What is a Telehandler and how to choose the right one for your job

The Telehandler: One Tool for All Jobs

Picking the right tool for a project can often be a difficult decision, and in many cases, it seems impossible to settle on just one. This can often be caused by uncertainty regarding the potential applications of various choices. However, safety concerns also play a large part in deciding what to use. In the case of heavy machinery, it is important to not only use vehicles that carry a good track record, but to also have operators that have the appropriate training and are aware of the best safety practices.

As an example, let’s picture this scenario: you need to move multiple heavy loads off of and onto a truck that is situated on rocky terrain. A forklift will not be adequate for the job, as it cannot perform the horizontal movement required of it, and it does not make sense financially to use a crane. What tool would be the right fit for such a job? You would need something that fulfills the roles of both a forklift and a crane, while also allowing a trained operator to do the task safely. In this situation you might want to look into a telehandler, also known as a telescopic handler.

The Telehandler: One Tool for All Jobs

 

What is a telehandler?

A telehandler is a vehicle that hosts an extendable boom, allowing it to lift loads weighing as much as 70,000 pounds, and extending as much as 150 feet, depending on the model being used. The boom can also usually reach as much as a 70-degree angle from the ground. The telehandler in its current form was first created in 1977, and was an amalgamation of a backhoe, crane and forklift. Originally it was used in two-wheel drive, but with the vehicle’s quick rise in popularity, a four-wheel version was soon released. Telehandlers were predominantly used for agricultural purposes, such as moving hay bales. Nowadays, telehandlers are also used on construction and mining worksites, and are appreciated for their multifunctionality.

Telehandlers are the swiss army knife of the heavy machinery world, as they offer a large amount of utility during any season of the year. Whereas something like a forklift can only perform a single type of job, a telehandler can be outfitted to complete a wide range of tasks. Many of these tasks are determined by any of the various attachments that can be equipped to the machine.

Some of these attachments include:

  • Buckets
  • Carriages
  • Forks
  • Hoppers
  • Jibs
  • Plows
  • Work platforms

The most common attachments tend to be the pallet fork and the bucket. The pallet fork is used because it is quite common for a telehandler to be used instead of a forklift, when moving loads to places that a typical forklift would be unable to reach. Similarly, a telehandler equipped with a bucket is meant to accomplish a difficult task that a loader would normally perform.

Based on the attachment, a telehandler can perform actions like:

  • Moving earth or debris in order to clear a space
  • Hoisting workers to perform repairs
  • Lifting heavy loads that are too high for a forklift
  • Plowing snow
  • Loading salt gritters

Telehandlers are also excellent for use in areas with uneven ground, as this can be difficult to deal with when using a crane. A telehandler would be handy to have in the situation with the truck surrounded by rocky terrain, mentioned earlier! The type of telehandler you choose, should be decided by the type of job it needs to do.

 

What types of telehandlers are there?

telehandler types

There are two main categories of telehandler, each with variations that perform well in different aspects.

They are:

Non-rotating

  • Standard Fixed Boom – agriculture and construction
    • Average reach and carrying capacity

Rotating (Roto Telehandler)

  • Standard Rotational – focus on construction
    • Great reach
  • Heavy Lift – focus on mining
    • Great carrying capacity

Telehandlers consume diesel, and are typically controlled using one of three steering options.

These are:

  • Crab – around hills and walls
  • Four-wheel – for tight/difficult areas
  • Front-wheel – for roads

Although originally pioneered by the company JCB, which is well known for their iconic telehandlers, there are several brands of telehandler that are well respected.

These include brands such as:

Telehandlers are often referred to as “Lulls”, based on a declining variation that came into being in 1959. Lull telehandlers were eventually acquired by JLG, but have been discontinued as of 2015.

 

What else should I be aware of?

While there are many reasons to use this machine, telehandlers do have a few nuances that you should be aware of. Firstly, the maximum load that a telehandler can safely manage is largely determined by the extension of the boom. Heavier loads are safest at smaller extensions, and lighter loads are best at longer extensions. The type of attachment being used and the wind speed in the surrounding area can also both affect how far the boom should be extended. There are some telehandlers that come equipped with stabilizers that can be used when the machine is not moving, and most vehicles will have sensors and a computer that can inform an operator of danger. However, it is of utmost importance that anyone operating this machine has the appropriate telehandler training.

