Eglinton Crosstown demonstrates the versatility of Merlo telehandlers

A fleet of Merlo telehandlers are tackling a variety of tasks during the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto. 

The Eglinton Crosstown is a massive multi-billion-dollar public transit project that will run above and below Eglinton Avenue in Toronto from Weston Road to about 300 metres east of Kennedy Road. 

The light rail transit (LRT) spans 19 km in total, and includes 25 new stations, 10 of which will be underground. 

When operational, the LRT will help commuters travel across the city 60 per cent faster than current public transit options. 

The LRT is being built by Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), a consortium of some of Canada’s largest construction firms, including ACS-Dragados, SNC-Lavalin, Aecon and EllisDon.

At the various jobsites, CTS is using five Merlo Roto 60.24 MCSS and one Roto 45.21 MCSS telehandlers.

The Roto 60.24 MCSS features a standard tilting cab, a maximum lift capacity of 6,000 kg and a maximum lift height of 24 metres. The Roto 45.21 delivers a maximum load capacity of 4,500 kg and a maximum lift height of 21 metres.

Both machines are equipped with Merlo’s MCSS stabilization system, where stability is determined by ground verification in real time. 

The system allows the machine to operate with 1-2-3 or 4 outriggers that are partially extended or retracted.   

The six Roto machines are mainly being used for material handling and transportation, the installation of ventilation systems, lighting fixtures and for tunnel grouting.

“Working on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project showcases the versatility of these models,” said Matthew Coyte, from Manulift, Canada’s Merlo distributor. “Merlo Rotos are capable of working both underground, and above with ease. Add in advanced safety measures, independent stabilizers, rapid-deploying boom and 360-degree visibility, and Rotos are the ideal construction telehandler.”

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Luis de España de Castro, equipment manager at CTS, explained the six Merlo telehandlers are ideal for tunnel and excavation applications. The machine’s 360 rotation provides the required versatility and manoeuvrability to complete the tasks at hand. As well, the slewing platform — which can be controlled from the platform itself — can hold up to 1,000 kg, as well as rotate to work on walls. 

CTS is running the Merlo machines in shifts in teams of two, allowing the telehandlers to work all day long. Thanks to Merlo’s ease of use and precision, the consortium was able to train numerous workers to operate the machines.

Due to the location of the project, de España de Castro explained there is little room for error. There are constant factors that they need to keep in mind for the safety of riders. 

As well, with nearly 3 million residents, Toronto requires a high level of security for a project of this size. Having reliable and high-quality equipment is always a vital aspect of the job, but in projects like these, it’s critical. 

“With the rules and safety regulations, we must keep all excavations covered due to the conditions of the soil,” de España de Castro said.  

He explains this is because any exposed excavation can result in flooding or other types of damage. Therefore, they are selective with the equipment used on their sites, while looking for ways to maximize the usage of all their machines. 

As well, ensuring the project runs smoothly during such an unprecedented time was critical for CTS. Merlo’s efficiency helped provide stability to their worksites and projects.

The Eglinton LRT project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2022.