OPERATING machinery in confined spaces and adhering to customer requests to keep emission levels low was proving a real challenge for Ballymena construction company Martin & Hamilton Ltd.
And when that pattern became regular, company chairman David Hamilton knew he had to find a solution and fast.
Following extensive research the company invested in Merlo’s eWorker 25.5 telehandler taking delivery of the machine supplied by Limavady based dealer DA Forgie at the end of 2022.
Since that time the Merlo eWorker 25.5 has proved itself invaluable to Martin & Hamilton Ltd becoming very popular with the company site workers.
David Hamilton has been working in construction for 55 years, and says the Merlo eWorker 25.5 allows them to move with the times.
David said: “We operate over ten sites at any one time around the country and found we needed a compact telehandler to work in the more confined spaces.
“One of the sites we currently operate involves constructing a brand new bespoke building for Buckna Presbyterian Church as the existing one has come to the end of its lifetime.
“We started building the new church at the beginning of January 2023 and are scheduled to have the first phase completed by July.
“Due to the nature of this building with its central mall and smaller rooms we found our Merlo eWorker 25.5 was perfect for this site to gain much needed access to those more confined spaces.
“In fact, since we purchased the eWorker this is the fourth site we have used it on. It really becomes useful once the main building frame is up and we can service the various trades transporting blocks, timber, tiles, etc, to exactly where they are required.” he said.
Once the word got out that Martin & Hamilton Ltd had purchased the eWorker 25.5, both the company workers and new customers were requesting it.
David said: “Once our workers knew we had the Merlo eWorker they were requesting it on different sites to help out in the confined areas.
“Also, with the machine being electric we have had new requests for work because it has zero emissions. We carry out a lot of work within the food industry, mainly the dairy sector, where emissions are not acceptable within those environments. Therefore, the Merlo eWorker 25.5 is a big advantage for us,” he added.
Chris Ward, one of the machinery operators with Martin & Hamilton Ltd, found the Merlo eWorker very easy to master.
Chris said: “The Merlo eWorker 25.5 is very easily handled and operates well in tight, confined spaces. With it being electric there are no emissions, which is extra piece of mind for site operators.
“It didn’t take me long to master the controls, which can easily be picked up by anybody. With the eWorker being four wheel drive this gives the machine an extra advantage on rough terrain sites,” Chris said.
The Merlo eWorker 25.5 is 4WD, with a maximum lift capacity of 2.5 tonnes and a maximum reach of 5m. An overnight charge of the machine’s battery provides an operating time of around eight hours.
Owen Buttle, Merlo UK Ltd national sales manager, outlined more benefits of the Merlo eWorker 25.5.
“The machine itself is very unique as it was built from the ground up to be an electric machine,” Owen said. “We haven’t just taken a diesel engine out of a machine and shoe-horned a battery pack in.
“The main advantage of that is that we can design the chassis around the battery pack allowing us to get the biggest one in the machine. This one is a 960 amp battery pack weighing 1.5 tonnes which is essentially gives us the true eight hours of working time on an eight to nine hours charge overnight.
“The machine itself has a lead acid battery, opposed to a lithium one, which has a number of advantages including the cost to maintain and the cost of replacement.
“The battery consists of 24 individual cells so if there is a problem of reduced battery performance after a number of years, then individual cells can be replaced which is more cost effective than replacing an entire battery. The battery is also fully recyclable,” he said.
The Merlo eWorker 25.5 is 4WD incorporating two front fixed axles with a motor on each side. On the rear axle there is a system patented to Merlo where there is a vertical mounted motor which splines into the rear axle providing the four wheel drive.
David Hamilton added: “The only problem we have now is that the Merlo eWorker 25.5 is big in demand by a number of our teams across the country.
“We are very well pleased with how it has performed for us and are now seriously looking into investing in a few more for the company,” he said.