REVIEW: Palazzani PT 192 telescopic loader

By: Matt Wood, Photography by: Matt Wood

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The Palazzani PT 192 looks like the mongrel off-spring of a wheel loader and a telehandler. MATT WOOD heads to Western Australia to find out what this machine is all about.

I’m already on the record as saying my favourite tool is the shifting spanner, and I still stand by that observation; the shifter is the original, versatile cure all in just one tool.

Think about it, the shifter can adjust to fit nuts of all sizes and if all else fails it can be used as a hammer. Nothing also rounds off the head of a nut quite as easily as a shifter does.

But another interesting tool came to my attention recently. The Palazzani PT 192 doesn’t round off nuts or make a satisfying clang when you throw it, but it does have the smarts to fill a range of duties that traditionally would have to be undertaken by two or even three different types of machines.

I know what you’re thinking, "It looks just like a wheel loader" you say. Look a little closer and you’ll see the twin booms out front are telescopic, and this opens up a whole world of interesting possibilities.

I chatted with the bloke who bought the first unit in Australia, Graham Bookham who, with his family, operates a small transport operation carting chicken manure out of WA egg producer Golden Egg Farms.

Previously the operation required a smallish TCM wheel loader and a Manitou telehandler for loading duties. But there was a hitch; the machines kept wearing out, especially the telehandler.

The acquisition of the PT 192 has cut truck loading times back to 15 minutes from 45 and the Palazzani also comes in handy for hay carting duties with a bale spike attachment.

Twelve months later the Bookhams haven’t worn it out … yet, and like its one-armed competitors, it can also be used with fork tines.

"[The PT 192] does the job of both our old machines," Bookham says.

The Palazzani is sold by WA-based Ranger Construction Equipment. Alongside the PT, Ranger also sell the PL wheel loader version in an effort to cover all bases in both agricultural and construction roles.

 

Palazzani PT 192 engine and transmission

The machine itself is powered by a 4.5-litre 130hp (97kW) Perkins engine, which drives a rear-mounted hydrostatic transmission.

Radiators haven’t been double stacked to increase air flow and there’s a reverse fan setting to blow dust out of the radiator surfaces.

The cab air-conditioning unit is mounted on the rear of the cab to help with air flow down in the engine bay.

The characteristic hydrostatic whine of the transmission made itself known as I put the foot down and the little Perkins seems a bit coarse by today’s standards. That said I was playing with a load of hay on the forks and the drive train handled the load easily.

The braking effect of the tranny was also a little savage when I took my foot off the gas. Engine bay access seemed a bit of a stretch as there appears to be a lot packed into the PT’s engine bay. The air filter and radiators are pretty easily accessed though they do feel a bit high off the ground.

 

Palazzani PT 192 cab and controls

Palazzani PT192 Teleloader 12_door Mechanism

You climb into the loader rather than step into it like a telehandler; you are a fair way off the deck. Once seated it’s a little confusing at first because it feels like a wheel loader, but operates like a tele.

Boom controls will feel familiar to anyone who’s operated a tele but the machine actually moves like a loader. You are in effect wearing two hats when driving the PT 192.

It is articulated so every twitch of the wheel bends the machine and moves the load sideways, which won’t be an issue for anyone familiar with operating a loader; it may be a little freaky for those used to a telehandler though.

The go pedal is well located and is complimented by an inching pedal on the other side of the steering column.

The cab provides decent visibility even at full stretch and the suspended seat seems comfy enough.

Forward and backwards is selected using the gear lever on the steering column. Shuttling back and forth when doing intensive loader work can also be selected using buttons on the front of the joystick controller.

It’s all pretty intuitive stuff after a short period of time. 

As the mercury climbed to the 40C mark I did have the air-conditioning roaring to battle the feeling of being in a great big granite frying pan and the little loader’s cab mounted AC unit did manage to keep things comfortable.

 

Palazzani PT 192 attachment and parts

Palazzani PT192 Teleloader 9_attachment

The Bookham’s machine averages about 100 hours a month and a bit of bush engineering has meant all the attachments from the old Manitou (nine in total) can be used on the PT.

The standard bucket for the machine has a capacity of 1.6 cubic-metres. Bookham however, isn’t one to be happy with a standard bucket so some hungry plates have been fitted to increase bucket capacity to over 2 cubic-metres.

