Merlo Tech Talk: Battery ‘Kill’ Switch

Merlo Tech Talk: Battery ‘Kill’ Switch

The battery disengage (some call them ‘kill’) switches on Merlo telehandlers do have a function. Depending on the model of Merlo telehandler, it could be electronic or manual, or not available at all.

Where’s the switch?

On the High Capacity models, such as the 50.18HM, P65.14HM, and the P120.10HM,  the switch is electronic and located on the door side of the body.


On the Compacts, such as the P27.6Plus and the TF30.9, the battery ‘key” is located on the back of the machine.


Panoramic models with Stabilizers, the battery disconnect is front and almost center.

Newer Rotos, such as the R50.35 S Plus, have the battery disconnect placed front and center within the battery compartment.

Roto 40.30 does not have a kill switch. Neither does the P40.17 with stabilizers.

Why there is a battery disconnect. The one, two answer.

One: to preserve battery life. If the machine will be sitting for a period of time, disengaging the battery ensures when reengaged the machine will fire right up.

Two: for safe maintenance, especially when working on the electronic system. A good practice is to always disengage the battery during any maintenance action.

The How-to.

On the HM and R models, just flip the switch.

On the machines with manual “keys”: push in the key and twist. Counterclockwise disengages the battery and clockwise engages. If so desired, the key can be removed for added safety and battery life preservation, and to ensure the machine cannot be started.

On the newer Rotos, the lite yellow button is a simple push on/push off.

Just one more thing about battery kill switches. Is the machine running DEF?

For machines that will be stored for a couple of or more, days our techs suggest the following:  After turning off the ignition, wait (listen carefully) until the pump stops cycling (5 minutes +/-) before disengaging the battery. If you do not wait, upon restarting the engine, an error light will appear, and you may not be getting back to work as quickly as you had hoped.

Questions? Our service team is available with answers. Call 803-327-4949 or drop a line to

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