THE MANIP FRONT LOADERS
MClassic loaders are designed and built as a standard entry-level loader that can be fitted to a tractor very economically whilst providing all the features required on farms these days. Their design is along the lines of most other offerings with mounts to suit most tractors, which are bolted onto the mid-point of the tractor. The arms of the loader then lock onto these mounts to take the loader on and off — but more about that later. A single cross beam between the arms is fitted for strength and to prevent twisting. This is located towards the Euro hitch at the front of the loader with enough room on the Case to leave the weights on without the loader hitting them.
The hydraulic system uses a combination of hoses and steel tubing to connect the rams and is all tucked neatly under the arms, out of harm’s way. As an option, this loader was equipped with a ‘faster’ hydraulic quick coupler to connect to the tractors hydraulic system. This allows all the hoses to be connected at once by pulling down and locking one lever, which I believe is definitely worth the minimal extra cost. Comfort ride suspension was also fitted as an option and can be turned off or on. It uses two nitrogen-filled accumulators connected to the lift rams which are tucked away on the loader’s cross beam. These allow the loader to bounce on the lift rams when carrying loads over rough ground.
The Case tractor was set up with the Manip mono-lever to control the loader, which is the standard and more basic option. This simple joystick lever features a mechanical linkage and it’s lockable with a steel tab when it’s not in use. Aside from the forward-to-back and side-to-side movements, there are two buttons on the side of the joystick that are pushed and held to activate the third and fourth services. As I’ve mentioned, this is a very basic and straightforward joystick to control the loader, so anyone can jump in and use it. It does lack some of the features and the precise control that are found on other electronic-controlled joysticks, but Manip offers an electronic joystick option as well.
To take the loader off the tractor, the attachment is placed flat on level ground and the joystick is pushed all the way forward into the float position. The stands are unfolded and locked down with pins on the ground. You then simply turn the locking handles on either side into the clearly labelled unlock position, disconnect the hydraulics and then back away.
Putting it back on was just as quick and easy. Simply drive the tractor forward into the loader until the sub-frame mounts slide into the holders, connect the hydraulics and then lift the loader up and off the ground, which positions it correctly to be locked with the locking handles. Then fold up the stands and you’re away. The simplicity of the locking system stood out to me as there are no holes to line up or pins to lose. The whole process was quick and easy, only taking a short time to put on and take off the tractor.
Manip uses a Euro hitch system on the front of the loader for hitching implements, which being a fan of the euro hitch above other systems, I was pleased to see. What I wasn’t so impressed with was the locking system. When you need to unlock the attachment to take it off there is a separate pin on the left and the right side, meaning you need get out, unlock one side and then walk around to unlock the other side. A bit complicated compared with most other loaders that have a lever or handle on the left-hand side to unlock both pins. Luckily the pins will automatically lock when the implement is crowded backwards, with the loader right down to save getting out of the cab.
This loader was fitted as standard with a third service to the front which is activated through a solenoid that diverts the oil from the crowd action rams to whatever attachment is on the front — a necessity these days, I would say, with soft hands, shear grabs, etc. being common on most farms. Interestingly, they also offer a fourth service as an option. They say it is becoming more popular with people with more specialised equipment.