Manitou debuts Gehl RT105 CTL, discusses dealer, electrification initiatives

Manitou Group calls the new Gehl RT105 an “ultra-compact track loader,” with an overhead clearance of 71.5 inches from the ground to the top of the ROPS, which the company says is industry leading.

Speaking at the recent American Rental Association Show, Mark Hanson, CEO, Manitou North America, said that two large rental firms have bought the first six months of the company’s RT105 production.

The RT105 is 50.8 inches wide with the bucket detached, and the machine has a rated operating capacity of 1,050 pounds.

Powered by a 31.8-horsepower Yanmar engine, the machine has a 2,975-pound tilt breakout force and a 3,042-pound lift breakout force.

The 4,720-pound RT105 also features Gehl’s patented IdealTrax automatic track tensioning system, which is designed to eliminated daily tension checks along with costly track replacements. The system automatically tensions the track when the engine is started and during operation, and then releases the track tension when the engine is shut off. In the field, track changes can be made by flipping the switch in the rear compartment, an operation Manitou says just takes minutes compared with more lengthy track removals on non-Idealtrax systems.

With a lift height of 109 inches, the unit uses an adapted chassis of the Gehl R105 skid steer loader, which the company says enhances stability, grading, tractive effort and ride control.

North American support expands

“We’ve expanded our sales team by over 60 percent,” Hanson said, “and added focus positions to work with the larger national and regional rental companies.” Manitou has also divided North America into three regions, hiring regional vice presidents to run those areas and “put our leadership closer to the customers in those regions,” he said.

Field service technicians and product trainers will be based in each region. “We’ll end up adding close to 45 percent additional service and sales people to support the North American market,” Hanson said. “We will build a strong dealer network across North America to have the service and parts capacity to support our products.”

In addition to building this support structure, Manitou will expand deeper into geographical markets. “We used to have one rep covering Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana, now we have five,” Hanson says. Other areas of emphasis include California, Texas, Florida and the Northeast.

Electric road map coming

At the Bauma trade show coming this April in Germany, Manitou will be revealing its electric road map for all of products, said Laurent Bonnaure, Manitou executive vice president, at the ARA Show. Manitou partnered with Deutz to launch the MT 1135 telehandler last year, which Manitou says is the first full-electric construction telehandler prototype.

Releasing its 2018 full-year results and outlook, Manitou Group says it grew revenues by 18 percent during 2018 and expects a revenue growth of around 10 percent for 2019.