Merlo Tech Talk: Cabin Air Filters

Merlo Tech Talk: Cabin Air Filters

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Adding basic, air filter maintenance to your Merlo telehandler to-do list ensures continuous, clean air flows into your enclosed Merlo cab. This is important because continuous, clean air makes for healthy and happy operators.

In a perfect work environment, Merlo recommends the following (found in every machine’s service manual):

  • 50 hours- inspect and clean
  • 500 hours-full replacement

As noted, these are recommendations based on a perfect work environment. There are always situations that may call for a shortened recommended time frame. 

Only you can make the decision if your work environment is not ‘perfect’. Consider especially dirty environments. The cabin air filter may need to be inspected — and cleaned out– after every few days, or after every operation, or every 10 hours or less, or…

What happens when the filter is not touched before that 500-hour change out?

The simple answer is your operator may experience reduced clear air coming into the cab. This means she could breathe in unhealthy particles which could lead to reduced work efficiency (and health, let’s not forget that part) of said operator. A more involved answer includes the machine’s reduced efficiency as well. The machine’s HVAC system could become ineffective and break down; an avoidable expense.

Here’s a simple case study. The Merlo telehandler this air filter came from worked long hours in an exceptionally dirty environment. Simple observation shows this machine, and its air filter did not receive even basic, periodic maintenance. The effectiveness of this air filter was gone many hours ago. And, yes, the entire HVAC system needed to be replaced. This could have been avoided.


Inspecting the air filter is easy

Basic cabin air filter maintenance starts with one simple rule: hold it up to the light. If you cannot see light, the debris needs to be removed, or the filter needs to be replaced.
If the filter is relatively new, just knocking off the dust/debris could be enough. If you choose to blow it out using an air compressor, do so with some caution. Over time, repetitive blowing out of the filter could degrade the micron filtering capability to the point where the filter becomes incapable of protecting the machine’s HVAC system and by extension, the operator.

Cabin Filter Location

Depending on the model of Merlo telehandler you have, the cabin air filter will be located in one of two places. In earlier models, it is located behind the seat. Remove the three screws for access.

On the modular cab models (models with the white trim on the side) the cabin air filter is conveniently located to the right on the inside of the cab door, close to the floor. This side location also extends the cabin air filters life as it reduces the amount of debris flowing through the filter.

There are five simple steps to access and replace this Merlo air filter:

  • Remove the two screws on the cover
  • Thumb twist open the two twist tabs holding the filter drawer in place
  • Using the metal handle, pull the filter drawer out
  • After replacing the filter, push the drawer into place
  • Line up the two twist tabs.  PUSH them in to lock the drawer in place.

As mentioned, only you can decide which cabin air filter maintenance program works for you, and your Merlo. At a minimum, follow the instructions: inspect and clean it out every 50 hours. And, when 500 hours roll around, replace the filter.

When that time arrives, contact the AMS-Merlo Parts Department. We have filters for all Merlo telehandlers in stock and ready to ship. Contact them directly at 803-327-4949 for more information.

If you know the part number, download the parts order form here and send it along. You will need the model and SAV number of your Merlo telehandler, which can be found on the plate located on the back of the cab.

Technical questions on Merlo telehandlers can be sent to or contact our team at 803-327-4949.

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