Dealers, Dealers, Farm Machinery, Farming, Manufacturers, Telehandler

Merlo trusting Franks Service Centre’s experience

New South Wales dealer Franks Service Centre has a passion for Merlo telehandlers built around two decades of experience

The level of Merlo experience at Franks Service Centre speaks volumes about the dealership’s credibility in the market and the assuredness its customers should have.

It is the longest serving Merlo dealer in Australia, with its relationships with the Italian brand dating back to 2004 – even before Merlo Australia was incorporated.

The subsequent existence of Merlo Australia has allowed the manufacturer’s products – which include agriculture-specific telehandlers such as the Turbofarmer, along with the Multifarmer telehandler-tractor combination – to grow their footprint by being sold through a nationwide dealer network.

Franks Service Centre founder Frank Trefilo recognised the benefits of Merlo machinery early, importing them to bolster the business he runs alongside his son Anthony.

Based in the New South Wales town of Griffith, the business’ full name is Franks Centre Forklifts in recognition of its presence in material handling alongside agricultural products.

Merlo experience within the Franks Service Centre team extends beyond just the Trefilo family.

The dealership’s Merlo product specialist is Matteo Scappucci, who has also spent the last 20 years around the manufacturer’s machinery.

Matteo worked in the Merlo factory in Italy for five years, before moving to Western Australia to work for Merlo Australia, a role where he spent about seven years.

Cotton farming is important in FSC’s catchment area. Image: Franks Service Centre

A move to Franks Service Centre then followed, putting Matteo in a strong position to speak with authority about Merlo machinery having experienced it from all facets.

“We all believe in the product so much,” he says.

“When you give a Merlo to a customer, the feedback is very positive and that’s why we only have Merlo telehandlers in our rental fleet.

“They are just so easy to operate compared to other telehandlers on the market and we also find them easy to service and maintain.”

The most common types of farming within Franks Service Centre’s Riverina catchment area are fruits and nuts, along with cotton.

As a result, Matteo says Merlo’s Turbo farmer 35.7 and 42.7 are the most popular telehandlers with Franks Service Centre’s customer base.

The Turbofarmer 35.7 offers a 3,500kg maximum lift capacity, 6.5m maximum lift height and 3.5m maximum reach.

These numbers jump to a 4,000kg maximum lift capacity, 7m maximum lift height and 3.8m maximum reach on the 42.7 model, which also weighs one tonne more than the 35.7.

Comfort, efficiency, performance and safety are the four key pillars around which Merlo designs all its telehandlers.

There are several specific features and areas which Matteo believes customers are most drawn to.

Some of these are closely related to the industries which Franks Service Centre sells to, with others being applicable to all agricultural telehandler buyers.

The Turbofarmer is a versatile telehandler for farmers. Image: Franks Service Centre

“Almond farming is very big in this area and it’s becoming bigger, so we are putting more machines into that industry,” Matteo says.

“There are some good low-profile Turbofarmer machines that we put out for almonds and other nut farmers where the machines need to be low to go under the branches.

“Merlo’s hydrostatic transmission is definitely something that stands out from other telehandlers.

“Every customer that tries one doesn’t want to go back to any power shifts or any telehandler with different transmissions.

“Customers love the visibility around the machines and the steering circle – they turn into a very narrow circle which is probably the best in the industry.

“The new cabin is much wider, so comfort is crucial.

“In general, the power and performance of the Merlo machines is what makes the customer happy and makes them returning customers.”

Telehandlers have been growing in popularity on Australian farms thanks to their versatility and range of jobs which they make easier.

Matteo believes a farmer will never look back once they invest in a Merlo telehandler.

“Once you get your first telehandler into your farm, you will never stay without one,” he says.

“Whenever a customer brings his machine in for service, five minutes later he starts ringing that he wants the machine back because they’re really feeling lost without it.

“It’s like your third arm, you really feel like when you don’t have it, you really miss it.

“It’s not only doing the big farm jobs. Even it’s just moving a pot with plants in front of the house – once a farmer is used to having a telehandler around, it’s hard to be without.”

Merlo’s head office is located at 120-124 Toongabbie Road in the Sydney suburb of Girraween and its product range can be viewed at

Franks Service Centre is at 186 Wakaden Street in Griffith, New South Wales and online at

Send this to a friend