Gehl Co., West Bend, Wis., has three models that fall into what we consider the compact size classification. The CT5-16, CT5-16T (turbocharged version), and the RS5-19. What differentiates these units is that the CT models are considered ground-engaging machines and the RS model is a pick-and-carry unit. Steve Kirst, Gehl's product manager, used the analogy of a linebacker and a wide receiver to explain the differences between the varying designs. Even though the RS5-19 is a solidly built, lighter, more nimble machine, the ground-engaging CT5-16 is more robust and rugged. The gooseneck is substantially stronger to withstand the extra forces placed on the entire boom assembly.
A formed boom, made of two channeled sections, is specifically designed to withstand forces associated with ground engagement. According to Gehl, the CT5-16 boom assembly is designed to be up to 2.5 times stronger than a typical pick-and-carry product.
The machine is equipped with a naturally aspirated Perkins 1103-C33 diesel engine, which produces 58 peak horsepower at a low 1,400 rpm. Power flows through a two-speed hydrostatic transmission.
The rear-mounted engine delivers two benefits: The boom can be moved over to allow for a larger cab, and visibility is improved to the right side of the unit.
You can't help but be impressed with this unit and its all-new rock bucket attachment that was fitted with an optional grapple feature. This proprietary bucket is made of high-carbon steel, which can flex and return to its original shape without damage. This design element is important, for example, in situations where the operator might try to pry up a broken concrete slab, or when removing rocks or other solid debris from the ground. The grapple is handy for securing loose loads (such as brush and debris) in the bucket. The grapple bucket would be ideal for clean up in land clearing. It has an “easy-on/easy-off, pin-on” option, and it has the capability to easily handle three 40-foot-long telephone poles. Buyers can select from a wide range of Gehl attachments or can utilize a universal adapter to expand their options.
The pilot-operated controls are fully proportional, and a tri-function joystick operates all boom functions. Forward-and-reverse motion raises the boom, side-to-side motion curls the carriage, while telescope is controlled with the thumb. The ability to curl the carriage is especially useful for bucket work. Three steering modes can be selected from the cab. A dashboard light indicates when the axles are properly aligned for roading.
The CT5-16 has 14 inches of ground clearance, and the entire underside is protected with a solid steel pan. Brakes are multi-disc in an oil bath and mounted to the front axle with outboard planetary final drives. Taking a different approach to its cab, Gehl's open cab is optional, while the enclosed cab is standard. The cab is ergonomically designed for operator comfort and ease of operation. It is spacious and offers features that make the ride quiet and comfortable. The low-mounted boom provides 360 degree visibility for easy material handling.
Built rough and tough, ultimately, the CT5-16 telehandler is well-suited to the tasks for which it is designed.