Giraf popular with greenhouse contractors

By Maria Hadlow09 March 2009

Benelux Merlo dealer Testcentrum De Lille has developed a tracked telehandler with personnel basket attachments using a Merlo boom mounted on the tracked undercarriage from a 15 t Caterpillar excavator.

Allenbroer De Lille, founder and owner of Testcentrum De Lille told Access International that the first two prototypes of the machine were developed four years ago for greenhouse and warehouse contractors, and that demand from other customers had led the company to start industrial production in Belgium.

The Giraf Track GT 580 B model shown at APEX offers 17.8 m working height as well as a maximum lifting capacity with forks of 3800 kg. Other models to follow will include 5 t/10 m and 3.8 t/14 m units, using the same chassis and crawlers. The maximum capacity of the personnel platform is 1000 kg.

The GT 580 weighs 16.5 t, uses a Cat 120 hp Tier III engine (reduced to 102 hp), and will be priced at around €120000.

Mr De Lille, whose son Stijn is managing director of the business, said; "Merlo is collaborating with us. We have a very good relationship with them." He said the big attraction of the machine was its ability to carry out the work of an aerial platform and telehandler; "One contractor in Belgium erected a hanger with just one machine," he said.

The company is being realistic about sales volumes and said the target in the first year was 25 units; "It is a niche machine", said Mr De Lille.

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