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Telehandler Buying Guide
What is a Telehandler?
When you need a versatile piece of heavy machinery that can lift, place, push, and pull, you need to buy a telehandler. As known as a telescope, a zoom boom, or a reach forklift, a telehandler is the right machine for many different jobs.
Their stand alone use is essential for warehouse and construction job sites that need heavy load bearing capacity machinery to lift and move loads up to 12,000 lbs. Telehandlers can be outfitted with any number of attachments, further increasing their work load value.
Telehandlers outfitted with the right attachments are used for lifting and moving earth and products, lifting work crews to elevated areas, clearing away debris, and even snow removal.
When it comes to purchasing the right telehandler for your operations, there are a few things you need to know and consider. You need to pinpoint the general use for your telehandler, the load bearing capacity you will need to lift, and the environment in which you will be using your telehandler. These considerations will help you narrow down the model and attachments you will need.
Different Types of Telehandlers
There are two main types of telehandlers – fixed boom telehandlers and rotating telehandlers.
Fixed Boom Telehandlers
This is the most common and the original type of telehandler. They have a fixed, built-in cab, and a forward pointed telescopic boom that lifts and raises to fit your elevation needs. Fixed boom telehandlers have a higher load bearing capacity, but the ability to lift more weight limits its range of mobility. Fixed boom telehandlers are used to lift and move pallets inside a warehouse, industrial product around a storage yard, or lifting and carrying construction materials around a job site.
Their ability to easily lift and move various types of loads and products have earned fixed boom telehandlers a consideration of a stronger and more versatile forklift.
Fixed boom telehandlers have heavy-duty capabilities that allow you to utilize them in various environments, on various terrain, and for a multitude of lifting purposes, small, major, or in between.
Rotating telehandlers are designed more so for mobility then for strength. They are still much more powerful and versatile than regular forklifts, but they don’t pack as much muscle as fixed boom telehandlers.
These telehandlers are a more recent design that fixed boom telehandlers and were designed as a solution to needing more lifting power on the job site or industrial materials yard, while also needing to reach higher spaces. They feature a full 360 degree rotating cab and boom, allow for a higher degree of mobility and reach capability in tight spaces.
In addition to their height and reach capabilities, rotating telehandlers also make lifting and moving at regular heights much more effective. While the entire body of a regular forklift needs to rotate to move pallets from right to left, a rotating telehandler lets you easily pick up pallets or material on one side, and place them down on the other without having to reposition the body of the machine. This is incredibly useful in tight spaces where a regular forklift can’t turn around, similar to a narrow-aisle forklift.
How to Choose the Right Telehandler For You
Deciding which telehandler is right for you is a matter of understanding the needs for your telehandler. What load bearing capacity do you need? Do you need a boom that can support a 2 – 3 man team and their materials? Do your operations require more mobility and reach in tight spaces? Do you need a machine that lifts and moves pallets and material where your regular forklift can’t get the job done?
How you answer these questions will determine which telehandler is right for you. The first step should be to figure out what load bearing capacity you need. Average the weight of any workers and equipment you will need lifted. If this number is more than a few thousand pounds, then you will need to go with a fixed boom telehandler.
Decide where you will need to use your telehandler the most. If your operations call for lighter lifting but need a higher degree of mobility to reach tight spaces, then you will need to go with a rotating telehandler
Should I Buy a New or Used Telehandler?
The answer to this question is – it depends. How often will you be using your telehandler? Where and how will you be using it? If you just need the occasional added lifting capacity or added mobility to reach inside tight spaces, then a used telehandler will be fine. If you need a high load bearing capacity telehandler for frequent use, it’s a good idea to buy a new one.
If you decide to buy a used telehandler, make sure to buy one from a reputable dealer who will stand behind their equipment with a warranty.
Forklift and bucket attachments are the most common ones used on telehandlers. Telehandler booms make lifting heavy loads and reaching high and tight spaces possible, and more efficient. Forklift and bucket attachments transform your compact or midsize telehandlers into the greatest asset in your warehouse or industrial material yard.
Forklift and bucket attachments come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, providing a solution for any of your telehandler needs. From lifting and moving pallets and industrial materials to plowing snow from your yard.
Platform attachments allow you to lift 2 – 3 person crews and equipment for aerial work and allow you to use your fixed boom telehandler like you would a scissor lift.
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