Terex Corp will start shipping a military version of its TX51-19 telehandler to the US Marine Corps this year, as part of a 573-unit, USD30 million contract won in July 2000.
Full production of the rugged TX51-19M began last October, and all machines should be delivered by year-end, Terex project manager Howard Lyndon told Yahoo News.
Terex submitted a TX51-19M in June 2000, a TX51-19 modified at the TerexLift facility in Italy, and a contract for 573 vehicles was signed in July. For more than a year, the Marines put four of the vehicles through rigorous testing, moving more than 300,000 tonnes of material.
Terex raised the TX51-19's frame, engine mount and operator cab to achieve the necessary water-fording height, and fitted larger, all-terrain wheels and tyres. The original Perkins 700 Series, 63-horsepower engine was upgraded to 80-horsepower. Modifications increased weight from 4.3 tonnes to 6.1 tonnes.
Further modifications were made during testing, including eliminating hydraulic leaks, reducing complexity, cost and assembly time and increasing dependability, serviceability, and circuit life.
"The Marines were looking for a replacement to a mast-type forklift they had used for more than 10 years," Mr Lyndon said. "The machine was not meeting reliability requirements, and they were in the market for a new machine."