"Anything you can do with a loader we have a go at," he says.

Bookham also reckons that the common componentry found on the Palazzani was another plus saying the machine "uses tried and true components that are easy to come by".

The diminutive footprint of the machine also makes it easy to transport by truck.

 

Palazzani PT 192 performance

Palazzani PT192 Teleloader _2

Traction and stability are the first gains Bookham has seen since using the telehandler. He says the traditional one-armed telehandler set-up wasn’t up to the task of the intensive loader work and there were issues with the sometimes uneven force put on the head stock of the boom.

The PT 192’s twin booms appear to do a better job of spreading the pressure applied when crowding the bucket across the lifting arms.

The hydrostatic drive and Michelin tyres fitted to the PT have also provided good traction when playing in the pooh and Graham Bookham reckons they get no wheel slip from the four-wheel drive loader.

Bookham’s Palazzani PT 192 has survived industrial sabotage from Bookham’s eldest son who was determined to kill it so his old man would buy a more credible big name brand machine. Numerous clogged air cleaners and choked radiators later the PT still prevails.

Another use the Bookhams have found for the apparently endlessly versatile Palazzani is vehicle recovery after Graham’s LandCruiser decided to roll away of its own accord before plopping onto its side in the aforementioned drainage ditch.

Out here on the granite flats, the PT 192 shifts, grain, manure, rock and hay as well as LandCruisers. The machine will quite often be found with four 600kg hay bales hanging off its forks.

It’s not, however, entirely the cure all for the operation. The height of the machine does mean it can’t get into the poultry sheds meaning that the chook poo needs to be pushed out by skid steer.

 

The Verdict

The Palazzani PT 192 is a neat little machine and one that will no doubt appeal to some of the crossover roles that blur the boundaries between loader and telehandler.

However, it’s still far taller than a tele and with a much higher centre of gravity so it won’t be for everyone.

A telehander’s low profile makes it perfect for squeezing into tight job sites, but out in the paddock, the commanding view offered by the Palazzani does make it an attractive option as a jack of all trades machine from hay carting to shifting grain and rock.

It’s a shifting spanner on wheels, and as Graham Bookham will tell you, it’ll take anything that you’ll throw at it. 

Palazzani PT 192 Hits:

  • Great concept
  • Versatile
  • Visibility

Palazzani PT 192 Misses:

  • Tall-High centre of gravity
  • It’s a climb into the cab
  • The combination of controls takes a little getting used to

 

Palazzani PT 192 Specifications

Make/model: Palazzani PT 192-2

Engine: 4.4-litre JCB turbo diesel

Power: 130hp (97kW)

Transmission: Hydrostatic

Lift Capacity: 4,000kg retracted 2,000kg extended

Reach: 4.9m

Drive: 4WD with diff locks

 

For the full test report, pick up a copy of New Farm Machinery magazine's March 2015 issue, on-sale March 2.

Find telehandlers for sale.

Look up telehandlers specifications.

Palazzani PT192 teleloader 1 The PT 192 can lift 4 tonnes retracted and 2 tonnes at full stretch. It has a reach of nearly 5m. Palazzani PT192 teleloader 1
Palazzani PT192 teleloader 2 This machine sees a lot of loader work and does about 100 hours a month. Palazzani PT192 teleloader 2
Palazzani PT192 teleloader3 Graham Bookham Graham Bookham and his family run a 2,900ha property as well as a transport operation. Palazzani PT192 teleloader3 Graham Bookham
Palazzani PT192 teleloader4 controls The telescopic boom controls are identical to a telehandler’s. Palazzani PT192 teleloader4 controls
Palazzani PT192 teleloader5 cab It’s a climb up to the cab. Palazzani PT192 teleloader5 cab
Palazzani PT192 teleloader7 visibility Visibility from the high cab is generally very good, but not with a load of hay on the forks. Palazzani PT192 teleloader7 visibility
Palazzani PT192 teleloader9 attachment Switching attachments is easy. Palazzani PT192 teleloader9 attachment
Palazzani PT192 teleloader12 door mechanism The door mechanisms are a little nasty. Palazzani PT192 teleloader12 door mechanism

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