Multi-tasking Multifarmer crosses over

This mid-sized Italian 156 h.p. field tractor with a nine-metre telehandler boom makes its debut on the Prairies

LANGHAM, Sask. — The Italian equipment manufacturer Merlo, known for small horticultural tractors, took one giant step onto the Canadian Prairies when it debuted its new Multifarmer at the recent Ag in Motion farm show near Saskatoon.

“The Multifarmer has a 156 horsepower Deutz Tier 4i. It does everything a conventional North American tractor in this range can do. Plus it has a zoom boom telehandler and it’s a wheel loader, all combined in one machine,” says Merlo dealer Doug Keller of Saskatoon Material Handling.

“The nine metre boom can pick up 8,800 pounds and safely place it on a surface 30 feet above the ground. That’s as high and as heavy as you’d need to go on most farms. Back in 1964, Merlo was the first company to build telehandlers designed for agriculture.”

Keller said that, like other European tractors in this class, the Multifarmer has a Category 3 three-point hitch with a 15,432 pound lift capacity. It has a 135 h.p., 540/1000 r.p.m. mechanically driven power take-off. Four hydraulic circuits are at the back with a combined capacity of 40 gallons per minute. The rear has a differential lock.

“It’s enough capacity to accommodate a small scraper,” he said.

“We sell some of the attachments, but not all of them. Right now, for the show, we have a Seppi stone crusher on the back. It’ll pulverize rocks up to eight inches in diameter. It requires a p.t.o. ranging from 125 h.p. to 175 h.p., so this is a perfect machine for stone crushing.”

The CVT transmission employs two axial piston hydrostatic engines powered by an electronically controlled hydraulic pump.

At low work speeds, they work together for maximum torque.

At transport speed, one of the hydrostatic engines is disengaged, and that allotment of drive oil is channelled to the main engine to provide maximum road speed. The hydraulic functions of the tractor are separate from the hydrostatic drive functions. The trailer braking system is pneumatic over hydraulic, with two inboard dry discs at each axle. Towing capacity is 20 tonnes.

Safety is always a concern when using a boom to lift heavy objects. 
The Merlo electronically recognizes what attachment is installed and automatically calibrates the system to fit the limitations of that implement.

If the telehandler boom is moving into a high risk situation, the system prevents the boom from any further movements that might lead to an accident. The self-levelling boom compensates for chassis side angles up to 10 percent.

In the summer, the cab can be cooled down to 22 C when the outside temperature is 43 C and the tractor is in full sunlight. In the winter, the cab can be heated to 26 C when the external temperature is -15 C with no radiant sun heat.

“This is definitely high-end European quality,” Keller said.

He said the cost is comparable to any mid-power high-end tractor with CVT and full list of capabilities. Without attachments, the tractor at Ag in Motion lists for $220,000.

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