Review: MultiOne 10.8 mini loader
The Italian-made MultiOne Series 10.8 mini loader is such a versatile and interesting machine that Ron Horner risked the wrath of the missus to review it for us.
Some days you have a definite plan from which you dare not deviate … you know, like your missus’ birthday and a few days promised in a plush riverside hotel in the beautiful city of Brisbane.
Then you get a phone call where the editor advises you that you have a miniscule moment of opportunity to get a bit of a scoop on a certain machine and you have a matter of hours to get yourself sorted and make a 200km journey.
Decisions … decisions … decisions …
Bugger! I reckon the Princess will have many more birthdays so I decide to take the scoop and cop the poop.
Hoping that this machine is worth the effort and the impending fallout with the bride, I grab all the gear needed, hop in the Hilux, fill the girl with promises of a lovely dinner somewhere and hit the road.
Adrian Wilkinson of Yuchai Australia is based out of Underwood in South East Queensland just south of Brisbane. Adrian not only imports the Chinese-branded Yuchai Equipment but is also fortunate to have the MultiOne brand of Italian-made mini loaders-come-telehandlers on his books.
The MultiOne Series 10.8 mini loader is just one of the machines in the range and the reason I had put my relationship with the girl on hold.
As the roller doors disappeared into the roof cavity I saw a shed full of equipment with the ‘beast of the moment’ proudly standing front and centre just waiting for someone to key it up and get it into a paddock.
That someone was me, and on first impressions I was keen … it looked loaded with heaps of potential.
A quick rundown of the machine’s operation by Adrian had me more impressed and itching to get on with the job. Five minutes later we were in the testing ground and away.
The Series 10.8 mini-loader is the top-of-the-range loader from MultiOne. Our test machine had a set of forks and 4-in-1 bucket fitted, and there are another 170 attachments available to suit this beauty.
The 78hp Yanmar-powered, 2,140kg, hydrostatic four-wheel-drive loader is articulated from the rear, which means the operator is always squared onto the front end of the machine and in full view of his bucket and load.
Sitting in the cab you soon find that this is a simple to operate and understand earthmover.
The forward and reverse controls are located on the foot pedal, while a single joystick gives access to 11 functions.
Rounding out the gear are simple multi-functional dash gauges, an adjustable steering wheel, twist-lock hand throttle and easy- to-reach, lay-flat on/off switches at elbow height.
On the job
The machine has so many good aspects it is difficult to list them all in such a short space, but highlighted are the self-levelling double-H telescopic boom, hydraulic oil cooler, ROPS/FOPS Level 1 cab, torque divider, tight turning radius, front and rear lights, two-speed transmission (top speed 40km/h), lift height of 3.21m and giant single-cylinder hoist ram capable of lifting 2.7 tonnes with counterweights. That is incredible.
I was most impressed with the MultiOne 10.8’s hydraulic multi-connector which enables the operator to change the hydraulic attachments quickly, efficiently and without losing a drop of oil.
This system consists of two connectors with a male-female coupling device. One plate is fixed on the machine and the other on the attachment.
The coupling is simple and takes a few seconds to change. Just place the two plates one against the other and operate the attachment lock/unlock lever by hand. It is so good it should be compulsory on all machines capable of interchanging attachments.
Once in the machine and discovering its capabilities I grew more confident that it had plenty to offer the aspiring contractor engaged in agriculture, environmental, landscaping or civil works.
It has pushing power far beyond my initial thoughts, has the capability to be converted into a backhoe, lawn mower, fork lift, road sweeper, forestry log grab, rotary tiller, bale handler, auger, silage fork, trencher and more. And on top of that this multi-functional little beauty is also a telehandler.
The telescopic handler or extendable boom offers the owner the opportunity to operate in excess of 3m high and is ideal for stockpiling hay bales in agriculture.
And with a two-speed fully hydraulic transmission operated in high range and hitting a top speed of 40km/h you had better hold onto your hat. This little fella really flies and with a good tail wind could almost get a start on the grid at Bathurst.
When it comes to servicing it could not be any easier. The fully plastic panelled machine merely clips off the engine cover from the top and presto … the engine bay is fully exposed below. So simple.
All the filters, radiator and the engine oil dip stick are easy to access. The hydraulic hoses are all firmly fitted into the frame through the articulation joint, are covered in Armaguard protective coatings and complement the very neat and tidy appearance of this machine.
There is no need to hire a contortionist to access the fuse box — it’s located at waist height on the upper right-hand side of the articulation joint, clear from any possible damage.
The bottom line
If I have any concerns with this machine it’s that the gap between the steering wheel and seat could be a bit tight for some of the Aussies carrying a large waistline. You will need to have a sit in the cab and check it out for yourself.
Also, if you don’t take up the option of a fully enclosed cab the gauges will be exposed to the elements and dust.
Even with those issues in mind I still can’t go past the machine. Not only is it a little power house of a mini loader but it also has so many options has available to it. It provides an alternative to a skid steer loader with just as many, or maybe even more, optional hydraulic attachments.
As a personal preference, I prefer a mini loader over a skid steer to operate. It certainly provides a very positive alternative as the first stage of a mini-loader/ excavator combo.
I give the MultiOne 10.8 mini loader the thumbs up as it can be optioned to the max to suit your personal requirements and create untold opportunities for the owner/operator, farmer, landscaper or general hire company.
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