Machine Heads Video: Discussing Manitou’s New V-Series Skid Steers and VT-Series Track Loaders with Nathan Ryan

Manitou continues to be a compelling story in the compact equipment market, and its latest introduction of the V-Series skid steers and VT-Series compact track loaders (CTLs) highlights its commitment to both innovation and the U.S. compact equipment market. This marks the first white sheet redesign for Manitou and Gehl brands in over a decade, showcasing a significant step forward in its product offerings. In this latest episode of Machine Heads, we discuss these new loaders with Manitou’s Nathan Ryan, a global product manager at Manitou Group.

Here’s a little background…

The Booming Compact Equipment Market

Manitou compact track loader with a bucket working the dirt

The demand for compact equipment has been consistently high in the U.S. construction industry, with around 260,000 units sold in 2022. Analysts project a compound annual growth rate of 5 to 7 percent over the next few years, indicating a thriving market. Manitou’s new V-Series skid steers and VT-Series CTLs are poised to capitalize on this growth, offering advanced features that meet the evolving needs of contractors and operators.

Manitou’s Dual-Brand Strategy

Manitou’s acquisition of Gehl in 2008 was a strategic move to strengthen its presence in the U.S. market. Despite the economic downturn at the time, the purchase proved prescient as the compact equipment segment experienced a resurgence. Gehl, with its deep roots in American agriculture and construction, provided Manitou with a trusted and recognizable brand.

Today, Manitou employs a dual-brand strategy, catering to different customer bases through Gehl and Manitou-branded equipment. This approach leverages the strengths and histories of both brands, ensuring a comprehensive product lineup that appeals to diverse markets. Gehl’s machines, known for their agricultural applications, complement Manitou’s broader range of construction-focused equipment.

New V-Series and VT-Series Features

Manitou Compact Track Loaders

Manitou’s V-Series skid steers and VT-Series CTLs represent a significant leap forward, addressing five key areas: serviceability, safety, simplifying operation, increased productivity, and enhanced comfort.

  1. Serviceability: The new models feature a lift-up cab design that tilts up to 62 degrees, providing easy access to the engine and other components. This design allows for quick and efficient maintenance, reducing downtime.
  2. Safety and Visibility: The new lift arm design slopes down and away from the operator, preventing material build-up and enhancing visibility. LED lights under the lift arms improve night-time operation, while the cab design offers a 20 percent increase in operator visibility.
  3. Simplifying Operation: The 7-in. color display with keyless start and simplified controls make operating these machines intuitive and efficient. The new pilot controls move with the seat, combining the responsiveness of pilot controls with the comfort of electro-hydraulic systems.
  4. Increased Productivity: The redesigned machines feature a new weight distribution, reducing overall weight while maintaining high lift capacities. This results in faster ground speeds and improved cycle times. The hydraulic system enhancements, including increased pressure and flow, contribute to higher breakout forces and overall performance.
  5. Enhanced Comfort: The new cab is 23 percent larger, with a redesigned footwell and improved ergonomics. The fold-up door, a customer favorite, offers the benefits of a slide-up door without obstructing overhead space, enhancing ease of entry and exit.

Innovation and Design

Manitou lift arm

The V-Series and VT-Series machines also introduce a new lift arm design, which significantly improves visibility and reduces maintenance needs. The sloped surface of the lift arm prevents material accumulation, while the greaseable pins streamline maintenance processes. Additionally, the fuel tank is 14 percent larger, and breakout forces are 12 percent higher on average, further boosting productivity.

Manitou’s commitment to innovation is evident in the thoughtful design of these new machines. The forward-sloping roof reduces blind spots, and the improved pilot controls offer a seamless and responsive operating experience. Safety features such as lowered cab openings, egress lighting, and additional tie-downs enhance operator security.

A Bright Future for Manitou

Manitou’s investment in the U.S. market is reflected in the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Madison, South Dakota, celebrating 50 years of building skid steers. This expansion supports the company’s dual-brand strategy and the introduction of the new V-Series and VT-Series models. With these new additions, Manitou is well-positioned to meet the growing demands of the compact equipment market.

Wayne Greyson is the Machine Heads editor for Compact Equipment.

Compact track loaders are the most popular category of compact equipment in America. Learn why with loads of track loader features right here.

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