The telehandler or telescopic handler is a heavy duty machine that is popular within both the construction and agriculture industries. These equipment are rather similar in both function and appearance to the forklift, except it more closely resembles a crane. The telehandler provides increased versatility of a single telescopic boom that could extend forwards as well as upwards from the vehicle. The operator can attach many attachments on the end of the boom. Several of the most popular attachments comprise: a bucket, a muck grab, pallet forks or a lift table.
In order to move cargo through places which are normally not reachable for a standard forklift. The telehandler uses pallet forks as their most common attachment. For instance, telehandlers could transport cargo to and from locations which are not usually accessible by conventional forklift units. These devices also have the ability to remove palletized loads from inside a trailer and place these loads in high areas, such as on rooftops for instance. Previously, this situation mentioned above would need a crane. Cranes could be expensive to utilize and not always a practical or time-efficient option.
Another advantage is also the telehandlers largest drawback: since the boom raises or extends when the equipment is bearing a load, it also acts as a lever and causes the vehicle to become somewhat unbalanced, despite the rear counterweights. This translates to the lifting capacity decreasing quickly as the working radius increases. The working radius is the distance between the front of the wheels and the center of the load.
For instance, a vehicle which has a 5000 lb. capacity with the boom retracted might be able to safely raise only as much as 400 pounds once it is completely extended with a low boom angle. The same model with a 5000 pound lift capacity which has the boom retracted may be able to easily support as much as 10,000 pounds with the boom raised up to 70.
England originally pioneered the telehandler in Horley, Surrey. The Matbro Company developed these equipment from their articulated cross country forestry forklifts. Initially, they had a centrally mounted boom design on the front section. This placed the cab of the driver on the machine's back portion, as in the Teleram 40 model. The rigid chassis design with the cab situated on the side and a rear mounted boom has since become increasingly more famous.