The Merlo company starts in 1964, founded by Amilcare and Natalina Merlo. Success, first national and then international, leads to a progressive and constant growth of the company, which over the years continue to grow and develop until it is transformed into a Group.
The History and the experience are fundamental values for the Merlo Group. Its companies are in fact on one hand strongly focused on innovation, but they retain and safeguard internally the experience and knowledge acquired over the years.
Established by siblings Natalina and Amilcare Merlo in 1964, Merlo SpA is created in the spirit of tenacity, hard work, and innovation given to them by their father Giuseppe Amilcare Merlo since they were old enough to use tools.
Construction begins on a brand new plant in San Defendente di Cervasca, just outside of Cuneo, a city in the province of Piedmont, Italy. A production process spanning several decades commences.
In 1981, Merlo introduced the company’s first telescopic handler to the world. Built to an exclusive Merlo specification and design, the SM30 offered the performance of a forklift along with the versatility of a hydraulic boom crane.
The SM30 birthed several new design ideas for the Merlo telehandler range, including a rounded cab with curved windows, telescopic boom side-shift, a double hinge for boom articulation, hydrostatic transmission and a permanent four-wheel drive.
The first telescopic handler is introduced to the world with a side-mounted engine and low-hinged boom at the rear of the chassis.
The Panoramic XS, the only model to offer total visibility around the machine for operator safety, is innovated by Merlo. Success is immediate, with an increase in sales, allowing Merlo to increase their spend on research and development. The Panoramic XS would go on to be the base design for most telehandlers on the market in the future.
A new family of telehandlers with rotating turrets is introduced: The ROTO range is the first in the world to offer operators a full 360° of rotation without the need to reposition the machine.
This concept of rotating telehandler would go on to be the industry blueprint for heavy lift rotating telehandlers and machinery.
Started as a 50/50 joint-venture between the Merlo family and John Iles, Merlo UK begins its life inside of a small shopfront in Ringwood, Hampshire with just a handful of staff.
Over the coming decade, Merlo UK expands into a strong market position within the UK, led at all times by the iconic green telehandlers which continually revolutionised the industry standard and concept.
The introduction of the Turbofarmer range, designed specifically for agricultural usage, marks Merlo’s first large step into the agriculture telehandler world.
Supported by Merlo UK and Merlo telehandlers, Thrust SSC set the world land speed record in October 1997. Driven by RAF Pilot Wing Commander Andy Green across the Nevada desert, Thrust SSC achieved a top speed of of 1,228km/h.
Merlo telehandlers were predominantly used during the construction and testing phases of the project, with the team behind Thrust SSC quickly abandoning their chain lift/hoist system for the heavy, cumbersome engines, moving to utilise the ever-versatile Merlo telehandler.
Legend has it that following the speed tests of Thrust SSC, Merlo were able to set the world land speed record for a telehandler at 40km/h!
The Multifarmer is shown to the world in 2000. The result of a heavy focus on research and development, Merlo’s leadership in innovation is proven once again.
The first telehandler with a rear 3-point linkage PTO, the Multifarmer can lift and transport loads like a traditional telehandler, with the capability to work land, pull trailers and run PTO implements. The Merlo Multifarmer is a true multi-purpose work system.
Merlo joins a promising and exciting new market, one for compact tracked carriers and transporters. In 2002, Merlo presented a complete range of these mini tracked carriers and attachments for the most diverse handling tasks.
Built on a plot of land at the rear of the Merlo production facility in Cuneo, Italy, the CFRM (Centro Formazione e Ricerca Merlo Srl) is a training, research and development site.
Built across 50,000 square metres of land, the CFRM provides a space for the training of operators, mechanics, salespeople, local emergency services, and more.
Following the retirement of John Iles, Merlo Group purchases the remaining 50% of the business, making Merlo UK a fully-owned subsidiary of Merlo Group.
This leads to prosperous years of continuous development, knowledge-sharing, investment in the UK market by the Merlo Group.
Merlo revolutionises the way telescopic handlers are manufactured following the introduction of a new generation of Multifarmer and Turbofarmer.
Introduced internationally at the Intermat Show in Paris, Merlo introduced their new range of telescopic handlers for the construction sector in 2018.
An astounding 15 new models are introduced at the show, beginning the production of new models which adopt new technologies, new internal development and better optimisation.
Merlo launches its brand new range of fully electric machines, called Generation Zero.
The first of these is the compact telescopic handler, the eWorker. Boasting an eight hour runtime on an overnight charge, with a lift capacity of 2.5 tonnes and a 5 metre reach, the eWorker helps drive Merlo as the market leader in telehandler innovation once again.
Following substantial investment by the Merlo family, Merlo UK are able to open a dedicated training facility at their headquarters in Ringwood, Hampshire.
Years in the making, this dedicated training facility created a bespoke space for engineers, operators and more to visit the Merlo UK headquarters to receive specialist training in purpose-built spaces.
In 2023, Merlo UK celebrates its 30th Anniversary in business. To mark the occasion, Merlo UK will be celebrating at their various trade shows and events throughout the year, as well as online and with bespoke events.