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Bella Inspirazione

carrier), and MPR access platforms that can travel at speeds of up to 40km/hour on public roads. It is a particularly impressive piece of adaptable equipment that, Bedosti explains, has three modes of operation. “Again it was something that wasn’t existing in the market. The platforms that Mr Merlo has developed are platforms that can […]

carrier), and MPR access platforms that

can travel at speeds of up to 40km/hour on public roads. It is a particularly impressive piece of adaptable equipment that, Bedosti explains, has three modes of operation.

“Again it was something that wasn’t existing in the market. The platforms that Mr Merlo has developed are platforms that can go on roads, don’t have stabilisers, and you can drive at 1km/hour when you are working from the top. Basically it is three machines.

INnOVATIVE IN ALL SENSES

“We are a company that is innovative in all senses of the expression,” Merlo says proudly. “Innovative in technology, in the way we manufacture and are always thinking of tomorrow.”

In the three decades since that first debut of the telehandler, Merlo has guided the company to become a major force in the European market. Aware that Merlo needs to continue to find new markets rather than rely on its reputation, he and his team were in Dubai to finalise a distribution deal with Volvo dealer Famco.

He explains that it is not the first time Merlo is in the UAE but it is the company’s biggest step into the Middle East market.

“Dubai is a crossing point. It’s not our first time, today is important for me personally, as it is the first time that I get to visit Al Futtaim.”

While it his first time at the Al Futtaim offices, his company has been working with the distributor since 2007. Bedosti jokes, “when the Pope visits Cuba you know something is moving and today we bring our pope!”

Merlo adds: “It’s an important market for sure. We have been watching this area for 10 or 15 years but when we met Al Futtaim (in Italy), we realised that something is common with the way of thinking. We share a similar point of view. It’s important.”

“A marriage doesn’t happen overnight, it must be consolidated over time. We are here now because our marriage is more and more… interesting. We want to reach another milestone.”

While his dealer is among the most prominent players in the Gulf, Merlo insists that he is more concerned with being content in their partnership. “The person is important as they manage the aftersales service. If we don’t have a good understanding, the rest is does not matter.”

Merlo describes his company as “not fixed to the ground. We are always looking for growth.”

INternational recognition

This is reflected in an impressive recent resume including being recognised by the French government for its innovation with Amilcare Merlo being appointed Officer of the French Republic Légion d’Honneur for his Achievements in the Agricultural Sector.

The award was presented by the president of the French Senate at the presidential residence of Rambouillet. Typically given to contributors form within French industry, winning it as an Italian manufacturer is a significant achievement.

A typically modest Merlo says: “It was presented to a person but it was not for me. It was for the product for the company. It’s important as it recognises the innovation of the machine.

“One man does not realise nothing. It took a team to make the machine. There was not just one man behind this machine.”

The Australian government too has recognised the company’s worked in the area of safety using the Merlo Load Management System, a load limiting system that includes an automatic tool recognition for enhanced performance and peace of mind, to set new safety standards for equipment.

The system employs a novel Digital Rating Chart which shows the current rating chart, including the position of the load in real time, as well coloured band regions which adapt to the current lift load.

Audible alarms from the inbuilt speakers give positive feedback to the operator as limits are being approached or exceeded as well as when configuration changes occur such as the stabiliser position changing or a new attachment automatically being selected. The company hopes that its adoption and standardisation in Australia will lead to it being introduced as part of health and safety regulation elsewhere in the world. It’s yet another Merlo patent that could give it an essential advantage in what is now a crowded market.

While he is reticent to reveal too much about what Merlo has up its sleeve, he stresses the company is determined to maintain an edge at the frontline of technological development. He is however prepare to make one enigmatic statement  “I think machines in four or five year will be completely different.”

Merlo then offers some advise for wannabe inventors.

“When you have an idea you must patent it,” says Merlo, and then grins, “personally, I have one patent. My name.”

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