For several years now, Italian company Merlo has been offering its Multifarmer line of telehandlers, which push the capabilities of those machines quite a way into the realm of the regular ag tractor — while keeping that superior ability to lift and place loads well beyond what an ag tractor is capable of.
Recently, Merlo added more power and lifting capability to its Multifarmer line in an effort to deliver a telehandler hybrid that appeals to an even larger group of Canadian farmers, the 40.9 model, which bumps PTO horsepower up to 156 and can lift a load of 4,000 kilograms to 8.8 metres. It can also safely reach that load out horizontally 5.8 metres.
“This machine is an amazing chore tractor. It’s not just a hay stacker,” says Joel Smit, the brand’s Western Canada rep. “It has 156 horsepower on the PTO. You can hang 15,500 pounds (7,030 kilograms) off of the three-point hitch arms.”
That rear PTO, auxiliary hydraulic remotes and three-point hitch make the Multifarmer a relatively unique machine. It’s a kind of hybrid blend of a conventional telehandler and regular MFWD ag tractor. The question Merlo and other brands are asking western Canadian farmers is this — is that ag tractor with front-end loader making you as efficient as you could be?
For many, the answer will be a clear “yes.” But there is a growing segment of Canadian producers who might find the telehandler as indispensable as European farmers do. The challenge for Merlo, says Smit, is making potential customers aware of what the Multifarmer can do.
“It’s hard breaking through paradigms and preconceived concepts of how you need to do a task,” he says. “We’re approaching farmers differently, educating them in the machine’s capabilities outside of stacking hay and letting them come up with ideas of how handy it is and how many applications it has on a farm.”