Drayton Manor Park has been providing family fun at their theme park for over 65 years and has seen over 49 million visitors pass through the gates of the Staffordshire park over that period.

Manitou are renowned for materials handling machinery in three distinct markets, construction, agriculture and industry so the purchase of a new Manitou 14 metre lift height telehandler by Drayton Manor Theme Park is a good illustration of the appeal of Manitou machinery across diverse applications.

The Manitou MT1440 was supplied by local Manitou dealer, BTE Plant Sales of Markfield, Leicestershire and the machine is very busy in the close season winter months, handling the ride carriages plus the steelwork and build materials for the construction of new theme park attractions. Another essential annual task for Drayton Manor Theme Park is to ‘strip down’ the rides for maintenance and for a third party inspection, for this procedure the stability of the new Manitou is ideal for handling abnormal or wide loads.

The new MT1440 is the fourth Manitou to have been purchased by Drayton Manor Theme Park and the previous Manitou was a 12 metre lift height model type MT1235 so the extra lift height, forward reach and load capacity are very beneficial to the everyday handling duties at the Park.

Keith Whitefoot, Rides Manager at Drayton Manor Theme Park commented : “ Manitou is constantly improving their machinery to higher levels of performance and safety. The new cab layout and controls are excellent with all boom functions and forward and reverse travel direction all on one lever. The three points of operating safety incorporated on the Manitou MT1440 is a major contribution to reducing the risk of accidents. The operator of the MT1440 has to depress the throttle, activate the seat presence detector and close the door of the cab before the machine start.”

An unusual requirement for the MT1440 is the handling of crates of animals for the zoo at Drayton Manor Theme Park, recently a Sumatran Tiger arrived and the Manitou was on hand to unload the crate with the tiger in it and take the crate to the zoo cage. The Manitou can access the majority of the park as the MT1440 has compact dimensions but has impressive performance characteristics to fulfil a variety of loading duties.

“Whether it is a rare tiger or a theme park ride carriage the Manitou is equal to the task and precise handling is the order of the day as the ‘loads’ are either very expensive to replace or are an endangered species” Keith Whitefoot concluded.