 

Are telehandlers safe?

As with any piece of heavy machinery, safety is largely determined by people’s knowledge and actions around the machine. Telehandler training is imperative to becoming a responsible and effective operator, so that everyone remains safe, and precious time and resources are not wasted. In the case of telehandlers, there are several precautions that trained operators should take.

Operators should:

  • Completely understand what the machine is capable of by looking at manuals, understanding signage, and analyzing the controls
  • Reference the appropriate regulations for the location
  • Always inspect the machine before operation begins, so that machines that are not working properly are not used
  • Be aware of all potential hazards on a worksite, such as weather, etc.
  • Adjust mirrors to help in being aware of other nearby workers
  • Pay close attention to carrying capacity, by referencing the specific vehicle’s load chart
  • Wear a seatbelt, and never jump from a tilting machine

Due to the nature of the telehandler, tilting can become an issue if the proper load to extension ratio is not adhered to. Operators should also be aware of inclines at all times and ensure that anyone on a work platform attachment is properly secured. An operator should never attempt to drive a telehandler while the boom is raised. By ensuring that the boom is lowered, the centre of gravity of the vehicle will also be lowered, allowing for more stability. If there ever comes a point where moving the telehandler becomes difficult without raising the boom, then the use of a telehandler for that specific job should be completely re-evaluated. It is also important to note that travelling with a load that is suspended should be avoided. There are many incidents that occur due to this. Any instance that requires a telehandler to travel with a load in suspension must be carefully planned and documented in a “lift plan”. The appropriate procedures to follow when operating a telehandler can easily be learned in an online course.

 

Looking for a telehandler course?

When working with potentially dangerous machinery it is important to have the right training. Any operator should learn to maintain full control of their equipment while complying with the regulations and laws governing its operation. With training, an operator will understand the legislated responsibilities and learn how to identify the components of the equipment and their functions.  The operator will also know how to travel with, and handle loads safely. It can be difficult finding good telehandler training online, but this telescopic handler operation course should do the trick. This telescopic handler training will provide you with a telehandler certification, that will demonstrate that you have the knowledge to safely operate one of these powerful machines!

