic mode.

The first of the hydrostatics is the two-range M-Varioshift, which runs from 0-18kph for high-torque jobs and 0-40kph where top speed is the priority.

It uses a single pump and motor combination and comes with an Eco mode that is designed to pull the reins on engine revs.

The latest addition to the transmission list is the ZF-made, single-range hydrostatic.

It employs a single hydraulic pump that drives two radial motors, rather than the swash plate set-up of some of its rivals.

According to Manitou, this arrangement requires less oil to produce the same torque, although whether this is reflected in real-world operation remains to be seen.

Manitou telehandler's cab

Engine options

Manitou has a reputation for dabbling with different engine makers, but the French firm seems to have settled on Deutz as its motor maker of choice for mid-sized machines.

The 3.6-litre block was fitted in the previous generation and is tuned to deliver between 101hp and 136hp depending on the model.

Emissions control is dealt with by a diesel oxidisation catalyst, selective catalytic reduction unit and a squirt of AdBlue.

Cab updates

The curve-fronted cab now contains a cut-out floor section to make the one-step climb a little easier.

Sound-proofing has been improved too, says Manitou, thanks to new noise-numbing mounting blocks, while tweaks to the angle of the protective roof bars are designed to maintain a decent view from the seat to the headstock.

Manitou’s unusual JSM joystick remains the base for most of the boom, hydraulic and transmission controls, but farmer demand has seen it shifted from the side console to the armrest.

Any adjustments pop up on the complicated looking screen, but of more interest is the option of moving the colour-coded switchgear around the cab. Each switch has its own chip, so it can simply be popped out, disconnected and shifted to a free spot somewhere else on the armrest or dashboard.

The company is also promoting its Easy Manager telematics system to monitor things such as fuel use and service intervals.

Anticipating scheduled maintenance has major benefits for dealers, so it’s likely that most will be offering the telematics package for a fairly low price.

Natty hydraulics

The updated range keeps many of the hydraulic perks first seen on the MLT 840 and 1040 models.

One of those is Quicklift, which means the boom can be lifted and extended at the same time to keep the headstock moving directly upwards – rather than through an arc – for speedy bale stacking.

Added to that, Manitou’s regenerative hydraulic systems use gravity to bring the boom to the deck, leaving spare hydraulic power to operate other oil-powered functions at the same time.

Bucket Shaker does what it says on the tin, wobbling the front end aggressively to free stubborn material stuck to the inside wall of the bucket.

There’s also a return to position memory that allows the attachment to be reset to a previous position to make life easier on repetitive tasks.

Machines are set to go on sale early next year, with the torque convertor versions arriving first and the hydrostatics coming some time later.

Manitou MLT telehandlers

  Powershuttle Powershift Plus M-Varioshift M-Vario Plus
 Model 630-105 733-105 635-130 737-130 630-105 630-105 635-140 741-140 940-140
Power (hp) 101 101 130 130 101 101 136 136 136
Lift height (m) 6 6.9 6.08 6.9 5.85 6 6.08 6.9 9
Lift capacity (kg) 3,000 3,300 3,500 3,700 3,000 3,000 3,500 4,100 4,000
Hydraulics (litres/min) 104 104 150 150 104 104 170 170 170