7 June 1996

Telescopics size up to silage

Grassland 96 was a triumph of organisation over the elements – despite the poor weather the event was still a success. Andy Collings and Andrew Faulkner continue their report

TWO telescopic handler makers have put their machines on body-building courses to better handle the rigours of silage making.

Taller, longer and wider, JCBs 526-55 has been stretched in all directions to improve its performance on silage clamps – hence the new badge, 526 S.

Increased dimensions come from fitting 600mm (24in) diameter tyres, rather than the standard 500mm (20in), and the body has had to be lengthened to accommodate that extra rubber. Capacity remains unchanged at 2.6t to a full height of 5.61m while price, compared with the standard 526-55 Loadall (£27,825), goes up by £300-£800.

Merlo, meanwhile, has also redesigned the chassis of its hydrostatic drive handler to house bigger 405/70-24 tyres.

The P28.7EV also lifts an extra 100kg to its 6.95m (22ft 10in) full lift height and has a simpler wheel alignment system when switching between two-wheel, four-wheel and crab steer. The non-electric system simply requires the driver to go from full lock to full lock; hydraulic relief valves ensure correct alignment of wheels.

The Italian manufacturer claims improved low speed performance from switching to a Rexroth hydrostatic drive system with electronic "power management", and the single lever loader control is said to be easier to use.

&#8226 French telehandler maker FDI Sambron made its market return debut at Grassland 96 with a trio of hydrostatic drive machines. Latest model is the T2555, a compact 2.5t lift handler powered by an 80hp John Deere engine. &#42

Merlos P28.7EV gets extra lift and simpler wheel alignment system.