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

I took my BLS course from SOS and it was an amazing expercience. The instructor, Ms Patty is friendly and explained all the procedures in details. Hands on experience was fun. Moreover, the facility is nice and clean and very welcoming.
Kartikay Srivastava
Kartikay Srivastava
In Oakville my instructor Patty was amazing. I learned a lot and when I didn't understand she was sure that I was learning from it. Thanks SOS First Aid for the courses offered , those always are needed to keep us updated.
Jose C.
Jose C.
The company has helped me out after my request for a rescheduled course. This is all we needed as emergencies happen and grateful they reconsidered their initial verdict. Thank you
Pieter Medema
Pieter Medema
Just did First Aid BLS course with Patty. Great Instructor, Great course delivery - to the point, doesn't drag or make you fall asleep. Really liked Patty's style of teaching. Awesome personality!!FYI - No refunds if under 48 hrs notice.I enjoyed both days of the course.
arsh
arsh
Had a knowledgeable session with Tyson.He is amazing!! great examples.!!! Thank you so much Tyson!
nikivelastgui
nikivelastgui
Completed the Standard First Aid/CPR C course for the first time and the instructor Tyson was great!!
Ana Arrieta
Ana Arrieta
It was very fun class and I had learned a lots from my trainer Tyson. Thank you very much.
Wan Nilprasert
Wan Nilprasert
Tyson is awesome and a great instructor! Appreciated his experience and knowledge with first aid! Would recommend this course to anyone.
Denzel Pinto
Denzel Pinto
Had a knowledgeable and engaging session with Tyson. He is an amazing instructor who knows his content well and delivers it phenomenally with great examples. The hands-on experience made the CPR more fun and engaging. Overall, it was an informative session and I would recommend others to take it as well. Thank you Tyson!
Rameesha Rehmani
Rameesha Rehmani
I participated in a CPR-C/AED recertification course today and the price was very reasonable. My instructor “Tyson” was very knowledge explaining the various topics and his hands-on abilities while performing CPR and the different choking maneuvers was excellent.
Jason Nguyen
Jason Nguyen
Completed the Emergency First Aid and BLS training for the first time and the Instructor (Patty) was amazing! Super cool and funny and explained everything in a simple yet understandable manner. Covid-19 protocols and social distancing was handled well with spaced out seating, mandatory masks, everything being sanitized. personal training manikin, and modified training lessons that reduced passing items around.
Justin Huynh
Justin Huynh
Had a great experience there!! Well structured and organized information, been a while since I’d been to “class”. The instructor Patty, was phenomenal, makes everyone feel welcomed and ensures you have a thorough understanding of the information being presented. Would highly recommend SOS for any and all of your first aid training requirements. Thanks for everything Patty, you inspired this momma:)
Lydia Zeman
Lydia Zeman
Great program. Took Standard Firat Aid C, and Patty and Marita were fantastic!! Learned a lot in short time and shown the proper way to conduct CPR. Would suggest anyone capable of doing CPR/standard first aid should attend this course, especially if you are worried about doing CPR/first aid wrong. They show how it's done properly and give you the confidence to do it. Also very accommodating.
Michelle Sone
Michelle Sone
Fun class made easy to learn and retain information with instructors Patty & Marita highly recommend for first aid , CPR Level C & AED
Lori Corkin
Lori Corkin
I just took the course at SOS in Mississauga for emergency first aid. My instructor Patty was amazing she is very engaging and made sure that everyone's questions were answered and clarified anything that was confusing. I have already recommended this course to my fellow classmates. I also had trouble on the website to register as a student in order to get the discount. However, the staff was really amazing when I called and refunded me the amount in order for me to receive the student discount. I would definitely recommend SOS to anyone who is looking either to get emergency first aid or standard first aid done. I would also do my re-certification at SOS!
Mary Best
Mary Best
Just finished my standard first aid cpr-c course , it was amazing ... patty was a great instructor , she was informative, fun and very organized ... the two days went by so smoothly and so fast ... didnt even feel the time go by because it was great :) i would definitely come back for a recert :)
shaza selim
shaza selim
I participated in an Emergency First Aid Course with SOS in Mississauga. Their location in Square one at 4141 Living Arts Drive was excellent. Patty as a course Instructor also was full of knowledge and experience. Attending a class with her was really enjoyable and fun filled. I appreciate SOS for choosing such an excellent location and hiring some of the best instructors in the field.
Jhumki Laksar
Jhumki Laksar
Yesterday I had the privilege to take the CPR level C course at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga . It was my very first time taking this course and I didn't know what to expect. However, I need to let you know that the course was very informative and I had an amazing experience and all because of my instructor, Patty. She is very knowledgeable and has so much experience, and knows how to deliver information in a fun way which keeps the class very engaged. She is also very accommodating and makes sure to personally clean all the tools you use to ensure they are sanitary. I am very thankful for everything she taught me and I highly recommend everyone to take this course.
Hedviga Zareczky
Hedviga Zareczky
Excellent course that provided the training I needed. Thoroughly enjoyed instructor Sam! His wealth of knowledge was impressive. Would definitely recommend this course to anybody.
