Merlo Tech Talk: Different Joysticks

Merlo Tech Talk: Different Joysticks

The mechanical control lever, commonly known as the Joystick, is available in three style types, depending on the model, within the Merlo family of telehandlers. Here, we will look at commonalities and differences.


This joystick model is found on several Merlo machines from the compact range through the Turborfarmer and Multifarmer models. It is also found in some older models.

Let’s start with the ‘Deadman Switch’. This red button is found in the trigger position on the joystick. Its purpose is simple: when pressed in, the boom is active, when released the boom stops moving. Safety first, always. (There is a reason it has this moniker.)

Basic Functionality

  • Pull back for boom up, push forward for boom down
  • Pull right for fork tilt-up,  pull-left for fork tilt down

There are two rollers on these joysticks:

  • The Left roller moves the boom in and out
  • The Right roller works the auxiliary hydraulic line

Of Note:

If your Merlo is equipped with options, such as boom side-shift, the stick will have a horizontal roller button to operate this option.


Usually found on the Heavy Duty and High Capacity machines. Building upon the basic joystick functionality —Deadman Switch, boom movement in relation to joystick position, and roller activity— these electronic joysticks have three buttons, usually operated with the thumb, for machine movement:

  1. Neutral: yellow button at the top
  2. Forward: middle button
  3. Reverse: bottom button

These machine movement buttons can also be found positioned on the left side of the steering column.

Of Note:

In addition to the left and right vertical roller buttons, the horizontal roller button will operate the boom side-shift, if so equipped.


The horizontal, capacitive joysticks automatically detect the presence of an operator’s hand, removing the need for the ‘Deadman Switch.’ These joysticks respond to gloved hands as well. Many of the newer Rotos, such as the 50.35 S Plus, are equipped with two joysticks. Building upon the ‘H” model joystick properties outlined above— boom movement in relation to joystick position, roller button activity, and buttons for machine movement— the Roto joysticks add the following properties:

Right Joystick

On the left side of this boom control is the ‘Thumb Joystick’ that moves the turret. Push up for right turret rotation, down for left turret rotation. Rolling this ‘stick’ forward and backward operates auxiliary lines.

Under the front finger grip portion of this horizontal joystick are three yellow buttons that fire individual auxiliary lines.

Just under  the ‘Thumb Joystick’ are three buttons in a horizontal line. These operate the neutral/ forward/reverse of the machine.

Left Joystick

This control is a duplicate of the ‘Thumb Joystick.’ Push forward and backward for auxiliary line engagement; pull right and left for turret rotation. The three yellow buttons under the finger grip mirror the three buttons on the right joystick.

Of Note:

When a manbasket is attached (prearrangement needed) all cab controls are inoperable. The boom functions  operate only from the manbasket control panel.

Operational training on all Merlos is available.
Please call our office at 803-327-4949 for more information.

Share this post

Get all the Merlo info you want in our Document Library

Explore our document library for in-depth
data sheets (including load charts) on each machine in the Merlo lineup, as well as product line overviews, and our Big Book®.

The Document Library is filled with
information that will leave you convinced
that Merlo makes Better Machines.

    Find a Dealer

    Fill out this form, and we will put you in touch directly with your local Merlo dealer and service provider.


      Become A Dealer


        Delivery Address

        Get a Quote

          GET A QUOTE

          Delivery/Pickup Location

          BuyRentRe-RentNot Sure

          AgricultureCement MixerCompactConstructionMaterial HandlingRoto