Posted February 17, 2021

Rental Solutions -- Fill your Fleet Gap

Merlo Roto rotating telehandlers offer flexibility and power in a compact design
to improve job site productivity.



Let’s talk filling a gap. That gap in your fleet when a customer comes to you and says they need a machine for a particular application, and you don’t have it in your fleet. Not because you rented or sold it, but because you just don’t have it. 

Merlo Roto telehandler

Merlo Roto rotating telehandlers can fill a gap in your access fleet, meeting specific contractor needs safely and productively.

For many construction outfits, that special piece of equipment is a machine that can lift materials, especially heavy materials.  

Along with the lift requirement, they want a machine that has a smaller footprint than a standard crane and can move around tight job sites. A machine that a seasoned operator can easily operate or be easily trained so he or she can get to work quickly and efficiently.

That machine is a Merlo Roto rotating telehandler.

Roto technical benefits
Many contractors are looking for a machine that can supply the maximum lift weight expected on the job site. Merlo Rotos provide a variety of lift heights, from 69 to 115 feet and weight capacities from 8,800 pounds to 15,400 pounds. Maximum lift weights are 3,300 to 6,600 pounds.

The many features and benefits of the Merlo Roto make it very easy to fill in the blanks when a contactor calls and says, “I need a …”

What is the topography for the job site? On tight job sites, a Roto’s compact footprint, even with the individual stabilizers at full deployment, could fit the bill better than a crane or other types of lifts. Rotos can fully operate even when snugged up against curbs, walls and framing.

What weights need to be lifted? The latest Rotos on the market have weight capacities starting at 9,000 pounds. If your contractor has a variety of materials to be lifted and placed, the Roto, with its greater weight capacity at the highest lift height can be the more versatile machine on a job site, which is something contractors appreciate.  An example of this is the Roto 50.35 S Plus. This machine can lift 6,600 pounds at its maximum lift of 115 feet. This configuration provides wiggle room for a contractor to move different types of materials of various weights to various heights.

What materials need to be lifted? Rotos offer from-the-cab capability to quickly attach a variety of implements, from simple forks all the way through a litany of other attachments such as hooks, winches, jibs, buckets and man baskets.

Speaking of man baskets, all Rotos come prearranged for man baskets; having one in your arsenal of available attachments increases your customers’ potential satisfaction level.

When it comes to bucket attachments, Merlo engineers all of its telehandlers, including the Roto, with no flex booms. This allows users to scoop up from the ground or fill a bucket with construction debris from a few stories up. If the Roto is positioned on the job site correctly, it will not have to be moved – just rotated into position – to safely dump refuse into the proper container.

Rotos are designed with simplicity in mind, with intuitive joysticks, and easy-to-reach dashboard controls and armrests. Many functions can be controlled with the touch of one button. For example, independent stabilizers can automatically deploy and self-level the frame; or an operator can set the stabilizers independently to best suit the job site.

Newer Roto models are equipped with a remote control that allows the operator to see the entire operation, from pick up to drop off, safely from the ground. The remote control gives an operator a way to control the joystick without being in the cab. Customers will immediately know if this could benefit their operation.

Safety factors are paramount to you and your customer. The cabs on these machines are enclosed with heat and air conditioning for year-round work. The low pivot boom provides 360-degree operator visibility and cabs are ROPS- and FOPS-certified.  Newer Rotos have cabs with 20-degree tilt so the operator can follow the boom and the load without neck strain.

Audible and visual cues are active in real time, such as the eye-level safety tree located on the cab pillar. Highly visible LCDs show the machine’s operating parameters. Cameras are strategically placed at the end of the boom and rear of the machine. When lights flash or an audible sounds, the operator will know why and the machine displays instructions for getting the machine back to safe operating mode.

How long is the rental? If it’s for a long period, Rotos, like most machines, need preventive maintenance. Rotos have onboard diagnostics and are set up for easy maintenance and repair, if necessary. Less down time makes for a happy customer.

Rental center benefits
Compact design means Rotos can maneuver around jobsites easily.

  • 360-degree continuous turret rotation, even at full height. This machine satisfies more lifting requirements than a crane. It is a machine that tells general contractors that you understand their needs.
  • Attachments add versatility and rental opportunities. By investing in the most popular attachments, rental centers can fulfill more customer requests with one machine.
  • Simplified operation. Many heavy-equipment operators, especially those with lift experience, quickly acclimate to Roto operation. It’s important that operators receive Roto training to ensure optimal machine performance and job site safety.
  • The Roto is becoming very popular and contractors are looking for these types of machines. Progressive rental centers will have the ability to supply the equipment they need and want.
  • Re-rent opportunities. If you get requests for a rotating telehandler, but don’t have any in your yard, consider re-renting. Done correctly, it presents a number of money-making and customer-building opportunities.
  • Re-renting means you can say “Yes!” to more customers. Customers will always come back to the place that supplies what they need.
  • Re-renting allows rental centers to test the local market for high-lift, high-weight capacity rotating telehandlers. You are also positioned to give your customers and your rental center an opportunity to experience the differences between the Merlo Roto and other similar machines.
  • Re-renting can open doors to other markets. Rotos adapt well to a number of customers such as tree care, building maintenance, roofing and even rooftop garden design.

To purchase or not to purchase?
Once a rental center runs a market test and works the numbers, purchasing this machine and the most popular attachments could be a good decision. Your ROI will be higher than if you continue with a re-rent program. With one or two Rotos in your fleet, you can even initiate your own re-rent program. Plus, after the Roto meets the operation’s set age and usage hours, it can be sold.  Merlo Rotos have shown to have a high resale value.

Scott Bunting is national rental manager and Brian Hatch is a territory manager for AMS-Merlo.

This article appeared originally in the March-April 2021 issue of Pro Contractor Rentals magazine. ©2021 Urbain Communications LLC. All rights reserved.