Lloyd Dyson
Lloyd Dyson
Such a great course! Patty was so helpful and super easy to understand. So accommodating to everyone and worked hard to ensure success for everyone. A Course I will definitely be recommending!
cara castillo
cara castillo
The training was great! Our instructor, Patty, was amazing! She kept the class engaging and positive. Would recommend it to everyone! Thank you!
Manu A.Rajah
Manu A.Rajah
Amazing instructor! Really learned to save lives and I feel confident to do it in my feel of work. Thank you Patty!
Endy s
Endy s
Patty did an excellent job teaching our first aid training.She made the course fun and very informative.She is very passionate about what she does based on her own life experiences that she graciously shared with us.Thanks Patty for the training and confidence I would need if ever put in a life threatening situation.
Donna Greeley
Donna Greeley
Patty was absolutely an amazing teacher.. Very friendly and down to earth.. She knows what she is talking about... I would recommend Patty to teach any class.
Austin Gosse
Austin Gosse
A great way to get your First Aid Cert. Minimum two day for standard which yes seems long and a waste of a weekend, but it goes by fast and lots of fun practice.
villagemayor
villagemayor
Excellent First Aid CPR-C/BLS courses, easy to understand and detailed explanations, instructor made the course very interesting and fun so we don't lose our focus, our instructor Patty, Jessica was excellent with the scientific proof, and answered all the question passionately, situational and interesting activities. I was able to fully understand the importance of First aid, new information about the first aid. completed the course with excellent score and understanding.Thank you Patty and Jessica!
정한석
정한석
Patty was a great instructor,knowledgable and her paramedic work experience taught us alot I would recommend everybody to do first aid CPR course from Patty Thank-you.
Soulat Ali
Soulat Ali
Took this course 2 weeks back. Patty is very knowledgeable and she knows what she's doing. she goes above & beyond to make sure that we understand everything being taught. I highly recommend Instructor Patty. Thank you
Aim Harry
Aim Harry
I took the wilderness first aid course with SOS First Aid and I loved it, I have also taken the standard first aid courses with this company, I've had a great experience everytime
Patrick Sacco
Patrick Sacco
I just completed my standard first aid with CPR - C and it was fantastic. The instructor Patty was so informative and sweet; I enjoyed the course so much, it went by so quickly. It was a great experience, I am so glad I took this course. I really do feel so much more confident knowing that I have the knowledge of how to deal with first aid situations that I could encounter in the future. Actually after finishing it, I want to register for more informative courses to get my training level higher. It made me want to register as a first responder in my college.
Alisa Boyarkin
Alisa Boyarkin
Took the 2 day standard first aid combo course and it was great. Class size was nice and small, and more importantly, Kathryn was a great instructor. Thanks again Kathryn.
Ali Amin
Ali Amin
It was a great class for me because I learn a lot. Patty is great teacher she made everything easy to understand. There were lots of example and experience for titles. The more important thing was that the class wasn't boring at all. Thanks for all of that patty.
Nasrin Bina
Nasrin Bina
Our instructor(Patty Turnbull) T was very nice. I felt totally comfortable in her class. She seemed very experienced and had many examples to visualize a situation and circumstances for us. I liked her approach to instruction. It was my second time that I participated in CPR and First Aid course but I learned a lot in Patty's course. The room was appropriate and comfortable from different aspects like heat, chairs, noise and etc.
Maryam Molkabadin
Maryam Molkabadin
Great course this weekend wilderness first aid basic. Lots of information and very good instructors thank you Heather and Michelle
David Scarr
David Scarr
Patty is a phenomenal instructor! Engaging and hilarious, I would take another course with her in a heartbeat.
Marci Nash
Marci Nash
SOS First Aid is one of the best training companies I've worked with. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable. They are a great partner to work with!
Dan MacDonald
Dan MacDonald
Zhike Zhang
Zhike Zhang
I had a great experience with my recertification! Amit was an incredible instructor - very knowledgeable, clear and concise. He clearly demonstrated the use of the AED, first aid practises as well as CPR. I highly recommend his class!
lauren rowbottom
lauren rowbottom
The course is very informative and I recommend for anyone who needs to receive any sort of cpr or first aid certification to do it at SOS first aid. My instructor Amit was great, funny and informative, when I recertify I hope I get him again!
Cy w
Cy w
Amit is a great hands on trainer. Would recommend if looking for CPR and AED training
ahmed chakib
ahmed chakib
Nathalie Garratt
Nathalie Garratt
Tyson a real oneAmazing experience and class taught by tyson
Saleh Chaudhry
Saleh Chaudhry
Tyson is my dawgs he tought me how to save babies.
Aaliyah Isaac
Aaliyah Isaac
The class was amazing, they didn't rush with us . We were all engaged and Tyson was one of the best mentors ever
Thekillaah Show
Thekillaah Show
Heba B
Heba B
Great class and great instructors (Kathryn and tyson)
Meena Kirupakaran
Meena Kirupakaran
great instructors very active and left the course knowing what to do in emergency cases
Aous Salih
Aous Salih
Justin Lu
Justin Lu
I was given the opportunity to take the SOS First Aid and Safety Training at the Living arts center in Mississauga. Patty is an amazing and informative instructor. She made sure that we understood everything clearly. I enjoyed the last two days in her class!!!
Erica Baluyot
Erica Baluyot

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